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Updated: 23 min 28 sec ago

Simplify Gratitude (a short and sweet guide to saying thank you)

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 15:09

It’s hard to complain when you are expressing thanks. Gratitude overrides self-pity, FOMO (fear of missing out) and other feelings of lack or not enoughness. Sometimes though, in the chaos of life, we don’t put our gratitude into action and gratitude in action is powerful. It lifts you and everyone around you. Like most things, if we don’t keep it simple, our thanks can get lost in the shuffle.

Here are a few really simple recommendations in this short and sweet guide to saying thank you.

Don’t wait to say thank you.
I can think of so many times when I meant to send a thank you text, or note and thought, “I’ll do it later.” Of course when later showed up, I’d think, “now it’s too late” or I’d forget all together. Put your gratitude into action as soon as possible.

  • When you want to thank a friend, text or call them immediately. Even if you are in a hurry, take 45 seconds and say, “Thank you. I’m so grateful you are in my life.”
  • If you are thrilled with your service at a restaurant, leave a note for the manager on the back of your check.
  • After you read a book you feel grateful for, drop the author a note and/or leave a review on Amazon or another bookseller’s site.
  • When you are moved to say thank you, say it.

Write thank you cards consistently.
Stock up on stamps and note cards, and express your gratitude in a handwritten letter once a day, or every Sunday, or three times a month. This project will inspire you.

Write down your gratitude.
Every morning when you wake up, jot down a few things you are grateful for. Keep it simple. For example, I’m grateful for my bed, hot coffee and sunshine. Use a notebook or something more structured like The Five Minute Journal.

Remind yourself to be grateful.
You have enough to remember everyday, so make the background on your phone a reminder to put gratitude into action, or put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror that simply says, “give thanks.”

Don’t wait for things to be good to be grateful.
It’s always a good time to be grateful and that means expressing thanks even when you aren’t feeling your best, or things aren’t going your way. Even in the dark times, there are things to be thankful for. It may be more challenging to feel or express your gratitude, but then it’s even more important to do it.

Keep it simple.
If you over think your thank you delivery, it won’t happen. If you want to send flowers but you don’t know which ones, or picking out the right card seems overwhelming, let your gratitude be enough. Send the flowers later if you get to it but for now, “Thank you, I’m so grateful” is enough. It’s everything.

Expressing gratitude is a practice and if you keep it simple, it will be more meaningful than you can imagine (for you and everyone around you). It takes time and consistent effort. I’m working on it too so I’m going to keep this short, pull my gratitude out of the later file and put it into action. Before I go though, I want you to know how grateful I am for you. Thank you for reading this, for considering these recommendations, for sharing my words and your feedback and stories. Thank you for being here, for being you and for letting me be me. My cup runneth over.

P.S. Speaking of keeping things simple, we announced 31 Days of Gifts you so Deserve (the Advent calendar for your inbox) last week and things were confusing. We’ve simplified the instructions and hope you’ll join us for a month of comfort and joy. Learn more here. 

The post Simplify Gratitude (a short and sweet guide to saying thank you) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

31 Days of Gifts You so Deserve: for more calm, comfort and joy

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 06:55

Announcing 31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve has been my cue to kick off the holiday season for the last six years. It’s become something I look forward to every year and based on the emails I start receiving in July, I know many of you do too. This year, I’ll be sharing a few of the all-time favorite gifts from the past few years along with new gifts, and special messages from me.

What is 31 Days of Gifts?

31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve is like an advent calendar in your inbox designed to deliver meaningful, magical gifts throughout the month of December to help you embrace the holidays with joy and intention. They will also prepare you to leap into the new year with an open heart.

Every day throughout December, you’ll receive a gift in your inbox. At the end of each email, you’ll find links to the gifts that came before. If you join after we get started, miss a gift, or want to revisit one of your favorite gifts, this list makes it easy to go back.

A beautiful tradition

For many in the Be More with Less community (myself included), 31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve has become a holiday tradition. I love how you embrace the daily gifts and invite friends, family, and even your co-workers. If you haven’t participated before, you might be interested in hearing what participants have to say about the program.

