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    Rather than wait for the festivities of the season to strike like a blast of arctic air, why not make a pact with yourself to move toward this holiday season differently, and with the aim that 2013 can be kicked off with renewed energy for all you intend.

    Here are 8 tips to help you and your business get through the holiday season unscathed:

    1. Be intentional – Set your objective and purpose for this holiday season (Being everything to everyone and meeting everyone’s expectations doesn’t count.)

    2. Create your project and commitment list – Personal and professional projects need to be completed. Rather than trying to keep them all in your head, write them down. It helps sort them out and puts you in the driver’s seat.

    3. Plan ahead – Equipped with your calendar, jot down your current commitments including business meetings with clients, networking events, personal parties, etc. Allow enough time (aka white space) for something to go amiss at the last minute.

    4. Align expectations with capacity – Ask yourself what personal and professional projects need to be completed during the next 6 weeks? How much time does each project require? Once you have a sense of your commitments, schedule them in, and drop what isn’t essential!  This is the must have list, not the nice to have list.

    Getting the picture? You now have a much clearer view of what you (and others) can realistically expect.

    5. Delegate – Yes! We can do it all but is it necessary for us to do everything? Review your project and commitment list to identify the tasks to be delegated. Nail down who’s responsible for what, by when, and what you need reported to you that give you confidence in handing over tasks.

    – This is about managing your own expectations as well as other peoples, and is a guaranteed confidence builder!

    – And remember, even Santa doesn’t do it all on his own, he has Mrs Claus and all the Elves, so delegation really is the smart thing to do!

    6. Get enough sleep – There’s nothing new here but it’s good to be reminded how much better you perform and cope with stress when you’re rested.  Don’t just ‘say’ you’ll get more sleep – plan for it!

    7. Exercise – You’ve heard this one too, and did you also know that entrepreneurs who run or bike actually have higher sales than those who don’t exercise? In other words, if you move it, you’ll make it! Again, time available for exercise doesn’t magically happen, you have to plan for it.

    Studies show that 15 minutes of daylight and fresh air does wonders for a person mood and overall well being (aka – ability to cope!).

    8. Say No – It’s our most used word as a toddler yet it seems to get lost with age. If you can’t say “Heck Yeah” to projects or parties, say NO!

    How about an early holiday gift for yourself – a little less stress to go with that mulled wine, perhaps?

    What are you doing to make the holidays less-stressful for yourself this year?

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