How To Be Present This Holiday | #43

December 8, 2022

The holidays are here and the stress of wrapping up the year and prepping for the next can be overwhelming. On this mini-episode of the Second Act Success Podcast, host Shannon Russell shares her tips for slowing down and being present this holiday. Her “December List” advice is key in helping stay focused and organized […]

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How To Be Present This Holiday


The holidays are here and the stress of wrapping up the year and prepping for the next can be overwhelming. On this mini-episode of the Second Act Success Podcast, host Shannon Russell shares her tips for slowing down and being present this holiday. Her “December List” advice is key in helping stay focused and organized when doing all the things for work, family, and you. Learn some ways to lean into your holiday spirit and plan a holiday you will remember, instead of regret. It’s all on this episode of the Second Act Success Podcast.


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Second Act Success Podcast
Season 1 - ​​How To Be Present This Holiday | #43
Host: Shannon Russell
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Are you at a crossroads in your career? Ready for a change, but you're not sure how to get there. Don't worry. We are about to produce your best life together. Welcome to the Second Act Success Podcast. I am your host. Shannon Russell. I am a former Television Producer turned boy mom. I left my dream job to find family balance and in doing so, I produced my dream life. Now I am a Business Owner, Podcaster, and Career Coach. My mission is to help other women, like you, find what they are truly meant to be doing. If you are ready to start over in your career or pivot to a new purpose, then get ready to be inspired by stories of women who have done just that. We will share advice and actionable tips to motivate you as you move along on your path. It is time to shine. So let's start producing your balanced life of abundance today. This is Second [00:01:00] Act Success.

[00:01:05] Shannon Russell:

Hey, it's Shannon Russell. I'm here with another mini episode. I'm hoping that this will give you a little encouragement at this sometimes stressful time of year. If you are anything like me, you have a million things going on right now. You might be wrapping up work before the end of the year and on top of wrapping things up so that you can actually enjoy a few days off at the holidays. There's a lot of talk about planning for the new year and it stresses us out. We should be enjoying this time of year, the festivities, the family, the friends, the gatherings, and instead when it comes to work in our career, we are trying to hustle through and see what more we can cram into the end of 2022, and at the same time what we can plan for for 2023. It is a lot. You're planning goals for work, you're planning goals for home, and maybe even some goals for yourself if you have the time. And don't forget that before you leave the [00:02:00] office for the holiday, you really should get some work expectations set for Q1 as well. You can do that right . making sure that you have everything ready for the end of the year also includes making sure that you have everything ready for the holiday.

Gifts for the kids, for family, for friends, for employees, for teachers, for coworkers, the mailman, et cetera. Plus, we have to make sure the tree and the house look perfectly festive. And don't forget the lights outside or your neighbors will be talking. What about making sure that you have all of your menus ready for holiday meals? Are you hosting? Are you baking? Are you bringing, are you buying? Are you cooking? Not to mention the parties and the get togethers before the actual holiday, right? You can forget the goodies that you volunteered to make and send in for your child's school celebration or even gifts for the white elephant game that you play with your family on Christmas day. Do you send holiday cards? I mean, who really has time for that anymore? Personally, I stopped that a couple of years [00:03:00] ago something just had to give. And the holiday cards from my family was it? Oh, and what about squeezing in time to actually enjoy the season and get into the holiday spirit?

Okay, let's stop right there. I'm here to tell you right now that you can take a beat and a deep breath because the only important thing you should be worried about right now is being present. Not a gift type of present, but being present with yourself.

We talk a lot on this podcast about life moving fast and how important it is to not have regrets. So I'm reminding you right now that you do not want to rush through the holidays and regret it. Stop what you're doing and listen up

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, whatever you celebrate, guess. It does not have to be perfect. How many of us can actually say that our families are perfect, that our home is perfect? The holidays don't have to be perfect either. This holiday, I want you to take time to be [00:04:00] still and soak in the silent nights with the ones that you love. Maybe that means you buy store bought treats, or you cut out the Christmas cards, or order last minute gifts on Amazon Prime. Trust me, prime is a lifesaver at this time of year.

You may already know this about me, but I am type A and proud of it. I love a list, and I will make a list for anything and everything, especially in December. I encourage you to make a few lists of your own right now.

