To celebrate year-end holidays, millions of people around the globe will soon be traveling to reconnect with loved ones. Whether the trip is just across town or half-way around the world, reunions with friends and family can make this time of year a time of joy, laughter, and peace — or just the opposite. Crowded airports, increased traffic, the stress of meeting expectations, and the lack of sleep can lead us to react in ways we regret later, and/or to do or say things we wish we hadn’t.
How can you get through this year-end holiday season in a way that you will look back on and be proud of? Here’s a fun, powerful, yet simple way to do just that:
Fast forward in your mind to the end of your holiday season, days or weeks from now (depending upon how long you’ll be gone)… think of the time when you are getting ready to say goodbye to the friends, family, and loved ones you have visited. Perhaps in your mind you are in your car, backing out of the driveway of your host’s home, or maybe you are waving goodbye as you walk toward the airport gate to catch your return flight.
As you pull out of the driveway or as your hosts catch the last glimpse of you heading into the jetway, those loved ones turn to each other and say, “Wow, this year, he was really _______, ________, and ________!” or “She was so _______ this season!” What five positive adjectives or descriptive words would you want them to use to describe YOU at the end of this holiday time?
Take a moment to really reflect on the five descriptive words you would like to “own” by the end of this festive season. For example, you might choose words like happy, calm, quietly confident, peaceful, fun, enjoyable, pleasant, helpful, supportive, loving…” Pick whatever five words resonate with you the most.
Throughout your entire holiday season, keep these five words in the forefront of your mind, day in and day out, from morning to night. Make them your “holiday season mantra.” Write them down and keep them in your pocket, purse, or anywhere you might see them regularly. Write them on the inside of your hand or on your arm, under the sleeve of your shirt. Heck – you can even sing them to a favorite holiday tune, if you want! Whatever you do to remind yourself, the goal is to keep them top of mind at all times.
Once those words are chosen and you are keeping them at the forefront of your conscious, now begin to “embody” those five words. How do you do that? By reflecting those fives words through the core activities you do each and every day that most communicate your brand: the way you Act, React, Look, Sound, and Think. (Remember: a brand is not communicated by what you say you want to be, but by what you do.)
As you take an action, ask yourself, “Am I acting like someone who is ‘calm’ would act?” “Is this reaction consistent with my goal of ‘peaceful’?” “Does how I look communicate ‘confidence’?” “Is what I am about to say in line with someone who would be described as ‘helpful and supportive’?” “Am I thinking like someone who embodies the word ‘loving’?”
Watch yourself like a hawk! Your goal is to be 100% consistent with those five words in all that you do, say, and think. That’s how you create the brand for yourself you want during the holidays… and beyond.
What happens if you reach a boiling point, have a melt-down, or blow up at someone? Don’t beat yourself up! Judging yourself will just cause more angst and frustration. Simply apologize to yourself and others with authenticity, review your words one more time, and choose again. Building a brand for yourself is a journey – your goal is to be as consistent as possible, so just keep at it!
Remember: What you think is what you get. Keep your desired five words top of mind, and have fun with this holiday experiment!
By the way, I would love to hear your five-word choices and to learn about the outcomes of your “holiday mantra challenge.” Please send me an email at Brenda@BrendaBence.com and let me know how it goes!