#ShowingUp with Anese Cavanaugh

12 Ways to Make the Most of Your Holidays

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Holiday parties, family dinners, and all sorts of opportunities for cheer, getting clear, and maybe even a bit of drear or fear present themselves as we head into the end of the year.

The way you Show Up for that holiday dinner, that family feast, your kids' demands, your team's end of year planning session, or your partner's last-minute renegotiation on holiday schedules will make the difference between "tis the season to be jolly" or"I can't wait for the holidays to end". As always, it comes down to you. No matter what the situation, or how difficult he, she, it, or they are, in the end, you're driving. What's your game plan?

12 Ways to #ShowUp This Holiday Season

Below are twelve ways to Show Up this holiday season. Do one, do all, tweak, toss, or take as they serve. May this season be exactly what you want, need, and create for.

  1. Decide. Decide to Show Up. Decide to create a great experience. Decide how you want to be in your relationships, how you want to be experienced, and how you want to experience the holiday engagements coming your way.
  2. Take really good care of yourself. Hydrate and nourish your body. Make something delicious. Activate your posture. Move. Dance. Take naps. Sit still. That thing that makes your body feel amazing? Do even more of it.
  3. Clear your space and set yourself up for good. Clean your closet. Organize your pantry. File away 2014. Clean your laptop. Delete or file the 2,000 emails you've been meaning to get to since last year. Whatever. That thing that brings your energy down when you see it or think of it? Clean it up.
  4. Get grateful and ride the wave. People, places, things... Nothing is off limits for gratitude. Start each day with at least three things, build throughout the day, and enjoy the rush.
  5. Assume great: Have anxiety that this year's holiday dinner or end of year meeting is going to be tough, peeps aren't going to get along, or it's just not going to be that great? Let it go, assume great, and look for evidence to support and create the experience you WANT.
  6. Be extra generous. Yes, tis the season. Sure, be generous with your wares, and even more generous with kindness, assuming good, giving people the benefit of the doubt, telling them how you feel about them, and going the extra mile.
  7. Say no with grace. It's okay. Really. Say "yes" to what's a true "yes", "no" to the true "no's", and stand in it. No need to even explain it if you feel right with it. We're good. Make your "no" be an important "yes" to yourself or in service of something bigger.
  8. Bury the hatchet with intention. Purge, release, and forgive anything weighing you down. This includes the fight you had with your sister four months ago, the grudge you've been holding, the thing you messed up on that you just can't let go. Learn what you need to learn, and let it go.
  9. Release the Cracken. That monstrous list of worries (or maybe just that one big bad worry) that's been waking you up at 2 a.m. for the last three nights? Make a list, see what truly needs attention, thank it for its wisdom, craft a plan, and let it go.
  10. Ask for help. Don't be a martyr. Need something? Ask. Help with dinner; carrying the weight of the holiday party; making the suggested Secret Santa budget a bit more palatable; maybe simply an ear, a heart, and a shoulder to lean on... Go get it. Ask, suggest, request, Show Up.
  11. Love on your nemesis. That person you consider your archenemy, the one who "blocks your success", who you're jealous of, or who you just can't stand? And they're coming to dinner? Take a walk or have a coffee with them. Get curious. Find ONE thing you can appreciate about them. They may be your greatest teacher right now.
  12. Don't take the bait. That family member who gets a ton of mileage off riling you (and everyone) up at Christmas dinner after sucking down too much wine and deciding it would be fun to revisit that bone of contention you've all been picking at since 2005? Ya, don't get hooked. Notice. Get curious. Change the subject. Say something nice, but don't go in. Hold your space.

Think these are just for the Holiday Season? Nah. Use them freely for any holiday, when overwhelm hits, when you just need a quick reboot, or you simply just want to Show Up better.

Which one is the most meaningful for you? How will you Show Up this season?

// This article appeared on December 15, 2014 on Inc.com 

//Image credit: Getty Images

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