December can be a stressful month for me (and so many people) and I strive to keep my mind on my faith and family in the midst of so many other obligations. Your daily e-mails helped me to focus my attention on the things that are truly important. – Matt

I just wanted you to know that this was one of my HIGHLIGHTS of December!  – Julie

A friend signed me up for these gifts and I enjoyed opening each one. Thank you for your thought-provoking words. They will stay with me throughout the year. – Randi

I so appreciated the 31 days of gifts in my inbox during the hectic beautiful and magical month of December. I listened to your stories, danced and sang to your playlists, tried a recipe or two and spent time just thinking about what you wrote each day. – Loretta

Thank you so much for these wonderful 31 Days of Gifts!  I’m finding myself looking first for your emails every morning. They are helping me to focus, and feel a little less frantic, and to enjoy the holidays. Thank you for a bright start to each day, and a few quiet moments. – Joyce

Thank you so much for doing this project! I enjoy your emails so much and I look forward to viewing my inbox every morning. I am a little sad December only has 31 days in it!  – Cassie

This program is a reminder that the best things don’t come from the mall or in perfectly wrapped packages. If we want to experience the very best gifts, we have to give ourselves time to pay attention to them even in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle.

Each year, more and more people send 31 Days of Gifts to friends, family, and co-workers. We’ve had book clubs, corporate offices, community groups, churches and families spanning the globe participate together. That is just one of the many reasons this program is so dear to my heart.

Gifts of holidays past have included …

  • snowflakes
  • delight
  • gingersnaps
  • ease
  • mistle-toes
  • all day PJs
  • puppy breath

As you may have guessed these gifts are not physical objects (because we all know the best things aren’t things). Click here to sample a few gifts to see what I mean. This year will include favorites from the last few years (but none from last year), new gifts and a few personal messages from me to you.

You deserve the gift of discovering what’s most meaningful to you over the holidays. You deserve a few quiet moments to yourself. You deserve to give yourself permission to make room for the best things … instead of trying to make room for all the things.

Pay what you want …

For the last five years, this program has been offered for $3.10 (ten cents a day), but it is worth so much more. As more people participate, I invest more time and money to make these gifts available and meaningful. If you’ve participated before, you understand the value of the program, but I also know that for some, $3.10 is barely in the holiday budget.

Each year I consider raising the price, but instead, I’d like to leave it up to you. Please pay what you want so everyone can continue to enjoy the gifts they so deserve with a small investment.

Please read these important instructions before joining …

We’ve changed the sign up process for groups, so please take a look.

If you are purchasing one gift subscription for yourself:

After you click to join, you will be directed to the purchase page where you will see the minimum price of $3.10. Leave it there or enter a new dollar amount to pay what you want. After you complete your purchase, check your inbox for an email with more information about receiving your gifts.

If you are purchasing for friends, family, and co-workers, please follow these 3 steps:

  1. click here or the red “join” button below.
  2. edit the price to pay what you want (minimum $3.10 per name). You won’t be able to adjust the quantity, only the price. For example, if you are purchasing for 10 people, don’t change the quantity, but edit the price to a minimum of $31.00.
  3. Complete the purchase and you’ll receive an email with a Google form to submit your recipient’s information. Please enter the recipient’s email addresses slowly. If we don’t have the right address, they won’t receive their gifts. You’ll receive a welcome letter to send to your recipients too. Both the Google form link and welcome letter will be included in the email you receive after purchase.

Questions

Q: When do I receive my first gift?
December 1 or the day after you sign up in December. If you join later in December, you’ll find all prior gifts listed in your first email. You won’t miss a thing!

Q: How will my gift recipients know I sent them this as a gift?
Once you purchase, you’ll receive a welcome letter to share with them. It’s really important to let them know to expect emails from courtney@bemorewithless.com or they may think it’s junk mail.

Q: Is there a deadline to join?
I recommend joining as soon as possible so you can start receiving gifts on December 1st, but you can register anytime in December and still have access to all 31 gifts.

Q: How do I access gifts I missed?
I’ll list all the gifts in each email with links so you can go back to gifts you missed or ones you want to revisit.

Q: Can I join from anywhere?
Yes! If you have an email address, we’ll send you gifts.

Q: What forms of payment do you accept.
Paypal or card. Once you enter your name and email, you’ll have the option to enter your card number to choose to pay via Paypal.

