Taking Stock

I wanted to share with you a great habit that I was taught to carry out at the turn of the year, and which has served me well .. which is reflecting on what happened in the past year and how I handled it.

I love the quiet time in between Christmas and New Year and I made a commitment to myself a while ago to take this time for myself, for quiet enjoyment of the season, the weather, and taking a look back over the past twelve months.

Life has a habit of throwing the unexpected in our way (thanks 2020!), however well we plot and plan our lives, and often I’ll be surprised at the things that happened that I could never have predicted the year before. Sometimes these are wonderful and sometimes less so: in examining how I responded I find clues to who I am and how I’m showing up in my life and others’

So maybe you’d like to join me. Carve out a little space for yourself in the next few days to ask these questions:

What happened in this past year that I could never have predicted?

How did I respond? Was that helpful to me and those around me?

Who was important to me in the past year?

What one thing would I have liked to be different?

What would I like to do differently in this coming year?

I’d love to hear your thoughts .. do you have any other questions you’ve found useful?

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Merry Christmas to you!!

Thank you for being part of this year’s Relationships Advent Calendar, I hope you’ve had as much fun joining in the fun as I’ve had creating it ..

I’ve been inspired along the way by the penguins at noomi, whose Kindness Advent Calendar I follow every year, so check that out too.

And today of course is a day for family so I’m off to spend a peaceful day with mine, a bit different from usual having coached the older generation in Zoom skills this year .. wishing you a love-filled day close to your special ones, whoever they are ..

Relationships Advent Calendar Day 22 . Give to Receive

You might be right in the middle of the Christmas whirl right now, all that wrapping ahead of you!! Or maybe Christmas is going to be quieter this year. Don’t forget there are other ways to give at Christmas, and people who are altruistic can often feel more satisfied in life, plus it’s an opportunity to spend time with others .. what’s to lose?!

So take some time out of your busy schedule, switch off the TV and have a think about how you’d both like to give back in the coming year .. if time’s an issue but you’re cash rich how about setting up a monthly direct debit to a charity?

Or volunteer for a project, cleaning up your local beach or park, helping out with the National Trust (you can actually get free membership for being a volunteer) .. the possibilities are endless .. you get to keep the warm Christmas glow for the whole year!!!

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 21 . What’s Your Jam?

Nothing brings back memories quite like music .. think about your friends and family .. what’s ‘your’ song?

For most of us there’s a special feeling associated with these tunes ..

So today your task is to find the song or songs that bring back these special memories and share them .. have it playing when they walk in from work, call the local radio station and ask them to do a dedication, email a YouTube clip or post it on their Facebook wall .. or, if you have one, play it on your guitar, piano or kazoo the next time you see them ..

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar Day 20 . Switch on your Relationship Radar

You’ve just spent 19 days doing something every day for the benefit of your relationships .. notice a difference yet?

So now you’re a super honed relationship athlete in tip top condition it’s time to start looking for opportunities to flex those muscles ..

Keep your eyes and ears open for the many small opportunities that come up today to make a difference, and see how many you take .. a relationship Christmas star for the winner!

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar Day 19 . Admit When You’re Wrong

Relationships thrive where both people can give a little ground, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like to be right?

Today your task is to find something someone else is right about, give them a big beaming smile and let them know, with grace and love ..

Some of the most powerful words in your relationships may well be “Yes, you’re right.”

Afterwards spend some time thinking about how easy or difficult it was to do that, and how the other person responded .. what did you learn?

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar Day 18 . Who’s in my corner?

Christmas and New Year is traditionally a time for partying and family, and also a time for reflection and taking stock, making plans and starting afresh ..

Today take some time to think about which of your friends and family support you: who listens to you without judgement when you need to talk; who refuses to take sides; and who’s not afraid to tell you gently when you might just (gulp) be in the wrong .. cultivate these people and pledge to do the same for them in your turn ..

#adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar Day 15 . Gratitude Express

Yeah yeah, been there done that .. but gratitude and appreciation are one of the single most important indicators of our relationships’ resilience ..

So today your task is to think of all the things you’re grateful to your loved ones and colleagues for .. then pick one and make sure you let them know ..

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar Day 14 . Be Practical

Healthy relationships don’t happen by accident, they’re the result of people putting time and attention into what feeds our relationships each day, like making small deposits into a bank account that we can draw on when we need it.

Today I invite you to pay into your relationship bank account by finding something practical that you can do for someone you care about. Something that would make a difference.

Maybe you could hang a picture that’s been leaning up against the wall for a year; run an errand; pick up some shopping; do some mending or ironing; drop off some screenwash .. over to you.

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 10 . Look After Yourself

Today’s a reminder that it’s important to take care of ourselves so that we have enough left over to show up in our relationships with others.

So schedule some time out today, buy yourself something lush, just stop for ten minutes and have a cup of tea, or luxuriate in the bath with some bubbles ..

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing