Applying the “top three” approach to the holiday season

Confession time:

I created a beautiful Advent planner that I’ve shared with all of you. I’ve spoken and written about getting intentional by planning for Advent and the Christmas season. I know how quickly the Christmas season hits and drowns out all good intention if you aren’t ready for it. And yet, I have still not made a plan for myself and my family for this year!

Advent is only five days away now. I could choose to let overwhelm and the feeling of being behind take over. I could throw my hands in the air and succumb to the craziness of the season. OR I can take a few minutes today to actually write out our plan and gather Truth in the Tinsel resources to be ready. It’s not too late for you either.

Figuring out what is actually important is one of the hardest things in creating these holiday plans, at least it is for me. This is a skill that I find challenging year-round, however, I have been improving through practising the “top three” approach in my daily planning. You identify the top three most important tasks that you want to get done that day; the ones that you would be really disappointed at the end of the day if they were left undone. Yes, you likely have more than three tasks on your list but this forces you to look past the unimportant and even the urgent sometimes to see the tasks that will actually make a difference in building the life you are wanting. It’s not about achieving crazy big goals each day. It’s about simplifying and focus.

I first learned about this approach in Hello Mornings groups but did not practise this consistently. I have made a renewed effort to implement it over the past few weeks due to two changes. I have joined a mastermind group where we can check in daily with our top three, which helps me keep myself on the hook for getting them done. I have also bought myself a Full Focus Planner for next year, which uses this same approach, and have been familiarising myself with it.

(If you want to get yourself one, you can click here for US$10 off which gives me credit to spend on my next planner too– win-win!)

As I started the process of looking at our December calendars and working out our Advent plan, I realised that this is the perfect opportunity to apply the “top three” principle. We could easily fill our days to bursting and fill our wish list of activities to the point of feeling stressed and disappointed with not getting it all done. I want to keep it simple and focused. That might mean that some days have very little Advent or Christmas in them as the top three for that day involves the important everyday life tasks around work, school and commitments. That’s OK. When I can identify that in advance, I can plan around the busy days. I can also be intentional with making sure my top three includes family time so that I don’t get caught up in all I need to do and forget that they are my focus in this season too.

How would applying this “top three” approach change your view of your holiday plans?

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