This is my December list, and maybe this will work for you too. I call it my December list. It is not a to-do list. It's just a way of organizing all of the tasks that are swirling around in our heads during this really busy time of year. I want you to get out a piece of paper or a notebook and draw three columns on the.

One column, should be for all of the gifts that you still have to buy. Column number two is for all of the food or the other holiday necessities that you [00:05:00] still have to get. And the third column is for anything outstanding that you must and, I mean, must accomplish before the end of the year.

So that's one page of your December list. Now I want you to take out another piece of paper or turn the page in your notebook, and we are going to make three more columns on this page, column one is going to be where you write down your hopes and goals for your career or job for the next year.

column two is for the hopes and goals for your family for the next year. And the last column is where you will write down your hopes and goals for yourself for next. There you go. Now you have a December List of your own the December List is really to get all of those ideas and tasks and stresses out of your head and onto paper in an organized way. Now you have your to-do list organized and prioritized. Everything else not written down can wait.

Now that hopefully your head is a little bit more.[00:06:00] My hope is that this frees you up to enjoy the special time of year, turn up the holiday music, add some extra whipped cream to your hot chocolate, bake those cookies, strut that ugly Christmas sweater with style and cozy up on the couch with your favorite holiday movie.

Live in the moment with those you love doing the things that you love. If you do, then you'll have no regrets and you'll leap into the new year whole and. We stress and struggle about work, career, money, errands that we need to run are family, the kids, everything all year long that for the next couple of weeks in this month, I want you to step back, be present, and.

My family and I celebrate Christmas and I go all out. We decorate the day after Halloween in my house, and music and movies have been on nonstop ever since. But trust me, it's hard to fit in all the festive activities that I want to do with my family while I'm running two separate businesses, teaching my course, [00:07:00] coaching my clients, producing this podcast, and trying to bring all of the magic of the season to my kids. I've been trying really hard to set a day or two aside each week to be present with my family. I actually took both of my boys out of school on separate days over the last week or so. We had one on one time together. I helped them pick out presents for the family. We had lunch and it was just kind of a special mom and son bonding day, that we've done every year. It was really special this year because, This is the first year where I'm running two businesses and that I have the podcast and so many things going on that I'm juggling that I really struggle with being present a lot of times during the year that now I'm really focusing on taking a couple days for my family especially at Christmas, I just enjoy having these special days with my kids and creating memories and really trying to put work in the businesses aside and focus on family.

Oh, and this [00:08:00] weekend I am taking two days just for me. I know that sounds really crazy as a mom and believe me, it's rare, but my mom and sister and I are going to Christmas Con.

It's a holiday convention with actors from all of the Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. They all come together and it's just this big, fun, festive holiday convention. I am Hallmark obsessed as well. So Hallmark and Christmas are two of my favorite things. So this weekend is going to be really fun. My mom and sister and I went last year and we absolutely loved it. So it's becoming a new girls weekend tradition for us. And I cannot wait to escape into this Christmas world with my mom and sister this weekend. And this is just another example of carving out that time to be present and enjoy the holiday with the ones that you love,

I'm sharing this to remind you that it's the small things that we can do for ourselves now at this special time of year. That mean everything. It's spending time with ourselves and the ones that we hold dear, [00:09:00] so that we can wrap up this year with a pretty bow and step into the new year. Ready, refreshed, and excited.

All right. I'm going to stop here so that you can grab your notebook and jot down your December list, just like we discussed earlier. Remember, it's a three column list of goals or things that you need to do for the holidays and a separate three column list of goals for the year ahead. I hope creating this December list can help you feel a little bit more organized. If you want even more clarity on the year ahead, I have a My Success Vision Board for you. Just go to second act success.co and you'll see a popup for you to download it now for free it's an incredible resource I created to help you assess where you are now in your life or your career, and help you map out where you want to be next year

I wish you the most productive day. As you get that mess out of your head and onto paper, I encourage you to shut your laptop down early today and do something festive. [00:10:00] It'll get you in the mood and the spirit of December. Most of all, I wish you the happiest holiday, my friend. We'll chat again soon on another episode of the second Act Success podcast.

[00:10:12] Shannon: Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second Act Success. To view show notes from this episode, visit secondactsuccess.co. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. So you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much. Thank you again for listening. I am Shannon Russell, and this is Second Act Success.


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Episode #42: Scary Life Moment Propels Sylvia Worsham From Pharma Sales Rep to Spiritual Awakening