The Holiday Season seems to overwhelm us with overspending, overcommitting and overindulging; making the Holidays much more of a drag than a time of excitement. I am going to be addressing these three common grounds in the podcast today so we may find the balance of saying “yes” and “no”.
This season is supposed to be enjoyed and anticipated for, so today, on the two-part podcast I will be leading us in the conversation of these three categories that can make a huge difference in how we spend our season.
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How not to get derailed during the holiday season. More on that coming up next.
Overcoming The Stress of The Season
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show folks. Hope you’re having a fantastic day where you are, Today, We are talking about how not to get derailed during this season. Now we’re actually gonna do this in two parts. So today I’m going to be talking about three major categories, not overspending, not overcommitting, not overindulging. So those are three things that we’re going to be focusing on today, uh, with what I feel is some important information that you need to hear. And then on the next episode, we’re gonna talk about the emotional side of it, of, of, you know, some of you are going to be spending some time with some people that it’s gonna you’re going to need some healthy boundaries. Some of you might be the ones that need the healthy boundaries. So we’re going to talk about that next week as well. But today we’re talking about, um, not overdoing things and I’m not going to get all Scrooge on you in this episode, uh, but we’re going to talk about how to have an incredible holiday season without getting derailed, without, um, being stressed out without getting on the other side of it and going crud. Every year it hits me and it’s, it’s a pain in the butt. So the three major categories are again, um, spending, you know, how do we make sure that during this time of year where it is becoming more and more and more focused on the commercialization side of this season, how do we make sure that we don’t spend like crazy, you know, how to make sure that we’re not overspending on, on gifts or just stuff period. Because there’s so much pressure and so much, uh, you know, Hey, this time of year you’ll feel so much better if you just buy more stuff and you know, you have, you may have kids that are having high expectations because we didn’t set them well in the beginning of the year or, you know, whatever it is, whatever it looks like, how do we not overspend?
How do we not overcome it? We’ve got activities, we’ve got parties, we have family plans, we’ve got all kinds of stuff. And then I’m a very, very big piece. This is, this is the piece that people don’t understand very well cause not a lot of people talk about this. How do we not overindulge when it comes to food, especially the sugar, especially the cakes, the pies, the cookies, all of that stuff. Why is that so important? Because I can promise you, uh, that’s affecting everything else as well. It’s affecting how you respond. It’s affecting your happiness. It’s affecting how you make decisions. So can we get through this season without eating tons of crappy food, feeling terrible and without going way over budget and feeling we overextended and stressed out. We’re going to talk about that right after this.
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Perspective on Giving
So we’re back and we’re talking about overdoing things when you’re overspending, when you’re over-committing, when you’re overindulging most likely, unless those are your values you’re not living with in your values. Now you’re not living in line with your values. So here’s how to live out your values, even in holiday seasons and, and difficulties. And so we’re going to kind of talk about the action steps today. What’s the first thing you need to do now if you’re married or if you’re engaged or whatever, um, or if you have a really good, um, you know, accountability partner, then the first thing that we’re going to focus on is the spending side of stuff. So let’s just kind of talk about that for a moment. When it comes to spending, as you hear us talk about all the time here, your worth does not or should not come from the opinions of others. Well why do we spend so much money at this time of year? Why do we spend so much money on you know, gifts and you know, making people happy or putting decorations up, all that kind of fun stuff. Because we are basing a lot of our worth in the stuff, right? We base a lot of our worth in what we give to somebody. Did we get them the right present? Did we get the kids the right toys? I’ll never forget one day, uh, we were going through um, opening gifts and, and my nephew was autistic and as he opened up presence, he opened up one and he goes boring and throw to the side. And it was just a funny moment. Everybody just bust out laughing because we are looking at this situation and going really, I mean it’s an interesting perspective to see it from his side of things; where the gift was boring. What was, what was he looking for? He was looking for excitement out of a gift, and we are hoping that any gift that we give to anybody is going to bring excitement, that it’s going to bring more love from them, more appreciation from them, that they’re going to think more highly of us. Uh, some of you on the other hand, you’re like, Oh my gosh, I have to give stuff. I have to go buy stuff. I have to wrap stuff up. Either way. Start with, instead of overspending this holiday season, start with asking yourself the question, why are you doing it? Why are you spending money outside of a budget? If you, hopefully you have a budget, if you do not financial peace university, do it. Get in it. Go through the class, make it happen. Whether you’ve been in financial peace university or not. Uh, the, here’s the thing you need to know.
