I’ve collected all my Christmas lists from those nearest and dearest, organized them by person and category, formulated my strategy, and implemented a plan of attack designed to make their wishes come true. Then, I work the plan. Once it’s accomplished, I turn to myself. What do I want for Christmas?
I’m just about done with my shopping. How’s yours coming along? Are you giving yourself a little something too?
Funny thing about Christmas lists. When you’re a kid, they’re endless. Those new toys and video games. The clothes and shoes you want because that’s what’s ‘in’ this year and everyone has them. Maybe even that trip to Disneyland. The toys and games and accoutrement we want as we get older things don’t seem to change either. They just get bigger and more expensive. Status symbols.
I’ll tell you something I’ve realized over the course of my many years. It gets more and more difficult for us to put together Christmas lists for ourselves. Stuff is just stuff. Nice to have, but do we need more? Not really.
We don’t really need anything (unless of course something breaks or wears out), so it becomes a matter of what we want; and most of the time they’re things money can’t buy and Santa can’t bring.
As far as shopping for others goes, I’m most successful when I treat Christmas shopping as a business objective. I’m sure you’ve discovered that little trick too:
- Have a Goal
- Create a Strategy
- Work the Plan
But what about us? That takes a plan too, with a slightly different twist. Both personally and professionally, I believe the greatest gift we can give ourselves is the time to reflect back to the beginning of the year: see how many of our wishes became realities, how many are still valid but remain unfulfilled, and what new ones we have.
As our Anonymous friend once said, ‘The only time to look back is to see how far you’ve come,’ and this is the perfect time to do it.
I’ve learned that when we take stock of what we wished for, and what our aspirations were for this year, and bring them forward into ‘real time’, we see that every step we took was a milestone to be celebrated. Yes, we’ve learned much. We’ve discerned lessons from our successes and probably more from our defeats. That’s good. We’re in a better place now. Our knowledge and understanding is greater now than it was then, and we’ll be entering the New Year with even greater motivation, perseverance, and stamina than we had in the year that’s ending.
That’s a present worth savoring; but even greater are the lasting rewards. Satisfaction. Peace of mind. But, most importantly, humility, compassion and gratitude in the realization that what you’ve gained was a combined accomplishment, and not a solo effort.
In the words of Clarence the Angel:
“Remember, … no man is a failure who has friends.”
When we make our lists and set our goals for 2015 we won’t return to this year; or, if we do, it will only be to see how far we’ve come. The past is the past. The future starts today.