I woke up this morning and for the first time in a while, life had finally slowed down enough for me to take a good hard look at the calendar, and just like that, I realized I was standing knee-deep in the month of December. If this was any year prior, I would be totally unprepared for what was soon to commence.
Don’t get me wrong, like most people, the holiday season is my favorite time of the year. The lights, the food, the gifts – there isn’t much that beats a season of family, love and giving. But also like most people, I am usually so completely caught off guard, that before I know it, it’s already mid-December, and I have not bought a single gift, hung a single ornament, or even slightly prepared to put on my happy face and play hostess for my in-laws coming into town. But lucky for me, this year was all different because I had agility training under my toolbelt.
Putting Agility to Work This Holiday Season
This year, a stroke of brilliance came over me, and I remembered some valuable lessons from TRACOM’s Adaptive Mindset for Agility Course, and thus, created a video to help others in a similar bind. Beginning in November I started planning my holidays, taking control rather than letting them control me, and putting my agility training to practice in a new way.
Three Agility Tips to Help You Conquer the Holidays is exactly what you need to knock this holiday right out of the park. Yes, grand slam. There will be no mimicking of what you did last year, but instead, these tips will get your creative juices flowing and help you think a little more out of the box to make this year’s holiday absolutely spectacular.
Tip 1. Think of the craziest idea… and run with it. Many of us have awesome ideas, but we don’t share them because we think others might think they are corny or dumb. This is known as the status quo bias. But many times, it’s those very unique ideas and moments that are the most cherished for years to come, so why not do something a little out of the ordinary? Go caroling, go on a holiday scavenger hunt, play capture the flag in the snow. These memories will be the best gifts your family receives this holiday season. Learn other cognitive biases related to agility here.
Tip 2. In a gift-giving rut? Don’t know what your 14 year old niece or your 75 year old uncle wants for Hanukkah? Set constraints on your gift-giving to inspire creativity. This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but research tells us that when we place constraints on ourselves we can actual harvest some original ideas we would have never thought of without the constraint. Some examples of gift giving constraints can include: only give presents made from recycled materials, or only purchase presents that are purple, are handmade or cost less than $40.
Tip 3. Create a pre-mortem for the in-laws coming to visit. Think back to the classic, “A Christmas Carol” written by Charles Dickens. The novel turned movie features three ghosts, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. When we create a pre-mortem we are allowing Ghost of Christmas Future to transport us to where the holidays are over, and we can see what went wrong. It looks like Uncle Jeff brought up politics, oh always such a fun topic to discuss with extended family members, dad brought up money, and you clashed with your mom while trying to bake Christmas dinner. A pre-mortem allows you to work backwards by thinking of everything that could go wrong and allowing you to create a list to curtail any failures that might arise. For example, you will be prepared for uncomfortable conversation topics by brainstorming appropriate responses to end discussions in a polite and respectful manner, you rent movies, buy sleds and purchase new board games to interrupt any remaining awkward conversation topics. You ask your mom for recipes ahead of time and take inventory of the pans, pots, plates, and ingredients you have available and what you might need to go buy or ask people to bring with them.
We often imagine everything that could go wrong and just simply worry without action. By actually sitting down and constructing a list of what could go wrong, and then addressing each issue, we allow ourselves to take measures into our own hands and intercept any fiascos that could arise.
This advice is applied from our agility training model which teaches people to create positive change by taking control and being proactive, rather than reactive to change and stress. When we are agile we foster change and creativity without waiting for it to be thrust upon us.
Agility is a highly important skill during the holidays, but that isn’t the only time or setting when it’s useful. In fact, agility skills have become a core topic among business executives and have been distinguished as one of the essential skills in business today.
If you are ready to learn more about TRACOM’s Agility program click here.
In the meantime, we wish you a Happy Holidays, from TRACOM to you.