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As we enter another holiday season, you’re probably anticipating taking a step back from your business and enjoying some intentional time with your friends and family. The holidays can be an extremely busy time for sales, promotions, and making big decisions and investments in your business before the new year. But if you’re not careful, you might wake up on January 1st only to realize the holidays were a blur… and you never took the time you wanted to really step back and rest.
Slow living is trending, and it’s for a good reason. In the world we live in, the default is busyness, consumerism, and distracted minds. If you want to flip the script and create a slow season where you’re actually fully present with your kids and family, it’s not going to happen by accident! In this episode, I’m sharing 6 tips that you can use to (actually) live out your vision of a slow holiday season this year!
Key Takeaways from this Episode
- My 6 tips to slowing down during the holiday season.
- The business foundation that actually allows you to step back from your business without being constantly connected.
- What to communicate to your clients about your business during the holidays and how.
- The surprising realization one of my clients had that could free you up, too!
- The boundaries you need to think about ahead of the holiday season that will make your time away so much more enjoyable.
- A simple tip that might make me sound like a grinch.
- The helpful practice to do before diving in to New Year’s resolutions and goal setting.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Episode 044: Your Business Minimalist Blueprint
- Business Minimalist Blueprint Workbook
- The Business Edit Group Coaching Program
- Episode 037: How I Broke Up With My Phone
- Free Reflection Workbook
My Holiday Schedule Email Template
Hey [client], I wanted to let you know in advance that I’ll be taking the following days off for vacation during the holidays. My vacation policy is outlined in our contract if you’d like to reference it again. [Insert dates and optional: what you’ll be doing with your time off] I may randomly check Voxer messages as I feel like it during those dates, but will not be reliably available. Let me know if you have any questions, and if you haven’t already, make sure you get your own vacation dates on the calendar!
Click here to read the full episode transcript!
Jade Boyd: I value experiences way more than things. And Caleb and I are actually taking a trip to Chicago towards the end of the year, and that’s something we’re going to remember next year. How many of us can remember what we got for Christmas last year as adults?
Today we’re talking about slowvember. In other words, how to slow down during the month of November and how to carry that through the rest of the holiday season. I don’t know about you, but I found in the past that if I don’t take the time to plan intentionally and then I just hope there’s going to be a season of slowing down, it never ends up being what I want it to be without taking the time to plan and make changes and put things in place so that I’m actually able to enjoy the season the way that I want it to.
So I want you to think back to last holiday season, last November and December, and just remind yourself of what happened during that time. How did it feel for you? Was it slow and was it relaxing? Were you able to pull back in your business and enjoy that time with friends and family? Or did you feel constantly pulled between your business and time off and all of the events that were happening, all the gifts there were to shop for, and all the extra to do is all the holiday season.
Was it a season of busyness or was it actually a season of slowing down and living intentionally? And so with that in mind, I want to give you six tips, six things that you can do to make sure that if it is your goal to slow down during the holiday season, that you’re actually able to take that time and spend it in the way that you want to spend it. Doing the things that you want to prioritize during the season because it is a really special season. It’s a really special time of year and it can feel really magical, but it can also fill you with a lot of resentment if you have high expectations for it that don’t end up being realized. And so if you have certain expectations going into this season, this episode is going to help you bring those expectations to reality.
So my first tip is to build a business that actually allows you to slow down. The best flex for slowing down is to structure your business in a way that actually allows you to step away from it for the holidays and still make money. And I know that this isn’t a simple tip. This is kind of… a big thing to do, but that is exactly what the business edit framework does for people. My signature framework for building a productive business. And I will link the episode that walks through my business edit framework in the show notes so you can go back and listen to that episode. But all of that to say, if your offers and if your business systems aren’t structured in a way that allow you to take time off any time of year, but specifically, we’re talking about taking time off for the holidays, and you can’t step away from your business without fires getting started or emergencies happening, then the best thing that you can do for yourself in 2024 is to make those foundational changes in your business so that you can build a sustainable business. One that does actually allow you to take time off without creating a huge fuss about simply being able to take time off for Christmas. It shouldn’t be something that stresses you out. And so if you’re not taking time off regularly, you’re definitely playing a losing game. It’s not sustainable in the long term because your business will never be the better alternative to getting a normal salaried full time job that does allow you paid time off in the long run.
