Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Holiday season

There are just a few days left between now and Christmas. Are you starting to feel overwhelmed by the holidays and the massive to-do list that goes along with the “most wonderful time of the year?”  To me, it seems like every year the celebrations—and expectations—become more involved and more complicated. I’m not sure if it’s as a result of my family growing, or if it’s due to something more universal. Regardless, I love and have found perspective in this modified Christmas to-do list, shared by actress Kyle Richards and others:

Holiday season

I’ve seen this list floating through cyberspace a lot recently. And every time a friend shares it, I think about it a little more. It has me wondering if it applies to more than just my Christmas to-dos. What if I would apply the mindset it promotes every day throughout the year? I’ll bet it could make a difference in helping me maintain my own sanity and bring happiness to those who interact with me.

I think this list serves as a great reminder of the value of picking your battles, not sweating the small stuff, letting the little things go, and trying to focus on what’s most important in life.

So, does it really matter if the font on the latest print piece (whether your family Christmas card or a business marketing flyer for Q1) doesn’t seem quite right? Is it worth getting upset about? Probably not.

In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if my daughter watches an hour and 15 minutes of TV today, instead of the daily hour we’ve arbitrarily decided is “best” for her development? Nope, and I’m guessing that extra 15 minutes won’t cause her irreversible harm.

What if I don’t entirely clear out my inbox before leaving to celebrate the Christmas and New Year’s holidays? Will I really be so far behind? I doubt it’ll make much of a difference after all.

Whether it’s the holiday season or the middle of May, cut yourself some slack. Simplify things for yourself when you can, and give yourself a break. Chances are, many of the things that you think you have to do are self-imposed. Who will notice if you haven’t unloaded the dishwasher before you go to bed versus doing it first thing in the morning? And how much of a dilemma will it be if you submit your expense reports on Monday morning instead of by the end of business on Friday? If the rules and expectations that you’re breaking are your own, permit yourself some grace this holiday season…and all year round!


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