Thanksgiving is over and the next holiday season is upon you. Are you orchestrating this upcoming performance in a harmonious way? Are you feeling serene and at peace or inundated by a continual list of things to do? While giving a recent presentation, I became aware that I do not always conduct my life melodiously. I sing a great song but I do not always follow the notes. In preparation for the approaching holiday, I invite you to examine your behavior and see if there are some jarring notes that create disharmony for you. It is my hope, that you will use these five tips to eliminate some of the themes that keep you stressed and unbalanced and have a more peaceful season.

Write it down in order to stay focused. I tend to be reactive. When I get an idea or see a person, I am likely to jump in and engage disregarding the more immediate commitments that I already made. My primary challenge is that I tend to put too much on my plate. Do you? Are you unrealistic about how much time and energy an activity is going to take? Do you omit to factor in preparation time or travel time? When you write your commitments down in a calendar or on a list, it is easier to stay realistic about the tasks at hand because you see them in black and white. At the beginning of each day, review your calendar or list and prioritize, postpone, or remove the non-essentials on your “to do” list. You will find your day becomes more relaxed and productive.

Let go of the “non-essentials”; the unnecessary activities or people that you have in your life. I often set unrealistic goals concerning what I want to accomplish in a given day. I tend to put way too much on my plate and chug along quite happily until about 3pm. Then I become stressed because I still have 5 more things that I want to get done and not enough time to do them. Do you ever do that? Be more realistic about what you want to do, what you can do and the amount of time that you have to do it.

Calculate ROI (“Return on your Investment”). In order to have a more harmonious holiday be discriminating about who and what you choose to include in to these next few weeks. Decide in advance if a particular action is necessary. Ask yourself: “on a scale of 1-10 what is the benefit this person will derive from my fulfilling their request and on a scale of 1-10, what will it cost me?” You might determine that a request is very difficult or emotionally costly and decide not to do it. For example, do you have the energy and time to bake cookies from scratch? Could you use refrigerator dough or buy them? How important is it to others? What will it cost you?

Simplify your “to do” list in order to have a more peaceful day. Do you find yourself with a continual list of things you need to do and places you need to be? Try to be more discriminating and ask yourself if a particular activity is really necessary or can it be done in a simpler way or another day. Be realistic about what you want to do, what you can do and the amount of time that you have to do it. Now some tasks have to get done. If you are feeling overwhelmed by a messy desk, house or an unpleasant task, conquer it in small chunks and do it immediately. I like to get up early and work on important tasks because it frees my mind. Another way to another way to make some headway with an ongoing project is to set a timer and work on it for only 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, you are done.

Continually refer back to your list. When you look at the upcoming weeks and see all the commitments that you have made and the things that have to get done, do you begin to feel inundated? You want to consider that in reality some of these tasks will disappear as life unfolds and that you actually have more time than you realize to accomplish them. In addition, when you do not refer to a written list the activities swirl in your head and each activity is given the same urgency and amount of importance. For example, looking for a new throw pillow will become as important as food shopping when clearly it is not.

Black Friday is over and the holiday tempo is beginning to intensify. This month, I invite you to be the Conductor of your holiday. The curtain will soon be drawn and as with every performance, anticipation and excitement is beginning to build. Before you get up on the podium and conduct your seasonal symphony, decide the measures you will take, in order to create harmony. Keep the score simple, pay attention to the tempo and you will orchestrate a happier tune as you create a serene refrain that will be enjoyed by everyone.
Life is a symphony… Sometimes, mistakes happen, but you have the conducting baton to correct them, and harmonize them. Anonymous

Author's Bio: 

JoAnne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who believes in the connection of emotional health to body, mind and spirit. She has integrated clinical counseling with holistic techniques and has formalized her knowledge by creating the Journey Back to Self program which is available in a recorded CD. In addition, in order to further assist others, she writes self improvement tips that you can find on facebook or her website,