Why are you spending all this money this month? Why are you spending all this money during this season? If your goal is to worship God, I can promise you he’s not really impressed by the money you’re spending. That’s not what he’s looking for. He’s not looking for you to worship him by buying plastic things. He’s not looking to you to worship him and appreciate him and honor him by going ballistic, Spending a ton of money going into debt for some of you going into are actually probably a lot of you going into debt to buy people stuff under the name or the guise of worshiping God. So if you’re doing it in the thing you’re telling yourself is this is all about God. No, it’s not. It’s just not. Oh, Chris, you’re so wrong. You don’t understand how when I buy gifts for somebody, uh, it just brings them warm fuzzies and they feel so good inside and it’s, I’m showing them the love of Jesus. I don’t remember. Don’t remember anywhere in scripture where Jesus won people over by buying them gifts. Now maybe I’m wrong, of course I’m not. But how are you convincing yourself that by buying people gifts, you’re showing them the love of Christ. So really as you sit down as an individual, or what the spouse or with an accountability partner, whatever it is, start with why the, why am I or why are we choosing to spend all of this money? Now, with that said, caveat, if you got tons of money and you want to give people gifts, there’s nothing wrong with that, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about over spending right now and you could have lots of money and still overspend on buying people gifts, right? The key is if you’re feeling the pressure, if you’re convincing yourself that this is something you have to do, if you’re convincing yourself that if you don’t do this, you’re not honoring God in this time of year.
Purpose and Budget.
All of that stuff is lies. All of that is stuff that you’re telling yourself that you need to really work through. Why do I believe any of those things? Why do I believe that spending money on gifts, uh, you know, plastic stuff for people or stuff that people don’t even really want or even stuff that people really do want. Uh, maybe you buy somebody that great computer that they want. Why do I think that that’s honoring God? If that’s the lie you’re telling yourself, the lie you’re telling yourself is, if I don’t buy these things, these people won’t love me. Um, well, a, it’s either a lie. Yes, they’re still going to love you if you don’t buy them a bunch of stuff. Or if they don’t love you, why in the world are you spending your time focusing on that person in this way?
So no matter what it is, sit down and ask yourself, why am I spending this money? Why am I doing this? What is the purpose behind it? What is my belief behind it? I can tell you, for me personally, the best gifts that I have received have always been gifts of the heart. You know, somebody makes something or you know, somebody’s kid draws me pictures or somebody pulls something together. That’s like from a specific memory of something that I’ve experienced or me and that person have experienced together. Those have been some of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Don’t get me wrong. I love gifts. I love receiving gifts. I love giving. I’m a big gift giver. I give lots of gifts, but I always start with the question of why am I giving this gift? After you’ve walked through that, if you’re like, okay, well we’re going to be spending money, we’re going to be buying gifts and you know, this is still something we’re going to be doing. Great. We’ve got the why behind us. Great. We understand that. Where’s your budget? What should your budget be? If you have not been through financial peace university, if you are not living on a budget, if you are not spending every dollar next month, this month, uh, on paper, then sit your butt down and ask yourself a question. How much money do we have? What is reasonable to spend? What is money that we actually have? Don’t go to credit cards. Don’t go to debt to go buy people gifts. That’s just ridiculous. It’s amazing to me how much people will shop for a great deal online. We have these black Fridays, these cyber Mondays people will shop for a great deal online, put it on a credit card, and then pay 10 times the amount of what they purchased because they pay interest on this thing for the next two years, right? So that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Does it? So put down a budget, spend cash, spend the money that you have, right? Put down a budget, agree upon it, make sure it’s not going to affect your spending in any other way. Make sure that it’s not going to affect your household income. You know, make sure it’s not going to affect your, you know, your lights and putting food on the table and all that kind of fun stuff. Once you do that and you’re in agreement with your spouse or you know, girlfriend, boyfriend or whatever it is, you know, accountability partner, now you have a good parameter or at least a decent guard rail for you to go buy to spend. That will keep you, should keep you from overspending. Keep in mind if you have travel in there, then you’re going to have to count that as well.Are you flying? Are you driving somewhere? Are you staying at a hotel? All that kind of fun stuff that should help you to keep from overspending this holiday season.
