Tis the season for Christmas carols, holiday songs, special baked items, parties, Christmas decorations, special Christmas programming and the like. If you’re living in the United States it’s mighty hard to turn a corner without hearing the ringing bell of the Salvation Army standing on street corners or outside of businesses. By now you may have even received a few cards in the mail from a family member, friend, or even your insurance agent!

As I have grown older, the Christmas season has lost some of its luster for me. I no longer wonder which items from the Sears catalog (throwback!) are going to be waiting for me under the tree when I wake up. Actually, I don’t think I’ve had a tree for the last couple of years. So much has changed in my life.

For the last four Christmas seasons, I found myself working long hours at various jobs and spending many more hours thinking about where I am in my life. While I am very much aware of who the season is all about (Jesus!), it’s one that takes on a reflective tone for me as I prepare for the new year.

On Christmas Eve, I often find myself thinking of the things that went wrong during the year and how I, amazingly, was able to keep moving forward. I’m grateful that society is forced to shut things down causing me to slow down as well.

This Christmas…..I’m not thinking of mistletoe (yes, I am….tell the truth, Brandy! lol) but I am thinking of 2015. As I began to lay out goals and strategic methods to achieve those goals, I have one thing on my mind: success. However, I have to be realistic about the challenges I’ve faced that have been holding back this year.

Challenge #1:

I like to help people. It’s a personality trait that I inherited from my dad. If you need something and my dad can help you, he is there. However, there are times when I can help too much. I need to establish boundaries in my relationships with people to ensure that my desire to help doesn’t put me in an unhealthy place. When I have established boundaries, my life maintains the proper balance and that’s what I desperately need!

Challenge #2:

I am a planner. I enjoy writing things out in a day planner or journal. Checklists and I get along famously. However, I have a challenge keeping things in order. So while I may meticulously write down a strategic plan one week, the following week I can’t find the journal I wrote it in. One of the things that can prevent me from keeping things in order is challenge #1. If I am running around here, there, and every where else, then it will be difficult for me to devote the time needed to maintain order in my life. I have tons of great ideas, but if I can’t bring order to my life those great ideas will never find themselves past the journal stashed in the purse that’s thrown in the back of my closet. #preachBrandy #getyourhouseinorder #doittoday #hashtagabuse

Challenge #3:

My comfort zone is……COMFORTABLE! Goodness! I find it so fascinating how easy it is to remain within a comfort zone when our human nature is designed to adjust to discomfort. From the day we were formed in our mother’s womb, we were ever changing and developing past the limits of our previous comfort zone. But at some point we embrace that comfort level a little too much, preventing ourselves from moving forward.

Hmmm…..but not anymore!

This Christmas……..I vow to live a balanced life that includes time spent developing myself academically, physically, professionally, and spiritually as I pour into the lives of others.

This Christmas……..I vow to yield to the power of “no” and “yes” as they relate to the things I allow into my life.

This Christmas…..I vow to continue the habit of “punching fear in the face” as I pursue aspects of my dreams and goals that push me past my comfort zone.

 

What are some challenges you’ve faced in your personal or professional life this year? How can you overcome those challenges in the coming year? Comment below and let’s move forward together.