If you’re not getting paid and treated better in your own business than you would in a full time job, eventually push is going to come to shove and it’s going to be in your best interest to take that full time job, right? Like we all want to do what’s best for us.
And so the idea here is to build a business that is giving you a better living situation than any of the alternatives that you might be considering because business is hard. And there are days where we all want to quit and throw in the towel. But what keeps us here is that we’ve created better situations for ourselves then the alternative, whatever that might be for you.
So I had to say this one right off the bat because a lot of these other tips might not be as helpful for you if the foundations of your business are not set in a way that actually allows you to step back from your business without being constantly connected. And so before you go to any of the next steps, this really is the number one thing that you can do for yourself in order to actually slow down for slowvember or whatever you want to call it for the holiday season and spend that intentional, actually focused present time with your family and friends.
And we are entering the end of the year and my coaching program is about to relaunch. So if you’re looking for some community and accountability and somebody to hold your hand step by step through this process and help you overcome all of the mindset issues and challenges and software issues that are going to come up in your pursuit of building this sustainable business that allows you to make more money and takes way less time for you personally to be in your business, make sure you join the wait list for the business edit coaching program. I’m going to drop that in the show notes as well. Again, that’s going to be launching soon, but you can grab all the details about that program. And it really is a fully structured program that’s going to take you step by step from where you are today. Busy, burnout, if that’s you. To living a life and having a business that feels easy to you, that feels fun, that feels aligned. So make sure you join the waitlist if you’re in that position. But if you’re not, if you’re like, hey, I love my business where it’s at, just give me all the tips for how I can actually unplug during the holidays.
We’re going to move on to step number two. So step number two is schedule your vacation days now. When this episode goes live, it’s going to be November, so if you haven’t already set the days that you’re going to take off for vacation, make sure you put those in your calendar now and be clear and upfront about when you will and will not be working during the holiday season and make sure if you’re a service provider, especially communicate those boundaries to your clients and for product based businesses, make sure that they know when the last time they can order is for the holidays.
If they’re buying your products for Christmas gifts or if they’re just generally placing orders towards the end of the year. If you’re taking time off and shipments are going to be delayed, make sure you’re communicating this to your customers, if you’re a product based business, but if you’re a service provider, make sure you’re emailing your clients and just reminding them the exact dates that you plan to take off this year. So there’s no surprises if they need to reach you for any reason during that time. And. I’m going to drop a really short and sweet email template. It’s the email that I sent to my clients this year to communicate my times off. And so if you’re struggling with knowing how to communicate that and how to enforce your policies that are probably in your contract, and if you don’t have a contract, or if you have a contract that doesn’t outline your vacation day policies, that’s definitely something to communicate to your clients up front so that they’re not surprised that you take time off either. I’m going to drop that email template in the show notes so you can head on over to the episode website if you’re on iTunes or the show notes link wherever else you’re listening and grab that template and it takes five minutes.
So make sure you communicate your vacation days now.
My third tip is to check email less frequently. During the month of May, I was updating my organize your business course and I set an autoresponder that basically said, if you’re emailing me in the month of May, don’t expect to hear from me from April. And I think that we dramatically underestimate how unreachable we can be and allow our businesses to thrive.
So you do not need to be checking email as often as you’re checking it. For most people listening to this, that is going to be true. I recently worked with a client who has a product based business, and she’s moving to checking her email one time a week, which is going to be huge for her. And she only needs to check her email one time a week in order to fill her products in the way that her system is set up for her to make the custom products that her people are ordering.
So how often do you really need to check email? And could you check it less often during the holidays? On the extreme, you could say, hey, December, I’m peaced out. I’m not going to be here. You can expect a response after New Year. Again, as long as your business is set up in a way that does not require you to be on email during that time. But even if you had an autoresponder that told people what days you will check email, if you’re checking it once a week or just once a day. day, whatever that looks like for you, just decide how often you’re going to be checking and responding to email and maybe even delete the email app from your phone over the holidays so that you’re not tempted in the car or when you are spending time with family to check in on work that you’re actually present where you want to be present during the holiday season.
Tip number four, very similar to tip number three, unplug from social media or decide what your social media boundaries are going to be during the holidays. Again, this is one of the number one reasons why you may not be present and engaged in the times and activities and with the people that you actually want to be engaged with during the holiday season.
