Positive Psychology Takes A Holiday – 5 Steps to for a December to Remember!

Well, it’s that time of the year again. The days are shorter, and the to-do lists are longer. There are gifts to buy, decorations to hang, festivities to attend (and host), as well as all the normal things that come with the year’s end, like wrapping up financial decisions along with all the gifts (especially challenging this year). But with every single one of holiday challenges we face, there comes another chance to find the hidden gifts wrapped up inside all of the work. The question is, just how are we to do that?

First, take an honest inventory of your burdens. This can give you great insights to managing them, prioritizing them, releasing them, and even turn them into opportunities for camaraderie. Used properly, those burdens are a chance to activate the laws of attraction (which definitely work better when we actually do the simple, courageous thing and just ask for help). Here are five steps to turning your December burden into a basket of cheer.

First, as you start each day, be sure to begin it with true appreciation.Before you tackle a list of chores, be sure to create a list of gratefulness. Some things are obvious (or should be). List them anyway. Even in a time of recession, we still live in a very abundant society. Making that list and checking it twice should definitely NOT be left only to the guy in a big red suit!Second, keep your sense of humor. Positive psychology is a tool that we use and not a theory. By having a light hearted funny bone readily available when others are stressed out, their antics will not throw you off center. Remember, your goal is happiness – and if you start it with you, you will surely spread a little cheer to others. This will also allow you to live THIS one holiday season with no regrets.

Third, set your own personal priorities. There are a LOT of people to please and respond to during the holiday season. Saying “yes” to all of them is just a recipe for disaster. Forget about perfection – Hallmark holidays just don’t happen very often. So stand back and take the time to consciously decide what is right for your family. What is important to you? Then just say no to all the rest. Believe me, the world won’t stop revolving. Done effectively, this effort (and the ability to say no) accomplishes the sneaky side effect of allowing you to Live in the moment.

Fourth, ask for help! One of the basic tenets of positive psychology is to ALLOW. When to-do lists are measured in feet, not inches, asking for help is a great way to practice allowing. Be courageous. Seek support. If you feel isolated or overwhelmed, reach out to family and friends for support (and companionship). Besides making our lives easier, asking for help can be emotionally and spiritually enriching. And any time an individual is helped, everything around them is made better. Asking for help deepens connections, reduces stress, increases energy, and ends isolation. And you never know, the person helped the most may be the other guy!

Finally, surrender “old stories” (and your worries!). As human beings, we like to assume that we “know” how things will go – or we worry ourselves to death with what may or may not happen. What that often means around the holidays is that we allow ourselves to get stuck. We worry so much that we subconsciously volunteer to repeat unhealthy patterns over and over. The good news is, we don’t have to do that! Real success begins when we author and articulate our own definition of personal happiness. And by consciously reminding ourselves that life is always a new, uncharted adventure – we can create an entirely different holiday season. And in the process, write a new story and make it one you will LOVE to remember for years to come.

To your successful holidays and your happy new year!


Feel the spirit of the season
About the author

Andrea Goeglein is part organizational psychologist, part entrepreneur, and all about success—your success. She understands both the pressures you face and the dreams that inspire you. Andrea merges her experience as a business owner with her training in Positive Psychology to provide effective, efficient and challenging personal development products and services. She combines an emphasis on objective assessment with an approach that is always powered by your spirit and guided by your goals. Her professional development offerings are based in theory and backed by direct business knowledge.

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1 Response
  1. Anonymous

    This blog has really helped me to refocus my holiday crazies and, instead, to create some peace and some joy. Instead of the dustry old artificial tree and ten thousand ornamemnts, I bought a potted little tree and wrapped it in a single strand of lights.

    I also sat down and chose a few days where I will not be working to facilitate a great holiday with my family and especially my child. I work for myself, and time off is — well, it’s scary. But I am learning to rethink my words and my thoughts and tell myself that even my clients want me to enjoy Christmas.

    Your blog is always a source of great inspiration, Dr. Success. So many “positive” people out there preach nothing but “secrets” — it’s nice to find a few ideas that aren’t wrapped in mystery!

    Warmest holiday regards!

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