Rock The Holidays ~ My Mission (now I’ve chosen to accept it!)

Last Thursday I wrote abut my long~term ambivalence towards the forthcoming holiday season, mentioning that I’m taking part in Cathy Brown Sykora’s Rock The Holidays – Challenge Yourself! in an attempt to ward off my habitual winter melancholia.

As part of the challenge, I have to set out personal goals under four different headings. Actually, I prefer to think of them as ‘intentions’, because ‘goal’ isn’t a concept that floats my boat these days. (Too redolent of my ‘proper job’ ~ which I dumped eight years ago ~ where goals and targets and ‘blue~sky~thinking’ were all the rage… yet nothing changed!)

But the wording isn’t important ~ I’ve finally got round to defining them, whatever the hell they are! Here goes, then:

I will consciously move towards making home~cooked meals from scratch more often, using organic Isle of Wight produce, whenever practical.

I will plan suppers, rather than raiding the fridge indiscriminately, as soon as I return from work.

I will limit treats ~ including chocolate! ~ to weekends. (Am I absolutely sure I wanna include this one??? LOL!)

I work as a cleaner, so I already exercise for 17.5 hours each week. I will keep this up (no choice, since I trashed my ‘real’ career ~ see paragraph 2, above.) But this year I will do so cheerfully. Even if there’s a howling gale, with pouring rain and the temperature is sub~zero when I leave my cosy home at 3pm, I will not moan.

I will exercise my mind by setting aside time to read and study subjects that interest me.

I will meditate (or do my best to) every day.

When faced with difficulties we are often advised to ‘count our blessings’ and I know from past experience that this does help to keep worries and problems in proportion ~ even if carried out somewhat grudgingly! But I’m not just going to think about how fortunate I really am.

I have already picked out a special book, in which I will note down three general ‘gratitudes’ every day.

I will also write three specific things about my lovely husband, who provides support, encouragement and unconditional love, whatever crazy scheme I sign up for. Bless him!

I will give at least one thing, without cost, each day. This could be time, attention, a kind word or simply a smile to a stranger.

I will pass anything I no longer use to someone who would be happy to accept it, or I’ll donate it to a charity.

I will be truly grateful for all the ‘gifts’ that come my way ~ not just presents (although I treasure those.) But also free downloads, vouchers, special offers, friendship, supportive comments or simply a smile from a stranger!

That’s it, then ~ whew! This has been harder and taken much longer than I thought it would. I’m really grateful that I’ve finally set down my ‘wills’ ~ although, a week and a half into the challenge I’m already practicing most of the things on my list.

And I tell you what, it’s beginning to work.

Yesterday a shopkeeper told me that she was busy ordering stock for Christmas, adding that she loves this time of year.

And, without thinking, I replied, ‘I used to hate it but….’

Past tense! 🙂


12 thoughts on “Rock The Holidays ~ My Mission (now I’ve chosen to accept it!)

  1. They’re lovely aims Jacqueline, not sure about that choccie one though… That’s tough. Sometimes I have something like a club biscuit which feels more healthy than a bar of chocolate, though I know which I enjoy more. Great post.

    1. Thank you, Susan ~ I’m allowing myself chocolate at weekends, so I’m not being too hard on myself! I just have to get rid of that craving for something sweet after a meal, I’m sure it will do me good! And, btw, Club biscuits are smothered in chocolate!!! 😉

  2. This is really lovely, Jacqueline. I also like “intentions” better than goals. This isn’t a race. You’re reaching for something new, and your objectives are very likely to help you move through the holidays with a new peace. I’m glad you shared a little progress report with us! 🙂 Debra

  3. Thank you Debra, you’re right. I’m not doing this to drop a dress size so that I can squeeze into my Christmas outfit, then put it all back on again in the course of a week. (Been there, done that, more than once!) I’m aiming for a fundamental change in perspective, these objectives are stepping stones. More updates to come! 🙂

  4. Hi, long time no comment. Blame the laptop. I admire you but think you’ve given yourself a high bar to jump. Don’t get glum iif you don’t always make it. Just forgive yourself because you already do enough to make people happy.

    1. Thank you Anne ~ I spent some time thinking about what targets I could realistically meet and so far only the ‘no chocolate’ rule is causing trouble! Good to see that you are finally back on line! 🙂

  5. Thank you, Elizabeth, I will. I’m finding this challenge easy, so far ~ it came at exactly the right time for me and I have set my own agenda, so it’s working really well.

  6. Kudos to you, Jacqueline! I think these are WONDERFUL intentions (though even I would have to wonder about the chocolate!). I think Gratitude is a big one. It really helps to put things into perspective, especially when you’re having a rough day or hard time with something…to be thankful for the blessings you DO have can help turn that pity party upside down. 🙂 Keep up the good…er, NOT work, but INTENTIONS!

    1. Thank you so much, Corina, focusing on Gratitiude has long been one of the tools of my spiritual practice ~ but I haven’t kept a list for a few years now. Writing it down seems to multiply the effect, somehow and it’s great to look back on and chart progress. In my last update, which I posted a couple of days ago, I neglected to mention that I totally failed this challenge on the resisting chocolate front! Ooooops! 😉

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