Q: Do I need special login information or a password?
No. Everything will be delivered via email.

Q. I didn’t receive my first gift yet. Where is it?
Please check your promotions folder or spam folder. If you still don’t have it, please email 31dayshelp@gmail.com and we will help.

Q: This isn’t a question, but I need help!
Great, We are happy to help! Please email 31dayshelp@gmail.com.

Gentle reminders and joyful recommendations will guide you through December with wonder and simplicity. Use these gifts to engage in the best parts of your holiday experience.

The post 31 Days of Gifts You so Deserve: for more calm, comfort and joy appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Why It’s a Terrible Idea to Put your Resolutions on Hold

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 09:55

The idea of a brand new year and a fresh start can be hopeful and exciting. I used to think about my new year’s resolutions months in advance, dreaming about the changes I would make and the new and improved version of me. I did way more dreaming than actual changing though. Over the last ten years I took a new approach and have changed everything about my life.

I changed what I ate, what I owned, what I owed, where I lived, what I did for work, and what I thought about myself. I didn’t change any of those things because it was the new year and nothing changed overnight. Here’s why I stopped waiting and why it’s a terrible idea to put your resolutions (or any life change) on hold.

Why it’s a terrible idea to put your resolutions (or any life change) on hold

The future is uncertain.
None of us can predict the future. Who knows what are lives are going to look like in a few months (big picture or little picture). What if you have a big diet change planned for January 1, and you wake up with a sore throat and only feel like eating soup and popsicles? Or what might happen between now and your start date to derail your motivation? Close the gap between inspiration and action and start now. You may not feel as inspired later as you do right now.

It’s hard to navigate the slippery slope of later. 
When you know a big change is coming, you may try to make up for what you might be missing later. For example, if you are going to start a new, early morning fitness habit, you might spend the days leading up to it sleeping in and not moving your body. Or, if you are going to cut back on shopping or become debt-free, you may do some extra shopping/spending over the holidays because you know you’ll be changing soon. If your plan is to quit drinking alcohol or eliminate processed food from your diet, you may give yourself permission to over-do it in the days and weeks leading up to day one. What I know from years of personal experience in habit change is that later is a slippery slope.

You may be underestimating the urgency.
The changes you are considering could make a significant impact on your mental and physical health. What if these changes really can’t wait? If you aren’t feeling your best now, don’t wait one more second to work towards feeling better. When you put your health first, you can serve and connect from a place you just can’t access when you are rundown, sick or tired. Do whatever it takes to take care of you.

Every big change is the result of hundreds of tiny steps.

Instead of waiting until the new year or another arbitrary date to go all in, start today with tiny steps. Start by writing down every change you want to make, and then pick one. Don’t worry about picking the right place to start. Each change you make will give you confidence and motivation to make the next one. Next, make a list of all the tiny steps you’ll need to make to work towards the big change. For ideas and inspiration, you can read about six big changes I made and the tiny steps I took here.

Start now and bypass all of the “I’ll start later” pitfalls and detours. Choosing you and what’s best for you is always a great idea.

If you are interested …

Early registration for A Simple Year – 2019 closes tomorrow (November 13th). Even though the program doesn’t officially start until January, you’ll get your first lesson when sign up to help you close the gap between inspiration and action.

  • With a digital connection, you can join from anywhere in the world.
  • We offer a 30-day refund policy.
  • If you sign up before November 13th, the registration is discounted by $100.
  • At the end of the year, you’ll get lifetime access to the course material.
  • If you have additional questions or concerns, we are happy to chat with you and help.
  • 2019 is the last year we’ll be offering the program.

To learn more and decide if this program is right for you, check out the Q & A webinar. you can watch the video replay here or listen to the audio replay here.

Learn about the topics and contributors and join us here: https://simpleyear.co/.

The post Why It’s a Terrible Idea to Put your Resolutions on Hold appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Avoid Holiday Overwhelm by Saying No to Almost Everything

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 13:07

There are so many wonderful things about the holiday season and often along with all of that wonderfulness comes holiday overwhelm and decision fatigue. We are overwhelmed with the choices we have on a regular day but throw in holiday events, traditions, delicious foods, fancy outfits, invitations and special requests and it’s easy to understand the exhaustion we experience throughout the end of the year.

