What's Holding You Back?

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach dedicated
to helping you:

  • Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
  • Navigate setbacks or disappointments that make you better, not bitter.
  • Make a major life change that's exciting and scary at the same time.

Happy for the Holidays: 7 Ways to Savor the Season!

The holidays can go by very quickly, and if you’re not intentional, it’s easy not to make the most of the season. Research shows that “savoring,” intentionally living in the moment and noticing good things as they happen, creates positive emotion that can improve your health, happiness and relationships. So this year, savor the season! Here are seven ways to do just that:

1. Make decorating the tree an event, not a chore.
Create a meaningful, memorable tradition out of decorating the Christmas tree. Get the whole family involved. If you live alone, invite others over to take part. Turn on the Christmas music, cook or order in, have some hot chocolate, and take pictures. Have fun.

2. Give Christmas cards in person.
Now, this one is hard if you have 100 people on your list. So choose just a few people to hand deliver cards to. Drop by for a quick visit. It’s a great way to reconnect and adds a personal touch. With so many cards pre-printed with no personal acknowledgment inside, personally signing and delivering a card will make it heartfelt for the recipient.

3. Kiss under the mistletoe.

There are few better ways to savor than a sweet kiss!

4. Go Christmas caroling.
If you really want to get into the spirit, start singing. Whether it’s singing Christmas carols in your own neighborhood, at church or to the elderly at a local nursing home, the camaraderie and fellowship are a great way to savor the season.

5. Play Christmas music.
This is an easy one. Grab your favorite Christmas CD – is it the Temptations? Nat King Cole? Mariah Carey? – and enjoy the music. There’s no other time of year to listen to it, so between now and December 25th, play away!

6. Have a get together.
Celebrate the season with a get-together.
Whether it’s just three or four friends for coffee and conversation, or a Christmas party for 50, get together with the people you care about.

7. Worship on Christmas
In the midst of all the shopping and parties and gift giving, it’s all too easy to forget the reason for the season. Savor the season by going to worship services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or having your own sacred time at home.

My challenge to you this week:
Savor the season. From now until Christmas Day, commit to accomplishing at least 3 of the steps above.

Coaching question:
What will you do to ensure that you are able to enjoy the holiday season with those you love? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

Get Organized!

This week, I challenge you to get organized!


Life in today’s hectic world can move so fast that sometimes you can feel like you are doing great just to get through the day without falling behind. But being organized is a fundamental skill that makes it easier to live, work and play successfully. You may feel that you don’t have time to get organized, but the truth is, you don’t have time not to get organized. It is costing you more than you may think in time, money and energy with issues such as:


. Procrastination

. Chronic lateness

. Missed opportunities

. Lack of productivity

. Redoing projects and assignments

. Paying more for flights, bills, and expedited services


What steps can you take to get more organized over the next week?


1. Take a break.

It is impossible to get organized when you refuse to take time out to evaluate where you are and make a decision about where you want to go and how you want to get there. Can you imagine if football games offered players and coaches no time outs, no half time and no breaks between quarters? They need that time to re-organize before getting back into the game. To be effective, you need regular time to evaluate and get organized before moving forward.


2. Decide what you want.

Don’t organize your life to support a vision that you don’t want. If your life isn’t producing the results you want, it is quite possible that you haven’t organized it to produce the results you want. Decide what you would like to see happen differently in your personal and professional life. Pray for the wisdom to know what is best for you, and the courage to embrace it.


3. Decide why you want it.

Even more important than deciding what you want is deciding the purpose behind your desires. If your vision is to lose 20 pounds, the purpose is not losing the weight. The purpose is the outcome – perhaps it’s more energy, a more attractive body, or simply feeling more confident about the state of your health. Knowing why you want something gives you a compelling reason to change your behavior, and sustains you when you don’t feel like pressing on.


4. Set up systems to make it easier to achieve the result.  Identify what isn’t working well in your current lifestyle. Perhaps you’re frustrated because you never seem to have time to eat breakfast, or enjoy enough quality time with your children, or complete your new business development projects in a timely manner. Ask yourself, “What would make this easier for me to do?” Give yourself three minutes to brainstorm every idea that comes to mind – and if you need more ideas, ask someone else to brainstorm with you. Be open to learning from others – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to find the best way to organize your life. Choose the top one to three changes and replace the system that is not working with one that will.


5. Implement your new system.

There is no need to organize a system for yourself if you are going to go back to doing things the way you did them before. If, for example, you decide to get up 30 minutes earlier so that you can make breakfast and sit down for 15 minutes to eat with your children, then take action and do it. Many people are stuck at the planning stages of their dreams, but dreams come alive through action. Ecclesiastes 5:3 says, “A dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words.”


Take action to get organized so that you can strengthen the foundation on which your dreams are built. Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!