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December 5, 2003

"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up -- they have

no holidays."
-- Henny Youngman
The holiday season is a cause for great celebration -- but also has potential for disaster as everyone is thrown together in a concentrated period. Here are some tips for enjoying the festivities wherever you are!

1. Spend time reviewing your holiday schedule in advance.

Don't leave it until the last minute to decide what to do with your holiday time -- if you suddenly decide that you don't want to be on your own it can be difficult to organize travel and accommodations at the last minute. Review your plans at least every quarter and make decisions about upcoming holidays in advance.

2. Find a balance between time on your own and time with others.

Holiday time hype can often underline the negative sides of life -- and maybe leave you feeling slightly sad and alone. If you're not traveling to be with family or friends, why not invite some people to be around yourself? Drinks or finger food can be informal and make sure that you have a focus on connecting with others over the holiday period.

3. Find some new interests to pursue during the holiday time.

If you're going to have quality time to yourself, don't waste it! Make a list of things you always wanted to do, books you want to read, films you want to see, and gather them together in advance so that you always have inspiration and new material at hand.

4. Make a point of getting some exercise and fresh air over the holiday season.

Whether alone or with others, the holiday season provides the ideal opportunity for slothfulness and overeating! Take time to go for at least a short walk every day -- the exercise will freshen your body and the natural daylight will sharpen your senses.

5. Find some personal space.

Time spent together for families used to living apart and following their own paths can be stressful. Find your own space -- maybe go for a drive or a walk alone and recover your sense of calm. Breathe deeply and find stillness for yourself at least twice a day over the holiday season.

6. Celebrate your family!

Time spent together is precious -- celebrate each one of your family and companions over the holiday season and write a list of 3 points which you appreciate about each one of them. If you find your nerves fraying, concentrate on these 3 points and celebrate the person instead of letting their behaviors aggravate you -- it works and makes everyone feel much more positive!

7. Spend some quality time with everyone.

Take time to talk to each person you're spending the holidays with and find out what's going well for them, what they're worrying about and what they are currently interested in. Be a good listener -- practice quality listening without letting your mind wander and really make people feel that you care about them.

8. Think of others.

Spend time with a person who is housebound, donate some unwanted gifts to your local charity. Think about how you can make a difference in the world at large rather than just in your own circle of family and friends.

9. Spend more time thinking about gifts.

The saying goes "it's the thought that counts, not the cost." Spend more time and less money on gifts -- and delight the recipient more, too!

10. Enjoy your holiday!

Whatever you are doing, appreciate it and be there in the moment -- don't waste your life by wishing you were somewhere else.

Happy Holidays!

By Rhian Ball, author of Get Off your Hamster Wheel, a free fortnightly ezine for sharing practical ideas and resources to live your life to the fullest, dispense with trivia, achieve your goals and be happy. Subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to: subscribe@getoffyourhamsterwheel.com.

Copyright 2000-2003 CoachVille, LLC
One of the keys to really enjoying the holiday season requires
a step back to acknowledge what your desires and expectations are. Ask yourself two simple yet powerful questions:

1. What is most important to me about this year's holidays?

2. Now that I know what is important to me, what needs to be in place in order to make the upcoming holiday events most meaningful? Make this holiday season a success with the magical gift of self-awareness. Enjoy!

Find out how you can be more successful in our 45 minute free coaching session.

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