December 2023 Planning Tips: Embrace Holiday Traditions, or Make New Ones
What traditions (old or new) will serve you best in December?
The holiday season offers an opportunity to engage in activities outside our norm, to catch up with people we don’t normally see, and even to use our time differently than in how we typically spend our days and weeks. To embrace those once-a-year traditions — or perhaps to create some new ones that serve you better than the “holiday rush” of years past.
As we move into the holidays and the last month of the year, let’s plan how we can use that time to benefit both ourselves and other people. This might mean focusing on family and friends we don’t see often. Or giving back to our communities and helping those in need.
Or, as we’ve been encouraging you these past few weeks: giving yourself some grace and space for ease and flow, and allowing yourself time to rest and recover from a challenging stretch.
Check out our December Planning Tips 👇 for ideas on how to make this last month of the year more of what you need and want, and less of what you don’t, while helping others do the same.
Your December weekly planner pages are made to help you build in time for all the activities AND rest to make this holiday season special, enjoyable, and restorative:
December Planning Tips & Ideas
As we’ve been sharing in the Pulses over the last few weeks, this time of the year can be deceiving when it comes to our creative capacity. The days on the calendar and holiday breaks make it seem like we have more time than we do — we have fewer work days, often crammed with end-of-year or preparing-to-be-out activities, and the “open” days off are spent in seasonal activities.
So if you’re feeling pretty full right now and want a more grounded break, here’s what to do:
Take an honest count of your focus blocks for the remainder of the year. I (Charlie) did that and realized that I had 11 remaining. Sobering, but also helpful to know since, as I’ve said before, focus blocks are the best gauge of your true capacity to finish high-value projects.
Preemptively punt into the new year what you’re not going to get to. Punting something you’re not going to get to isn’t mere procrastination — it’s freeing up more bandwidth for you to focus on the things that matter.
Pursue a project close to your heart. Without it needing to be a race to the finish line, when 2023 becomes 2024, consider just saving some time out and away from all the festivities for some deep work on a project you care about (and perhaps more importantly, that you really enjoy.) This can be just as rejuvenating as full-on rest mode and only needs a focus block or two each week for you to see some progress.
Plan calming activities to get you out of urgency mode. When we’ve been through a stressful time (which the end of the year often is with the push to finish off lingering projects) it can be difficult to unwind. All the more reason during the holiday season to be very deliberate about planning calming activities and time to just relax and be (without the constant pressure to ‘do’!).
Make time for fun & mischief-making. Yes, literal holiday mischief. For most of us, our careers or jobs require us to be relatively still or serious most of the time — more than we might like. Set aside time for more fun (and rejuvenating) with an activity like hiking or dancing — or up the stakes with a jingle-bell-door prank or mistletoe in unexpected places.😏 Even 30 minutes a couple times a day can help you regain a sense of play and help you regenerate the energy you need for all your holiday “must dos”.
And if you’re feeling the need to add something purposeful and aligned to your plate, consider:
Presence > presents. Time is so much more valuable than money for showing the people you love that you care about them. Think experiences instead of stuff —how can you just be with those you love in a way that creates memories you’ll all cherish?
Host a Friendmas party. Many of us have taken on this idea that there’s only one way to celebrate the holidays. What if we took some of the family pressures off, and put the focus instead on the friends that make up our real world adulting family? A more relaxed get-together, which ignores the other pressures and norms of the holiday season, might be just what you need to break out of the stress cycle.
Help those in need. Not everyone has someone to spend the holiday with, for a variety of reasons — even if that’s just the cost of airfare. Choosing to volunteer and spend time with the less fortunate will (surprise, no surprise) make both you and them feel more in the holiday spirit and ready to celebrate.
What traditions (old or new) will serve you best in December? And how can you plan your weeks to include your Goldilocks amount of them?
Paying subscribers can download the full December planner pack 👇 to help make the most of December. It includes monthly, weekly, and daily planner pages. Paid subscribers also have access to the Momentum Planning E-Course, with focused lessons to kickstart their Momentum Planning and get the most out of the method.
Reminder: The cost for a paid subscription is increasing to $10 a month or $100 per year on December 1. Subscribe now to lock in the discounted rate.
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