Saying no is hard, so setting up some rules will help you make decisions with more ease and have the attention to engage in what you say yes to. Start by making a list of your non-negotiables. That way, when these things come up, it’s an easy no.

Make a list of the things you promise to say no to

I will say no to …

Over the top meals.
I’m not hungrier because it’s Thanksgiving Day. I don’t pile my plate full of food on any other day, so why would I do that to myself because it’s a holiday? I’m also not going to spend the day in the kitchen making sure everything is perfect for the table. Instead, I’ll prioritize being with the people I’m spending the day with.

Scale down the holiday meals. You’ll save money, waste less food and more importantly, you’ll be able to show up for the people you love and you won’t feel like a truck ran over you at the end of the day.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and any forced shopping situation.
When I think back to the things I’ve purchased just because they were on sale, I remember that if the best thing about something is the price, I don’t need it.

Say no to shopping for the best deal or buying things now because they are on sale that you might use later. I’m not suggesting you should overspend on items but be mindful about your motivation to purchase. Don’t buy just because someone told you today was the best day to buy. The best day for who?

Sending holiday cards.
I enjoy sending thank you cards, and other thinking of you cards during the year, but holiday cards are just a little too much for me. It always turns into a bigger production than I imagine, and then they get lost in a sea of holiday cards. So, it’s a no.

Look at your holiday traditions and the things you think you are supposed to do. If sending holiday cards is something that adds to your holiday experience, send them. If you are sending them out of obligation, just stop and see what happens.

New projects and opportunities.
Through the rest of the year, I’ll be saying no to new work things. I won’t review new books, collaborate on new projects, or add anything else to my work plate. I’m doing enough. There will always be more. Will I miss out on something amazing? Maybe. Will my work and health suffer if I add more? Most likely.

Say no to extra work stuff over the holidays and save your energy for the other extras. You are doing enough. There will always be more.

Buying new holiday stuff.
I won’t buy new ornaments, outfits, festive dish ware or anything else I won’t want in my home post holiday (even though I think I want it in the name of holiday spirit). It’s not that I don’t think those glossy white plates with a gold foil stamped reindeer aren’t beautiful, or finding another sentimental ornament to add to the tree wouldn’t be somewhat meaningful. The simple truth is that I have enough. I have enough, and I’d rather spend my time being content with what I have instead of being in search of something I’m missing.

New holiday gear is tempting but take a look at what you have. Is it enough? If it is, be grateful. If there is plenty, but you still want more, just know that it will never be enough.

And it’s a no to all of these things too.

  • Perfection
  • Comparison
  • Guilt
  • Regret
  • Drama
Make a list of your yeses too. I will say yes to …

Prioritizing sleep and nutrition.
Years ago, I celebrated the holidays by spending money I didn’t have, by eating and drinking everything, staying up too late and by over-committing and over-extending. All the overs, all the more, all the burnout. I always got sick and I always felt badly about how I treated myself, especially in January when I had extra debt, weight, and fatigue to deal with. Now things are different. I do the holidays differently (like I do my life differently) … with more love and intention. I don’t want to “survive” the holiday season or “get through” it. I want to enjoy and embrace it.

Instead of abandoning the things I know are good for me in the name of enjoying the holiday season, I’ll double-down and dig in deeper. I’ll sleep 7-8 hours a night, practice my morning routine daily, add an extra meditation session each day, and spend more time nourishing my body, heart and soul.

Build in extra time to take care of you, even if that means leaving the party early. If you aren’t sure how to take care of yourself, try one of these recommendations.

Holiday Hands
I look forward to this program every year. Author, Glennon Doyle connects people who need help with people who can help, one connection at a time. Read this if you need extra help this holiday season.

If you can help someone, visit Glennon’s site on November 13th to find a match. Learn more about how the program started and what it involves here.

Quiet walks in the snow
The holidays are a time to connect, but in order to bring my best to the people I love spending time with, I have to spend time alone. I don’t apologize for that. Long walks, hot baths, and books give me the alone time I need so I can give everyone else what they need.

If you need alone time, and I think we all do, take it unapologetically.

