Home for the Holidays has a new meaning this year. Many of us have altered our plans forgoing holiday travel, festivities, and gatherings outside our household. These changes are disappointing and require us to be very intentional to experience joy at work, and everywhere else.
Whether it’s your relationships, career, or the holidays, experiencing joy is an inside job. Joy requires us to get clear about what really matters most. I have been writing about how to create your own joy during the holidays for years, and this year I am asking myself 3 questions to keep me focused on it:
What can I keep doing?
When we host Christmas, we hang extra lights and decorations and make a huge pan of lasagna to send everyone home with leftovers. This year we can still decorate full-on because I love the lights. And I can still make lasagna and deliver it personally so everyone can enjoy it. What would give you joy right now just thinking about it?
What can I stop doing?
I have been working on letting go of the pony, (my unrealistic expectations) for the holidays for years. This year I can stop wishing, wondering, and focusing on all that is not perfect because everything has changed. You can let go of all the things that don’t have real meaning for you and embrace the things that do. See #1.
What can I start doing?
What we focus on expands, and this year I can start focusing on what is going well in my world. You can look for the smallest things to smile about, be grateful for and appreciate with your work, partner, and even the sunshine. Every evening write down 3 good things about your day and 3 good intentions for the next day. We don’t experience joy to get grateful, we get grateful to experience joy.
Experiencing joy is our personal responsibility. This is great news because you get to decide what you can start, stop, and keep doing to cultivate it. Identify what matters most and you may be surprised how you experience joy this holiday and into the new year.