The Ultimate Gift

Pandemic or not, there is no slowing the quick descent into the holiday season.  And regardless of the holidays you and your family choose to celebrate, the reality is that most of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle. And with that comes pressure. The pressure to buy all the right presents, plan all the favorite meals, and coordinate the memorable events.

During a time of year that should be about bringing people together, celebrating family and friends, and enjoying some extra time off, we tend to lose sight of the more meaningful opportunities and focus on the superficial. According to University Hospitals, 62% of people say their stress level increases during the holidays. This is primarily caused by gift shopping, crowds, cleaning, cooking, and financial strain.

According to a Gallup study, the average American adult will spend $942 on holiday gifts for others this year. Each of us will average 42 hours of holiday shopping. And holiday spending will likely exceed $730 billion.

Don’t get me wrong. I am certainly not advocating doing away with the holidays, traditions, or family fun. But while you are thinking of others planning those special moments, and putting together the perfect meal, I urge you to take the time to also give yourself a gift. What is it that makes you happy? What is it that you would do if you had a day to yourself? What habit do you want to start?

When I make this suggestion to people, they sometimes do not know where to start. While The BUILD Framework® is often talked about and applied on a professional level to business leaders and their employees, it is designed to be used on a personal level as well.

When we talk about BUILD, we are talking about 5 basic components:

Build Relationships. When was the last time you thought about the relationship you have with yourself? Are you listening to and addressing your needs and wants? Are you giving yourself credit for all that you accomplish? Are you maintaining a healthy level of personal dreams and goals?

Understand the Business. When was the last time you evaluated the business of being you? What is it that you do for others and yourself? What are your responsibilities? How efficient and effective are you being? Are there adjustments that can be made to make your life easier and more fulfilling?

Implement Strategies. Once you have addressed the relationship you have with yourself and the business of being you, it’s time to put strategies in place. What can you do to ensure you are able to workout and read every day? What can you do to reduce your anxiety and stress? What daily steps can you put in place to start pursuing those goals and dreams?

Lead & Inspire. While we are often our own worst critic, we have the capacity to be our own best advocate as well. You owe it to yourself to reaffirm your worth and effort every day. You owe it to yourself to surround yourself with people that do the same.

Deliver Excellence. In reality, you are not going to be able to do all the things you want or feel you need to do. Guess what? That’s okay. It is about being proud of what you do, not how much you do. Take time to embrace the present and put all of yourself into it and let the rest go.

So, during this holiday season, consider giving yourself the ultimate gift and BUILD yourself up.

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