Without question, this is a joyous time of the year. Whether with your real or business “family”, you will have great cause to observe many forms of celebration and tradition.

You’ll undoubtedly celebrate your business and personal relationships, the accomplishments of the past year, and religious observances. From the tree lighting in the town square, the company party, sending holiday greetings to valued clients, gift shopping for friends and loved ones, or kicking back and watching the classic holiday movies. You will observe many valued “traditions”. These traditions serve as a foundation not only for your warm holiday memories, but also for some of the most difficult times in your life.

Some years ago country singer Hank Williams, Jr. recorded a song entitled “Family Traditions”. In the lyrics Hank was asked “Why do you drink? ... Why do you roll smoke? ... Why do you live out the songs that you wrote?” To which Hank (in referring to his dad) sang his reply that “I’m just carrying on an old family tradition”.

Hank’s song provides a powerful message, that some of your traditions might not be so beneficial for your life, family or career. Have you ever noticed that what you perceive as fun (even though it may be dangerous) will some how always win out over work? After all, fun is what makes a tradition... a “tradition”! Danger can often be “thrilling” to flirt with. If the perceived fun is enticing enough, you’ll want to experience it again and again.

Traditions are actually “habits” in disguise and represent part of your behavioral make up. If you take a closer look, much can be learned from observing your traditions. “Traditional thinking” and behaviors are fueled by your prevailing attitudes.

So while in the midst of planning this season’s office and family festivities, take a moment to account for how much “time” you have invested in planning your holiday traditions. As there is a distinct parallel between your holiday festivities and your annual vacation. In that both of these event periods require extensive planning, in order to make them a success.

Statistically, studies have shown that you will spend more time planning the holidays and your two weeks of vacation, than you will the remaining 48 weeks of your life throughout the balance of the year. Which begs the question…”why”? Human nature reveals that you are far more motivated by partying, traveling, visiting with family or simply hanging with friends, because it’s “fun”.

Consider your attitudes about Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s or your favorite vacation spot. What thoughts immediately come to mind? Could you feel the excitement and anticipation? You’ve been making these types of connections and associations ever since you were a small child. Think back, did you want to stay outdoors playing with friends, or go inside to do homework? Ride your bike or do chores?

Your attitudes are a driving force in your every day life, and so are your traditions. You developed your attitudes, habits and many traditions from a very young age. Your resultant behavior programming has followed along with you all of your life. Most of the time, it’s on auto-pilot. That’s exactly why it’s so hard to make real and meaningful changes in your life.

As you prepare for your holidays, take a tip from Old Saint Nick... make a list (of your traditions) and then check it twice (to determine which traditions are serving you and which are not). Then decide what has to change in 2009.

You already have some traditions that will most likely govern next year’s vacation and major holidays. So, what can you do about those other 48 weeks?

Copyright © 2008 DevelopingForward.com | Executive Coaching International | Thomas H. Swank, EC, BSC. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Swank is a highly respected Executive Coach, Business Strategy Consultant and Motivational Speaker. Mr. Swank is the Founder and President of DevelopingForward.com and Executive Coaching International, which are known for the development of “High Performance People and Organizations”.

Tom is recognized as an expert in the field of “business and personal development”, as well as a contributing author by SelfGrowth.com, the number # 1 website for personal improvement. He is also a contributing author to the number # 1 website for small business and entrepreneurs, EvanCarmichael.com. Tom’s articles are also regularly featured and highly ranked on BizSugar.com.

Tom’s original content “The Coach’s Perspective” and “Results By Design” newsletters which provide Ideas and Resources For Success enjoy worldwide readership. Contact Tom by telephone at (843) 347-1800 or email at Tom@DevelopingForward.com