A little confession: I have a really hard time with holidays.
The crazy decorations. All the events and gatherings. All the money spent. All the required traditions. Agh. It sends my introverted soul head-first into my closet.
Am I the only one who gets overwhelmed with all that is required? I see so many women jump in with both feet trying to accomplish every single culture/media-driven tradition AND craft the perfect decorations AND do it all themselves. AND THEN… they end up exhausted and overwhelmed and not sure what they’ve accomplished in all that craziness– a lot of hype, but not a lot of substance.
With Easter just around the corner, I wanted to share a better way of planning. It eases the stress. It focuses on what matters most. It is simple and will leave you feeling more focused and fulfilled.
It changed my life.
The secret is to start with big-picture planning and then work your way smaller.
Pull out a piece of paper, some markers or pen and work your way through planning with me. My paper usually looks like this when I’m done:
The first section start with answering these questions:
- What is your overarching goal for this holiday?
- What do I want to remember and/or feel when this holiday is over?
For this Easter, here is how I answered these questions:
Take a minute and think… how would you answer these questions? What are your goals this Easter? Jot down your thoughts.
The next questions are:
- Who are the people you need to involve or think of during this holiday? Ideas could include: children, spouse, grandparents, in-laws, lonely neighbors/church friends, etc. (Don’t forget yourself!!!)
- What traditions and/or required events does your family have or has done in the past? Be sure to include all family, neighborhood, and church activities. And yes, it always looks huge whenever you get it all written down. (That’s where the next step of cutting back comes in. Hang in there.)
Once you’ve got that all written down, it’s down to the nitty-gritty of planning to meet your goals. Here are a few categories you could include:
- List the traditions/events you will plan this year: (Look at your major goals. Make these plans will help you meet those goals)
- What traditions/events can you cut out that don’t help you reach your goal? Or that leave you feeling stressed? Or are just too much?
- What assignments can you ask others to help with?
- What will you be doing for YOURSELF this holiday?
Make sure all of your plans push toward meeting your overall goals. That’s what you want, remember?
Mine turned out like this for 2017:
I simplified our Easter Sunday by having one dinner a weekend before. And took our Sunday-morning egg hunt to Saturday morning.
This year, for myself, I decided to study the life of the Savior for a few minutes every morning for the week leading up to Sunday. I hope it becomes a good way for me to focus on Him. (That was one of my major goals.) I’m finding as I take better care of myself, I have more to give others. Groundbreaking, I know. 😉
I usually do this planning process about a month before each major holiday. (Except for Christmas. That’s a huge beast all in itself. More on that to come later…) I start shopping that very week and work to-dos for the holiday into my everyday calendar.
If you’re feeling amazing, you could take this worksheet and then write a complete to-do list on a separate page. Then stick it in your calendar or hang it on your fridge. And slowly work your way through as the month passes.
I hope this Easter brings joy and peace as you spend quality time with your loved ones. Planning with a meaningful purpose gives the biggest rewards!