6 Ways to Catch Your Breath as the Year Ends

You probably feel like you don’t have time to read this post.

You really should be doing something else. Or a bunch of something elses.
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Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll make it to the end of the year without pulling out your last hair, spending your last cent or losing your last hint of joy.

A few reminders

Let me remind you of six simple ways to catch your breath. Most of us know what we need to do. We just find it tough to follow through. I, who wrote an entire series of Hurry Less Worry Less books, have to do a course correction every year at this time.

When I started preaching the Hurry Less Worry Less gospel, I hoped we were headed toward a calmer simpler world.

I was wrong. We continue to overschedule, overspend, overeat—and wind up overwhelmed.

But we can change. It takes ongoing effort–but it’s oh-so-worth-it.

By deciding to make a few changes now, we can enter the New Year with optimism and purpose:

1. Don’t try to do everything. Let some things go. Saying “no” to one thing is saying “yes” to another. Choose how you will spend your time, energy, emotions and money these next few days..and next year.

2. Set aside an hour and do as many of the little things on your to-do list as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done and how good it makes you feel. Do this a few times, and you’ll breathe easier.

3. Don’t fret. Instead go with the flow. Don’t agonize over whether you must get this sweater or that candle, whether you’ve bought enough for the children or need to get something for your ex-cousin-in-law. Your house does not have to be perfect. Don’t worry over the dust under the sofa or the spider web that appears when the sun shines into the den.

4. Don’t try to take care of everything you’ve let slide all year. You’re not going to finish a novel, lose 20 pounds and paint the bedroom in the next few days. Give yourself a little grace. You can begin to set new goals for a new year.

5.Look for the good in each day. Focus on what is working and what’s right, instead of what’s messed up or what’s wrong. Have some fun!

6.As you head into the New Year, believe you can make needed changes. Decide what you want your life to look like next year; write down a few steps to make happy changes happen. Consider what gives you energy and what drains your energy. Do more of the former, far less of the latter. Enter the year with a positive attitude. It can change your life!

How about you? What steps help you slow down and enjoy each day more? Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of one of my novels. I’ll draw a winner from the comments at noon CST on December 26.
And congrats to reader Stephanie who won the great print (see below) from Louisiana artist Don Cobb.

Where Wreath lives!
Where Wreath lives!

Adobe Photoshop PDFP.S. If you’re looking for a book to give as a gift, hope you’ll take a look at the new edition of “Wreath, A Girl,” released earlier this month. It’s easy to wrap and inexpensive to mail. http://www.amazon.com/Wreath-A-Girl-Judy-Christie/dp/1502932326

11 comments

  1. Judy, I loved your tips!

    I especially like your use of the word “goals.” I rarely make New Year’s resolutions and I talked about why on my blog recently.

    Our lives were upended in 2003 when our son almost died. For several years afterward we lived in and out of hospitals, and we acclimated to a “new normal.” Almost losing a child forever changed my perspective and I don’t worry and fret over the small things anymore. I’m just thankful for a new season!

    Great thoughts!

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m with you on how we can overwhelmed ourselves unwittingly by overdoing the shopping, cooking and cleaning in order to be “ready” for Christmas. I know too much on your plate can be a stress related illness, waiting to happen. One thing I’ve been practicing is doing deep breathing when I sense I’m becoming tense and feeling obsessed with doing it all. Just to stop and take in a deep breath through the nose, holding it for 4-5 seconds, and then blowing out through you mouth in four breaths, brings a calm into your inner being. This rejuvenates me and gives me a more sane perspective on what needs to be done.

  3. I have always wanted to read your Hurry Less, Worry Less! Anyway…you speak great truth in few words. In other words…thanks for the bite sized wisdom that is not overwhelming! 😉 Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

    • Hi, Marilyn: Don’s work is great. I love his shotgun houses from New Orleans. Really captures a slice of Louisiana–and the VW van print is perfect! thanks for your comments on “Wreath.” Glad you like her–No. 2 coming in 2015. Happy New Year, dear friend.

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