Relationship investment pays off big time
Most of my clients experience moderate to severe stress and anxiety about holiday family get-togethers, gift buying and giving and myriad other holiday issues. Holiday family gatherings often feel 'mandatory'; and can bring together disparate family members, some of whom are AWOL and/or avoided the rest of the year.
So, I asked myself, why not plan for this experience way in advance. Businesses create yearly plans which they break down into monthly goals, in order to achieve their overall year-end goal to fuel business growth.
In this spirit, I suggest beginning a relationship Christmas club. The idea is that you decide now what changes you want for the next holiday season by sleuthing out which family member(s) are the most difficult for you to interact with and/or which holiday rituals are not working for you anymore. Figure out what reasonable changes would make your holiday season less stressful, less hectic and thus more enjoyable.
Every month, make a 'deposit'; in your relationship Christmas club. This could be anything from reconnecting with a relative that you are avoiding, to setting boundaries around the clash of your wants and needs and the expectations of others. So for example, a family with young children may feel held hostage by the demands of tradition in the parent's household. Starting to practice setting boundaries with your family of origin now means you will be more expert at saying what works and what doesn't work for you during the holidays and thus better able to negotiate a win-win over how the holidays play out. Working now on your relationship goals, has the potential to bring real change next holiday season.
As Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Change is not only possible but desirable. Send me what your relationship Christmas club 'deposits'; are and what you will realize as a result of your deposit. I bet we come up with an incredible list!