Delight
What if all of our decisions were based in love and delight? I’ll say yes to all of this because it’s steeped in delight. I find delight in …

  • Coziness and candlelight, sipping hot tea and watching the snow fall.
  • Finding Christmas PJ’s for my daughter’s puppy.
  • Cuddling with my husband and watching The Holiday.
  • Baking cookies for the people in our homeless community. I know they need more, but they deserve delight too. Handing a small bag or tin of homemade cookies to someone with nothing is everything.
  • Enjoying the city holiday lights at 5:30 am when everyone is sleeping instead fighting the evening crowds.
  • 31 Days of Gifts You so Deserve. I’m bringing this advent calendar for your inbox back again this year. Watch for an invitation for this delightful experience next week.

I will be saying yes to delight this year. Make a list of what delights you. That’s your yes list.

Leaving the dishes in the sink
It’s been our Wintertime tradition to eat a big breakfast, head out to the slopes early to ski and leave the dishes unwashed in the sink. Sometimes I wash a few of them or feel bad for leaving them but this year, I’m leaving the dirty dishes behind guilt-free. The mountains are calling and the dishes can wait.

What do you want to do instead of the dishes? That’s your yes list too.

Avoid holiday overwhelm by saying no to almost everything

If you honor every request with a yes, you will compromise your health, family, peace of mind, and the joy of living your life. If you don’t say no, there will be nothing left of you to say yes to. You will find more time, freedom and energy when you start saying no. At first saying no might feel like you are missing out and hurting people’s feelings but after a while, you begin to see that by protecting your time and energy, you are able to better engage in and experience your yeses. 

Say yes to love, yes to delight and no to almost everything else. The holidays will still be as magical and meaningful if you scale back, say no and do a little less. You may even discover that because you decided to do things differently this year, the holidays are better than before.

2019 is the last year we’ll be offering A Simple Year, 12 months of guided simplicityLearn more about the program here. 

A few things that may be of interest …

  • With a digital connection, you can join from anywhere in the world.
  • We offer a 30-day refund policy.
  • If you sign up before November 13th, the registration is discounted by $100.
  • At the end of the year, you’ll get lifetime access to the course material.
  • If you have additional questions or concerns, we are happy to chat with you and help.
  • 2019 is the last year we’ll be offering the program.

I’m hosting a webinar to share more about A Simple Year and to answer your questions today (11/7). If you are interested, please sign up here. If you can’t make the live call, sign up and I’ll send you the recording.

The post Avoid Holiday Overwhelm by Saying No to Almost Everything appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

All the Motivation You Need to Simplify Your Life (even if you have a good reason not to)

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 13:21

If you’ve read my book, Soulful Simplicity, you know that author, Elizabeth Gilbert and her work has influenced my work and my life. The following Gilbert wisdom flows in and out especially when I feel unmotivated to change, or to take the next right step, or to do something hard. If you feel unmotivated sometimes, this can help you too.

If you can’t see the image above, I want to add the words here. They are important. “Long ago, when I was struggling to become a writer, a wise older woman once said to me, “What are you willing to give up, in order to have the life you keep saying you want?”

I said, “You’re right — I really need to start learning how to say no to things I don’t want to do.”

She corrected me: “No, it’s much harder than that. You need to learn how start saying no to things you DO want to do, with the recognition that you have only one life, and you don’t have time and energy for everything.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

We all want things out of life. The changes we want are different but perhaps you want to be healthier, downsize, pay off debt, improve your relationships, change your career or carve out time to figure out what you really want. Chances are you’ve wanted this for a really long time but there’s a good reason it hasn’t happened yet.

You may have a really good reason for being unmotivated. If one of the following reasons is holding you back, here are a few solutions to consider.

You are alone
Your partner or family isn’t on board. They don’t want to make the same changes you are making. You may not have a cheerleading squad to help motivate you, but you can be the change. Inspire your family by moving forward anyway. Take small steps. Have gentle conversations about why you are making a change. Invite them to join you but don’t drag them. Make your simplicity journey fun and light-hearted by hosting a minimalist scavenger hunt, or play other games like I describe in this video.

Create your own squad online by curating your social feeds to support whatever change you are making. Unsubscribe to the stuff that drags you down. Tag me on Instagram or Twitter or comment here and I’d be honored to cheer you on.