So consider taking some sort of social media hiatus, whatever that looks like, either taking a hiatus from content creation and repurposing old posts instead. I think December is a great time to do like the best of 2023 posts or repurpose your best performing content from the year batch that had a time and schedule it out.
If you need to show up consistently on social media or want to continue serving your audience during that time, it is a-okay to schedule that out and then not be on social media during the holidays or even checking in once a week or once a day, I’m sure it would even be a huge improvement for many people who are listening.
So decide what your boundaries are on social media are going to be and how you can prep your content in a way that allows you to disconnect from whatever that might look like, if it’s TikTok, Instagram, your podcast from being actively involved in content creation during the holidays.
I think it’s also a great time of year to do a digital detox, and if you’ve ever tried even a 24 hour digital detox, it’s amazing what it can do for your mental health. I know a lot of business owners who will check out during the entire month of December and just say, I’m taking a social media break. I’ll be back after the new year. That is a-okay to do.
Again, if you’ve built a business that lets you run your business and run your marketing in a way that is aligned to the way that you want to spend your time and energy, this is totally possible. If you’re not in a place where you feel like you can take a month off of social media, it might be time to go back to the basics. And again, back to step one and reimagine how you’re marketing your business so that you can build something that will be sustainable without you being on Instagram or on TikTok or whatever social media platform you’re on every day of the year.
I will also link the How I Broke Up With My Phone episode that aired earlier this year that gives a lot of tips and tricks for disconnecting and unplugging from social media, but also just from your phone in general. And it’s so funny. I did this challenge back in March, but the results and the habits that I set during that challenge are still present in my life today and still giving me so many benefits and are truly allowing me to disconnect from social media and unplug from my phone. And a couple weekends ago, it was Sunday night and we were going to bed. I always plug in my phone across the room at night in the charger so that when my alarm goes off in the morning, I have to like physically get up to turn it off.
And I was looking, I was like, where is my phone? I couldn’t find it anywhere in the house. And eventually I realized that it was still plugged in. And I had gone the entire day that Sunday without ever picking up my phone and not even realizing that I hadn’t picked up my phone. It was just plugged into the charger all day and that was a huge win for me.
It was a really great moment where I realized, wow, this has taken so many months and a lot of intentional effort and a lot of trade offs on my part, but it’s paying off and I’m becoming the type of person who can be present on a weekend and is not so numb to my own life that I’m trying to numb myself with social media.
So know that breaking up with your phone and setting boundaries, it is a habit. And so if you try to do it one time and you’ve never done any sort of unplugging before, it might feel a little bit hard, but if you create regular rhythms of unplugging or disconnecting from your phone, it gets easier and easier. And I think the holidays are the perfect time to test that out and try it out and set better boundaries.
Okay, tip number five is to opt out of holiday consumerism. We live in such a consumerist culture and the holidays are kind of the height of consumerism and if you’re experiencing really busy holidays or feel like November and December are just frantic and you have more to plan and more to buy than ever before. It’s probably because of consumerism and what we’ve turned our holidays into, but the good news is, is that you can choose how you engage with the holidays and If you want to opt out of the consumerism trends, then you can. And here are some tips for how you could do that.
The first thing, checking email less often is definitely going to help with this, because if you do batch check your email once a day or once a week, there’s going to be a lot of promotional emails that happen during these last two months of the year. And if you’re batching your email, you’re probably going to be less likely to open and read and click through every single promotional email that lands in your inbox. You’re going to batch delete a lot more of those, but if you’re constantly checking your email, you’re probably going to be more likely to open every new email that’s trying to tell you something that pops into your inbox.
Another tip, be intentional about making a list of the things that you actually want to buy this holiday season because it can be such a great time to get good deals around Black Friday, especially. And so if there are things that you want to prioritize buying during the holiday season, make a list of those things up front and keep yourself accountable to buying what you actually value and what you want to spend your money on.
I keep a Christmas list all year long where if I really want something that I don’t really need, I will add it to this Christmas list as something that I can buy on Black Friday or something that I can ask somebody else to buy for me if somebody asks for something on my list. But what I’ve noticed is that checking that list throughout the year, things that I add in like January, when I add something else in March, I’ll go back and realize that, oh, I actually don’t want that anymore.
