‘Tis the season for buying, buying, buying. And then, if you’re like the typical consumer, you’ll spend the better part of next year paying, paying, paying for it! My suggestion? If you don’t have the cash set aside specifically for purchasing holiday gifts, then don’t do it. It really is that simple.
I know you worry about what your family and friends will think if you show up empty handed, and I know that your kids might whine for a few minutes on Christmas morning. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday without expensive gifts. Instead of shopping, spend time together caroling, baking cookies, and spreading good cheer. A cheerful attitude is easier to come by when you aren’t stressed out by spending money you don’t have.
But you say you’ve bought the gifts already? And wrapped them? It’s not too late — unwrap them, return them to the store, and have the cashier put the credit back onto your card. This year, try giving your love instead.
Video: How To Stay Out Of Debt, a funny Saturday Night Live piece starring Steve Martin. (Email subscribers, you’ll need to visit my website to view the embedded video.)
You know what you want. If anything was possible, you know what you would do.
What is holding you back?
More times than not, I realize that barriers are self-imposed and that obstacles are meant to be navigated around. Then one of two things happen:
I push ahead, jump over the obstacles, and do what it is that I really want to do — because the dance feels awesome; getting ever closer to the finish line feels awesome.
I recognize that I don’t want to do it bad enough. Sometimes I impose barriers because I want an excuse for not doing it — because the dance to the finish line doesn’t energize or excite me.
And sometimes I start the dance feeling all happy, light-headed and giddy and then over time, I get bored with the repetitive steps and I want to quit before the song is over. Does this make me a quitter? Shouldn’t I push on through the boring, repetitive steps and see it to the end? Or is this an indication that I am ready to tackle a new dance or create a new twist to a beloved old favorite?
I’ve shared this internal dialog with me, myself and I on many occasions. It is always a process: I take a breather, write in my journal, make pro and con lists, weigh my options, ask friends and family for feedback, daydream. Some of the people in my life don’t understand my process — they say I think too much. But it works for me. Once I remain still for awhile and listen carefully, a catchy new tune floats my way. I tap my feet and sway to the beat, and I move.
I am my life’s choreographer.
What about you: What stops you from doing what you want to do? Do you feel obligated to finish what you’ve started? Are you a planner or a leaper? Do you enjoy the journey? How do you feel when you reach your finish line?
(Email subscribers, you’ll need to click on the post title to view the relevant video embedded on my blog page.)