Beating Holiday Stress: Part 4

Setting a Powerful Intention

Does Christmas make you feel like the pug in the picture? Don’t feel like that pug. Instead, set a powerful intention to make this holiday season exactly what you want it to be. First, though, we’ve got to talk about expectations.

The holidays are stressful for a bunch of reasons, but the main one is that we have crazy-high expectations. We also take on the expectations of others (for example, what does your mother think you should be doing this year?). What are your expectations for Christmas this year? For yourself? Are they realistic? What are your expectations about? Food, friends, presents, emotions? How would you feel if things don’t turn out like you want them to?

As wedding entrepreneurs, you work weddings. You know that things never go (exactly) as planned. So how can you set yourself up to have a great month no matter what? Well, you can start by setting a powerful intention for yourself.

As a life coach, I help clients set powerful intentions and I know they can make a huge difference. Let’s set one now:

What is your intention for the holidays this year?

There’s no wrong or right answer, but it is important that you focus on something you can control. Unmet expectations make us sad. If we expect things to happen that we can’t control, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. But there is a ton we can control. For example, my intention this year is to embody the spirit of the holidays. To be generous, to laugh easily and to give off a warmth that draws others to me. That’s a lot. Your intention could be to have fun with family. *Note: Always set intentions in the positive (not negative). Psychological studies show that your brain has trouble telling the difference between “I don’t want to get fat” and “I want to get fat.”

Your thoughts largely control your reality. Do you know anyone who is negative all of the time and bad stuff just keeps on happening to her? Intentions work the same way. The point is that you already have intentions for the holidays (“I will not eat all the cookies”), you maybe just haven’t thought about them much. Take control, decide for yourself what your intentions will be.

Picking an intention isn’t enough. At least that never works for me. Write down your intention somewhere you’ll see it every day. Or write it again every day. Or record yourself saying it and listen to it before you go to bed each night. Or say it out loud when you wake up. It takes just seconds, but it’s the difference between living your intention and completely forgetting about it (and spending another December stressed out and exhausted).

How will you remind yourself of your intention every day?

This post is part four of a five part series called “Beating Holiday Stress.” In the holiday spirit of giving, Jeff is offering a free class on beating holiday stress at The class starts Dec. 3, 2012. Sign up here.