After the Holidays

shutterstock_116458489I bet you are doing it. I know I have done it already. It is around this time of year we start adding three words to our discourse: “after the holidays…”

We use this nifty little clause to put off all sorts of things from scheduling appointments to making decisions. We’ll use it to delay the start of new projects and prolong the completion of others. And perhaps most notoriously, we will use it to excuse over indulgences and bad habits, giving ourselves a little more time before we choose different behavior.

Sound familiar?

We’ll wait for the “first of the year” to come and go. And then we’ll dig in and start anew.

Why do we do this?

I have concluded we “after-the-holidays” for one of three reasons:

  • We are busy.
  • We are lazy.
  • We are clever.

No doubt we tend to be busier at this time of year. We have presents to buy, seasonal events to attend, traditions to honor, celebrations to plan. But the demands of holidays and year-end deadlines do not account for all our after-the-holidays-ing.

Many after-the-holidays are used as a socially acceptable procrastination strategy. It buys us time. After all, New Year’s and resolutions are just around the corner. We’ll get to it next year which is only a few weeks away. We rationalize: how much harm can putting this or that off do at this point?

After-the-holidays is also a clever self-management tool. We use it to make breathing room in our jam-packed calendars and lives. It seems to be the one time of the year we can give ourselves a break. We take the pressure off. But do we really? And if we do, why are we not living lives that routinely incorporate this kinder, gentler approach?

This year as you move into the holidays, consider your after-the-holidays.

  • Are you really too busy to do it now?
  • Are you deceiving yourself? Is this procrastination or are you really too busy? And if so…
  • Is this nifty little clause helping you live with greater balance? What needs to change so you can experience greater balance more often?

Whatever the answer, maybe you could let me know. After the holidays of course.