Whatever Christmas means to you, for most of us it’s a time for reflection, for friends and family. This time of year always encourages me to reflect. And these are some of the things that come to mind when I start to put up the decorations and prepare for down time.

Be true to yourself

Just because it’s the silly season, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with what the crowds are telling you to do. If you want to have a day at home reading a book while everyone else is out partying, do it. On the other hand if you feel like dancing on tables while everyone else is in slumber mode, I can guarantee you’ll find a mate to join in. My point is that it has taken me 20 years to really have the confidence to do what I want to do instead of being dragged along by the crowd. When I’m true to myself, even though it may be confronting at the time, I feel better about myself and I am probably a better person to be around. Don’t get me wrong, I can be swayed too, but the message is, its okay to be you.

Use forward thinking

Before we know it we’ll be signing our letterheads with 2018.. can you believe it! And the same as this year has just flown by like an eagle on the wing, 2018 will be half way through before we’ve hardly uttered our new year resolutions. My advice to you, is to get in early.

What is it you want to be doing in 2018, where to you want to be and who will you be there with. Without sounding like a sales pitch, I know I’ll be in Bali mid May running a Pilates retreat, sipping on sunshine and swimming in the big blue. And this isn’t happening as an after thought. A full year of preparation has gone into making this happen.

I know all too well that time slips through my fingers like squeaky white sand and I need that stuff to build my sandcastles! I’m already planning my mid year, let alone what I’ll be doing come the big countdown. Get on board, make a plan and make it happen. It really is so that idle minds make no dreams come true.

Practice shoe shifting

This is one of my favourite thought processes, also known as empathic intelligence. It is one of the most powerful social tools that I try and impart onto my staff in our workplace and it is something that I do every single day to understand and empathise with other people. At this time of year especially I think that shoe shifting has its place in our social wellness. Christmas, the end of the a chapter, the beginning of a new can be very different experiences to different people. Some people love Christmas and have been singing carols since October while others avoid any mention of the word for fear and loathing or misunderstandings. Just the other day I heard myself say to my Mother (in front of my 8 year old son) “I hate Christmas” and then I proceeded to tell my Mum all the things I don’t like about the festive season. Just as I finished this rant my son, who stood with mouth gaping mentioned that he actually enjoyed Christmas.. as 8 year olds should… oops. I walked away from that conversation with a cloud of guilt, feeling like I was the grinch who ruined my own hearts love.

The next day I regaled my son with a snow globe and apologised for my demeanour. I realised that hearing his own mum complain about a time of year that could be celebrated for whatever reason you believe would possibly taint him forever. Now I’m no believer of anything in particular but I know that my son associates Christmas with a time of holiday and family and freedom. So I’m going to put on his shoes and throw my unloved boots out the door and celebrate the festive season with the joy of an 8 year old on school holidays. After all, his shoes are much more comfortable than mine!