With less than two weeks until Christmas, life sometimes feels like it's spinning out of control. The calendar calls for a "yearly review", a chance to pause and shine a light on the year's accomplishments and challenges. But gifts to buy and wrap, parties to attend, and the myriad other holiday details keep us hopping. I feel like it's a chore to find the time to fit my workout in, let alone spend time pondering personal development or enrichment. The thing is, I can't "punt" the next two weeks – they are too critical to be spent unproductively. But I also don't want to miss out on spending this precious time with my family, so I've spent some time today pondering how to make the most of the little time I can spare during the upcoming days.
Here are a few of my conclusions for how I can still fit learning and personal empowerment into these happy, yet hectic, holidays:
- Listen and Learn – I have several podcasts I enjoy, and this is the perfect season to be an auditory learner. In fact, a trip to the mall can provide the perfect half hour for a podcast professional development seminar and a two mile walk all in one.
- Learn Seasonally – Today, I wrote an article for CE on multi-cultural holiday celebrations. I not only learned several new traditions I can share with my kids (such as attending a "Posada"), but also picked up some new ethnic recipes, a few foreign language phrases and learned the location of the region of Moravia.
- Learn from the Best – If you know your time is limited, it's ok to scale back on the usual reading you do. Prioritize your visits to your tried and true resources – those who consistently inspire and uplift you and encourage you to try to do better today than you did yesterday.
- Learn from your Family – Some of life's most valuable lessons have been taught to me by my children: Be patient. Hugs always feel good. Sometimes a nap can help put things into perspective. Get along with whoever brought the ball. Take time to play.
Learning can happen even in the midst of mistletoe madness – don't take the next two weeks off from your drive to be your personal best. Just embrace this time and be on the lookout for life lessons – they are everywhere. Strike up a chat with the guy standing next to you in that long holiday line at the post office …who knows what you might learn!