I’m going to help you have the best December, and therefore, start 2019 in a great frame of mind. I know I can help you, because I did this myself last year. I’m going to do it again this year, and I should mention, December is not my favorite month of the year. Last year I accidentally made December the best December I’ve ever had (or at least in a very long time). I did this through being intentional with my days.
I say this was an accidental thing because I didn’t set out to be intentional.
I set out to scrapbook my month. But I’ll explain that in a minute (and don’t think this post is going to be boring, it’s not a post about scrapbooking, that’s just a part of it).
The thing is the month of December has almost always been hard for me. My dad passed away early in the month so it’s always been a cloud over me during this time. With my extended family getting together less and less over the years, it wasn’t really a time I looked forward to anymore. Truthfully, I think I felt left out. Others’ happy celebrations just reminded me of what I didn’t have. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m all alone. I have the best mom ever, but this time is tough for her too. So most years I just waited for the season to be over.
Last year was different though
Okay here’s the scrapbooking part of the story. You see I’ve been scrapbooking for almost three years now, and one of the first scrapbooking concepts I discovered was a December Daily album. This project involves documenting something each day in December leading up until Christmas. Last year I decided to give it a try.
I like to say that I was “unintentionally intentional” last year, but that’s not completely true. Part of the December Daily project is setting an intention for what you want to get out of the month and the project. And I wanted to find the Christmas spirit again. It was one of those things I said, and yes, I did try to add some holiday cheer to my days, but I don’t think I really thought it would work.
I had some hesitations with doing this project, as I knew a lot of my days were just going to be ordinary work days. I realized I was going to have to set out to find something good or fun each day. A lot of my days involved trying to find some way to tie into the holidays because I had wanted a more magical Christmastime. I had to get a little creative. Sometimes I would share in my album about a Christmas song I loved, or watching a holiday movie on TV. One day I documented getting Starbucks in the holiday red cup. Other days were more eventful, like going to light displays and having a game night with friends.
By looking for a positive each day, or having something related to the holiday season, I was creating a more positive, intentional month without realizing it.
The reason that I know this worked was that something was different about how I felt on Christmas Day. Normally, I’m ready for the holidays to be over. But last year, after having dinner and opening gifts with my mom, I went to meet with a few close friends. As I drove to my friend’s house, I listened to Christmas music on the radio the whole way. I realized that it was all going to be over the next day. And I actually felt a little sad that the Christmas season was ending! This is pretty out of the ordinary for me, and I realized I had accomplished something in documenting my month, and well, unintentionally being intentional.
This year, I’m setting out to be intentional. I’m not going to be doing an entire scrapbook for the month like last year, but I am going to find something each day that will add a little happiness or Christmas spirit to the day.
So how do you start being intentional?
- Set an intention. Okay maybe this sounds obvious, but you can’t be intentional if you don’t have an intention. For me, it’s finding the holiday spirit and bringing in more positivity to my life. Maybe for you it’s trying to relax more or have more quality time with family. Think about what is a realistic thing for you to do over the course of the month that will enhance your life.
- What do you need to do each day? If you want to be more intentional with relaxation, set aside time to meditate, relax in your favorite chair, or take a soothing bath. If you want to find holiday spirit, find the things you already love about the holidays and start interjecting them into your life. For me it’s certain holiday movies and songs, Christmas lights, and holiday treats.
Bonus step: Document it. Okay not suggesting you need to scrapbook the month (I’m not even doing that this year) but I think journaling what you did each day or snapping a quick picture with your phone is important. Some people may say doing this is taking you out of the moment, so it’s not really being intentional, but I think by doing this you are enhancing the memory. When you have strong positive memories it keeps those feel-good vibes going!
So are you going to give it a try?
One more thing – nothing about this “challenge” is meant to be stressful. If you’re not intentional one day it’s not the end of the world. If you can’t figure out a way to infuse holiday spirit into the day, try again tomorrow. This is all about making the holiday season joyful, not adding extra stress!
Finally (for real this time), if you share any of your intentional moments to Instagram, I would love to see them! Use the hashtag #IntentionalDecember so I can find you and maybe even share your moments in my stories!