You are sick.
If you are struggling with a chronic illness or pain, or you are sick and tired for another reason, it’s time to take care of you. You’ve done a great job taking care of everyone and everything around you and now it’s time to do what’s best for you. Take all the time you need to give that gift to yourself. Big change usually comes with some slipping and sliding, a few steps forward and then even more steps backward. Don’t beat yourself up or let guilt hold you back from trying again. Be good to yourself. Take care of your body, heart, mind, and soul. Good things take time. You’ve got this.

You are frustrated.
Maybe you’ve decluttered before, and then filled up all the spaces. Or, you’ve been paying off debt for years and are derailed by a job change or health issue. Maybe all of your progress feels like one step forward and two steps back. Take a minute to breathe, to reflect on the good parts, and to remind yourself that slow progress is still progress. When you are ready, consider the joy of the steps.

You are busy.
Stop saying yes when your heart says no. Your no doesn’t need a lengthy explanation or apology. Saying no more honestly will give you a chance to say yes and allow you to show all the way up for people you love and work you care about.

Change your measuring system. Stop measuring who you are by what you cross off your to-do list. Measure more by what’s in your heart and by how you treat people, including yourself. If you notice you are feeling down because of the things you left undone, remind yourself who you are and what you mean to the people around you.

You are lost.
When life gets busy, complicated, and overwhelming, it’s easy to forget who you are, but you can find your way back. Sit down. Close your eyes. Breathe. Keep doing that for a while. Then put your hands on your heart. There you are. Keep finding your way back. Do it over and over again. Give yourself all the time, space and love you need to remember who you are. If you need help, ask for it.

What are you willing to give up, in order to have the life you keep saying you want?

Some of the things you want may feel completely out of reach, and maybe they are for today. But there is hope. If you start removing the things standing in your way, weighing you down, and holding you back, you’ll take a step closer to the life you want.

Maybe you don’t want a simple life, but simplicity is the vehicle that will carry you towards the life you want. Removing the excess, saying no, and noticing what matters to you will help you get there.

Next week I’m hosting a webinar to tell you more about A Simple Year. It’s a 12-month program I’m offering for the last time in 2019. This webinar won’t be an hour of me trying to convince you that you need this course to simplify your life. I won’t be using fancy, persuasive techniques or Powerpoint presentations to get you to sign up. Instead, I’ll invite you into my kitchen and tell you what to expect from the program. Then, I’ll answer any questions you have so you can decide if you want help, and so you can determine if this course is right for you. If you sign up, I’ll send you a recording (audio and video) even if you can’t attend the live session on November 7th.

Keep asking the question.

So back to finding the motivation and finding the will to change, or to take the next right step, or to do something hard. Maybe what you need more than motivation is time and energy.

What are you willing to give up, in order to have the life you keep saying you want? Ask this question about your health, your work, and your relationships. When you think, “I could never give that up,” you’ve probably found your answer. If you ask yourself this question over and over again and begin to honor your answers, you’ll get the time, the energy and the motivation you need.

You’ll get that life you want.

The post All the Motivation You Need to Simplify Your Life (even if you have a good reason not to) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness

Holiday Roadmap: Find Your Way to More Comfort and Joy (and way less stress)

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 18:51

The holiday season can be both joyful and stressful, and magical and overwhelming. Creating a simplicity-inspired holiday roadmap will give you the freedom and resilience to trade holiday stress and anxiety for more love, peace, comfort and joy. Spend a little time now deciding how you want to experience the holiday season. Use the recommendations below to create a roadmap. Include what’s meaningful to you during the holidays, what’s been overwhelming in the past and a few rules that will help you navigate the holiday season in a way that resonates with your heart (even if that means doing things differently). Hold onto the traditions that warm your heart, but let go of the others, especially the ones you resent or find exhausting.

As you are making your roadmap and considering what you want to include, ask yourself, “Does this fill my heart or empty it?” Give yourself permission to engage in the holidays in ways that fill your heart and soul.

Here are a few things you may want to include on your path to a season filled with things that matter most.

Get cozy.
Cuddle up. Light candles. Make playlists full of your holiday favorites and other music that soothes your soul. This is the time of year to get cozy. For more inspiration, Read The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living and Myquillyn Smith’s new book, Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff. Dig in to cozy.

Choose a holiday uniform. 
If you attend dressy events during the holidays, shop your closet now. Find something that works and then stop thinking about it. Wear it to all the dressy events and don’t pay attention to holiday sales, or worry about what you are going to wear. Choose a second, less formal look that you can wear to all other holiday related events. Prove to yourself that you don’t need anything new to wear over the holidays. I can almost guarantee that this time next year, no one will remember what you wore through the holiday season (they probably won’t even remember the next day).

Opt out of gift swaps. 
Most gift swaps (white elephant, secret Santa …) are optional. If you don’t want to spend time looking for the perfect gift under $20 or wonder what special item you’ll get to go home with after the swap, opt out. You can still show up and laugh at the silly gifts and enjoy spending time with people without going through the motions of something you really don’t care about. Another option is to shift the whole swap into a more meaningful event, like bringing gifts for a homeless shelter or working together for a cause you all care about. Then everyone leaves with a full heart instead of a gift they probably don’t want.

Quit your job. 
If you get stressed out about managing other people’s expectations, remind yourself that you are not the expectations manager. Resign. Quit your job. If you really think about it, you’ve never been very good at that job anyway and here’s why: The only expectations you ever get a chance to manage are your own. You don’t get to decide or manage how other people react, or how they feel or deal with things. That’s not your job. You can stop now.

Stop apologizing.
Don’t apologize for crooked stars, messy wrapping, burnt cookies, or a home that looks lived in instead of picture perfect. We are in all of those things. Our imperfections make us perfect for each other. Use this as inspiration to stop apologizing for other things you aren’t sorry for too.

Budget.
We don’t need to go full on bah humbug, but creating boundaries with holiday budgets will allow us to engage in the best parts of the season. Those best parts look different for everyone, but moving through the end of the year with more intention will allow us to be healthier, happier and more loving to ourselves and everyone around us. Here’s how to create holiday budgets for your money, time and attention.

Choose presence over presents.
I’m not opposed to exchanging gifts, but I am opposed to the attempt of buying or proving love with gifts. I’m opposed to compromising our budgets, schedules, and well-being in search of the perfect presents. I know there is nothing I can buy to show someone how much I love them. Love doesn’t work like that. Give and receive gifts with love and gratitude but remember that love isn’t inside the box. You can’t prove how much you love someone by giving them a present.

Build resilience. 
Protect yourself from getting sick and rundown over the holidays by building resilience now. Double down on your self-care practices. Stop eating things that make you feel crappy and sleep. Please, sleep all the sleep.

Under-do it.
Don’t try to cram it all in. You don’t have to bake all the cookies, buy all the things, go to all the events or even see all the people you want to see over the holidays. When you try to do everything, you don’t enjoy anything and when everything is important, nothing is.

Be lovingly selective. Choose less. Give your time, energy, dollars and love to what matters most to you.

Prioritize delight.
We often sacrifice delight as we check off the boxes on our to-do list and fill our calendars with obligations and events in the name of holiday joy. But what really brings you joy? What makes your holidays magical? Put delight first for a change.

The most meaningful holiday seasons aren’t the ones with the most presents, the best meals, the craziest parties and the least amount of sleep. We find meaning in the holidays and all of our days when we create space to listen to our hearts, time to believe in magic, and the love, health and presence to show all the way up for our lives.

Let your roadmap be a guide and reminder to slow down when you need to slow down, say no when you need to say no and to be open to finding peace, comfort and joy in a way that works best for you.

2019 is the last year we’ll be offering A Simple Year, 12 months of guided simplicityLearn more about the program here. 

A few things that may be of interest …

  • With a digital connection, you can join from anywhere in the world.
  • We offer a 30-day refund policy.
  • If you sign up before November 13th, the registration is discounted by $100.
  • At the end of the year, you’ll get lifetime access to the course material.
  • If you have additional questions or concerns, we are happy to chat with you and help.

I’m hosting a webinar to share more about A Simple Year and to answer your questions on November 7th. If you are interested, please sign up here.

The post Holiday Roadmap: Find Your Way to More Comfort and Joy (and way less stress) appeared first on Be More with Less.

Categories: Wellness