Taking the Reins: Holiday Control

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Managing this modern life can be very challenging.  It can be especially challenging during the holiday season.  After all, there will be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting and carolers… oh, the carolers.  This is the time of year when being organized is critical.  Even the slightest misstep could land you back at the mall or supercenter with the mob of holiday shoppers.

To thwart the stresses of the season we have included a list of possible solutions for the three biggest control issues at hand.  Surely, there are other stresses, but if you can take control of these things you will be much better prepared to tackle the other stuff… like how to have Aunt Tina and Cousin Larry at the same party without having to hire security.

savour… guiding your own sleigh

Get the rest after jump…

Holiday Control

Shopping

  • Make      a budget – Hopefully you already have the money saved up from last      year.  If you don’t, decide how much      you can spend comfortably and stick to it.
  • Make      a list – Work within the decided budget to make gift choices.  If you have a more expensive gift in      mind for one recipient, you may have to lower the allocation for the      others on the list.  Prioritize your      list by amount and gift type (family vs. co-workers).  Be sure to include any “Secret Santa”      gifts for which you will be responsible.
  • Use      cash – If you set aside a pre-determined amount of cash you will be less      likely to overspend.  Stick to cash      only and save your receipts.
  • Stay      out of the store – If you aren’t at the mall, they won’t be able to lure      you into impulse purchases.

Weight Control

  • Don’t      skip meals – While this may seem like the solution, it actually works      counter to what is best for weight control/loss.  You still need 5 or 6 small meals per      day to keep your “fat furnace” burning.
  • Eat      high fiber foods before you head to the party – High fiber foods like      whole grains “fool” your stomach into thinking that you are full.
  • Eat      small portions of the foods you love – The holidays bring on lots of tasty      foods.  Don’t deprive yourself of      your favorites.  Do, however, stay      in control.  Just have smaller      portions of the things you love to enjoy the experience.
  • Stay      away from the buffet – I don’t guess I need to explain this one.  Buffets are dangerous.
  • Drink      plenty of water – Don’t slack on this during the holidays.  Not only does it affect your body in so      many positive ways, it also helps to “fool” your stomach into thinking you      are full.
  • Keep      healthy snacks at work – It’s hard enough to stay focused on eating      right.  Now toss in co-workers bringing      in treats or missing lunches to cover vacationing collegues.  These variables make it very difficult      to stay on track.  Having sensible      snacks on hand will make it easier for you to keep hunger at bay.
  • Keep      exercising – Even if you can’t do the full version of your workout, be      sure to get some regular exercise 4 or 5 times per week.
  • Pick      yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again – People slip.  If you have a weak moment… or day… or      week, don’t beat yourself up.  It is      never too late to get on track.       Recommit to your goals and start again.

Expenses

  • Plan      ahead – Write it all down.  Think of      everything that will require some of your holiday money.
  • Make      a budget – Estimate the cost of the items on your list. Make any necessary      adjustments now.  This might mean      cutting something.
  • Consider      a potluck party – Hosting a holiday party can be quite expensive.  By throwing a party with a more      cooperative feel, you can cut down the cost dramatically.  To reduce costs even further, try a      punch instead of a full cocktail service.
  • Plan      for shows and attractions – Decide which shows you will see.  If you want to try something new, you      might consider doing it in lieu of your traditional show or concert.
  • Pay      your bills… on time – The holiday season is a very hectic time.  It is easy to forget to pay the      bills.  While it might not have an      immediate impact on your holiday budget, the late charges could add up to      a painful level.  Be diligent and      put these dates in your calendar or pre-schedule them through your online      banking service.