And I think that, we are so quick to buy things. We are such impulse shoppers that oftentimes if you were just to delay the amount of time between you find out about a product or whatever it might be that you’re looking at this holiday season and delay the time that you actually buy that thing, it’s more likely that you’re going to make an intentional purchase decision and that you’re going to be happier with your purchase decision actually use that thing tomorrow, five months from now.
This year, personally, I am going to try my best to opt out of gift giving altogether. And this might make me sound like a Grinch, but hear me out. Last year we had like seven to ten Christmas parties. It was so busy between multiple Christmas parties on each side of our families and then with different friend Christmas parties that were happening and we had a million gifts to buy and it just felt so busy.
I was just constantly shopping and I hated it. And I hate buying people things that they could either buy themselves, like candles, food, things from their wish list that they won’t be surprised by anyway. And so I try to give the gifts that are actually intentional and thoughtful. I try to do that and it takes up a lot of time and honestly stresses me out because the holiday season is over in a second, and I just feel like last year, I spent the whole time making food for parties and buying gifts that people didn’t need, and this year, I would rather take the time to make good food, to slow down, to spend time with people, to have real conversations, than to shop for people who could buy things themselves or give people lists of things that are on my list that I could also just buy myself and don’t really need.
I value experiences way more than things. And Caleb and I are actually taking a trip to Chicago towards the end of the year, and that’s something we’re going to remember next year. How many of us can remember what we got for Christmas last year as adults? As a kid, I can definitely name like the top of the top Christmas presents, but as adults, I have no idea what I got for Christmas last year, so why not focus my time on making memories instead of getting and giving gifts that don’t actually make a difference in my life.
That’s just my thought, but if your holiday seasons are feeling really busy and you’re having a hard time slowing down or have had a hard time in the past slowing down, rethinking how you engage with consumerism and gift buying during the holidays might be a helpful strategy to spend a slower season during the holidays.
And tip number six, my very last tip is to take some time to reflect. And I have a free reflection workbook for business owners that is absolute gold. I’m going to link that in the show notes too so you can download that in case reflecting is hard for you. There’s some really great questions in there to help you reflect on your year as a whole.
And the end of the year is truly just a season of natural reflection and slowing down. So don’t rush through it without assessing how this year actually went for you and for your business. Recently, I’ve actually been reading through some of my old journals, and it’s been really eye opening for me and helpful.
First of all, to see how far I’ve come as a business owner and just as a person in general. But second of all, it also has allowed me to recognize patterns of thinking and patterns of behavior in my life, some healthy and some unhealthy. And I never would have seen that had I not been reflecting, first of all, in a journal and writing things down, but also taking the time to go back and read through it to notice those patterns.
If you’re constantly looking forward onto the next big exciting thing, you’re missing out on a really great opportunity and some really good lessons that are going to save you time and help you build a more successful business in the long run. And even if you’re reflecting once a year or once a quarter, you can still look back on your answers to those questions and realize how far you’ve come and recognize patterns of thinking and behavior as well.
So it’s not something that you have to do every single day. Although the more often you do it, the more helpful it’s going to be. But at least at the end of the year to take the time and celebrate the things that you accomplish this year and remind yourself of how far that you’ve come before you instantly dive in to New Year’s resolutions and goal setting and what comes next.
And that’s all good, but I think it’s important to stop first and recognize where you’re at and celebrate all that you’ve done this year, because 12 months is a long time and I’m sure that you have accomplished way more than you’re giving yourself credit for. If you’re the stereotypical ambitious woman in business, then my guess is that you love getting things done. And as soon as you achieve something, you probably don’t take a lot of time to celebrate it before you move on to the next thing. If my experience, my friends in business and my clients have taught me anything, that is a pattern that I see in almost every woman in business. And again, end of year is just a special time to reflect. It’s a natural time where we’re inclined to reflect, birthdays and New Year’s Eve. We all are just naturally thinking about everything that happened in the last year. So take the time, grab that reflection workbook in the show notes and take some time to reflect.
I hope that this episode has given you a new way to think about slowing down for the holidays and some tangible tips and resources that you can use to spend this time as intentionally as possible, both for building your business and investing in your business during this season, but also in building the type of life that you want to starting with how you want to live during the holidays.
So thank you so much for tuning in today. I hope you take what you learned today and get 1 percent better this week.
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