In his book, “Change your Brain Change Your Life”, Dr. Amen asks two questions when it comes to all areas of our life, “What do you want?“ and “Does your behaviour get you what you want?” So I have been thinking about the answers to these two questions during this Christmas season.
“What do I want?” I want a stress-free, happy, peaceful Christmas.
“Is my behaviour getting me what I want?” 90% of the time… yes.
I want …. Fun, stress-free, happy, peaceful meals at our home.
So my behaviour has changed. I don’t do it all anymore. All meals I host are huge potluck adventures. I will cook a dish or two but the visiting friends and family members happily contribute big portions to that meal so I am not stressed out cooking it all. No one minds contributing! Just because our moms could do it all, doesn’t mean we have to.
I want to spend time with the people I love and are in my home visiting.
My behaviour is… Paper plates are a must. They have beautiful Christmas ones. I promise I will help the environment in many other ways but I would rather visit than wash dishes all night.
I don’t want to be going store to store trying to find the perfect gift.
My behaviour is …. Gift cards replace 90% of the gifts we still buy. And I stay home in my warm house.
I want to feel charitable and give back for my life.
My behaviour is… I donate money instead. We have eliminated most of our gift giving and have replaced that money spent with donations to charity.
I don’t want to bake.
My behaviour…. I buy all of my baking because I find it stressful and I am terrible at it! I know some of you still really like to bake but is this behaviour adding stress or peace?
I want to be known as a loving person to visit.
My behaviour is to choose to see all of my family members (I grew up around five different families, I have a lot of family!) through my 90% lens. I know Christmas can bring together 10% people you don’t necessarily want to spend time with. Choose to be peaceful, stress-free and happy around them too.
If you “want” a peaceful Christmas, only you can change your behaviour to make that happen.