Today is the Monday after Thanksgiving. Normally, it would be day of exhaustion and feeling as though I had just finished a marathon week of cooking, cleaning, spending money, and rushing around.
In the past, I worked almost the entire week and only took off Thanksgiving Day and sometimes Friday. I would stay up late cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the Thanksgiving meal. I waited until the last minute (because I was working) to clean the house and prepare for company that was coming to town.
I tired easily from being on my feet all day with little rest. I shopped, prepared, and served the big meal only to rush through it and jump up to clear the table and prepare dessert. I accepted and enjoyed my kids’ help when offered but I wasn’t good at asking for help. I was stressed and I’m sure everyone around me felt it.
After all of that, around 10 P.M. my daughter and I would hit the stores for insane Black Friday shopping trips, returning home around 3 A.M. I spent money on things that weren’t on my list – just because they were on sale and I wanted to save money. The next day, I shopped again for fear of missing out on new deals.
By Sunday night, I was exhausted and regretted spending so much money on gifts.
And every year I told myself that next year would be different.
It never was.
Until this year.
A big shift for the better occurred when I started controlling my calendar. I started putting me first for the first time in my life. I said ‘yes’ and ‘no’ on my own terms.
This year, I took the entire week off. The only exception I made was a one-hour conference call for a potential speaking engagement in Boston and a one-hour client meeting that I wanted to get in. My daughter came home from college on the Monday before Thanksgiving and I spent quality time with her and my two younger boys who are still in high school. My oldest son graduated college in May and now has a full-time job that required him to work over the holiday, so he remained in Baltimore. It was hard not having him home for the first time ever due to his job. It’s a big transition and it reminds me how fleeting time is.
Last week I didn’t run around and act like a stressed-filled crazy person. I hung out with my kids and friends, watched old movies and looked through old pictures. Rather than making a dozen dishes for Thanksgiving, I narrowed it down to only our favorites. Who needs all that food anyway? I made one apple pie, because that’s what the kids and I enjoy most. I slept in, watched movies, exercised a bit, cleaned my garage, and even hung outside Christmas lights. I didn’t buy one thing on Black Friday or Saturday, and so far today, nothing on Cyber Monday.
And you know what? I feel great! Since putting myself first and getting over the feelings of selfishness, I can honestly say I am happier. Here’s a look at my weekly calendar (and of course, there are exceptions):
- Monday: Marketing Monday where I actively create content, make connection calls to deepen relationships, engage on social media, and meet virtually on video conference with my Mastermind group.
- Tuesday – Thursday: Client meetings, client work
- Friday: Financial and Fun Friday’s – I look at my income and expenses. I schedule breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a friend, run errands, and do whatever I fancy.
This is what works for me. Your week might look different, and that’s okay. You need to do you in a way that feels light, easy, and joyful. I work with my clients to make time in their calendar for things that matter to them. One big thing we work on together is Marketing Monday’s so that you know how to market your business in a way that feels awesome so that you can reach your goals.
If you’re looking to make a change in your life and grow your business, I’d love to chat with you. Head over to my contact page to schedule a free consultation and get one step closer to controlling your calendar and creating a lot more joy in your world.
What do you want your Christmas / Hanukah season to look and feel like this year? What would be possible if you controlled your calendar?