Balance the Commitments.
Now over committing, what are you committing to? As you look at the next 30 days or however, whatever timeframe that you’re spending time committing to things need to ask yourself once again why this is going to be a theme. Why am I committing to the things that I’m committing to? So the saying, every time you say yes, you say no to something else is Abstastinkinly true, right? You cannot stretch out time in the day. Only God can do that. So since you can’t stretch out time in a day, you have to ask yourself, why are you committing to the things that you’re committing to? Is it again because you feel guilty? Is it because you’re afraid of losing worth? Is it because you’re trying to gain worth? Is it because you feel responsible for other people’s happiness? What’s the reason? What’s the why behind the commitments that you’re making? Sit down and start going through. Why am I committing to what I’m committing to? Start with the why. Because otherwise if you can’t figure this piece out, the what’s not going to matter, right? Why am I committing to these? Why do I feel like I need to, why do I feel like I need to be at this function, this thing over here, right? This party, this 17 parties, whatever it is. After you’ve come to a place of working through some of the lies that you’re probably telling yourself, Oh, if I don’t go over here, they’re going to be so mad at me. Oh I have to do this because otherwise so-and-so is not going to be happy. Whatever that stuff is. Then choose by prioritizing what is the stuff that you should go to or what you want to go to or what you feel is healthy to go to. So instead of over committing and then having to bounce from place to place and just stressing yourself out and not getting good rest. And you know, feeling in January like you need to take off all of January because of everything you did in December. Sit down and find out why you commit to what you commit to and then prioritize what you feel like you should or need or desire to commit to. And if there’s way more stuff than you can do, then those lesser prioritized things you don’t do. You don’t do them. You help people to understand you have other commitments. You have other things that you are doing that you can’t make it to these other things that you can’t make it to their party or you know, whatever’s going on. So sit down and again, define why, but then prioritize all the things that you feel like are potential commitments or things that people are asking you to commit to. Prioritize them, put them in place. What doesn’t make it doesn’t make it your health, your frame of mind. Uh, your stress levels, your energy levels are all going to be incredibly important to get through the season. Why? Because today it looks considerably different than it did 10 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago where we didn’t have as many commitments. Now we go ballistic during this time of year. We go crazy. It’s like the parents that have their kids in 17 different sports every single week. Why? Because some reason we feel like we’re bad people if we’re not doing all of this stuff and then we go and do all of this stuff to try and make people happy and then we feel horrible about ourselves and we had done, we don’t get good sleep and we don’t feel healthy and all that junk.
So guys, instead make a decision, choose to be healthy before you get through the month. Make sure that you’re setting yourself up to be healthy. Make sure that you’re setting yourself up to get the rest that you need. Make sure that you’re setting yourself up to spend time with God. Make sure that you’re setting yourself up to have a healthy season, not one that you get through and are once again tired of the season and ready to get be done with it because you need to sleep. You need to slow down. So focus on those things that will help you to keep from over-committing in this holiday season. Now the third thing overindulging.
Stop Overindulging for the sake of it.
There is a reason that we eat so much food right now. What we would normally say is because it’s good. Here’s where I’m going to step on a lot of toes, folks, a lot of toes. Now what you’re not going to hear me say is that you can’t eat anything unhealthy. That’s not what I’m going to tell you. It is the season. Uh, you know, if you do things well, and if you do it correctly, if you do it right, then you actually can feel halfway decent through this process. But there’s a lot of things I want to talk about that are negatives. First start with why am I eating all the stuff that I’m eating? Now, most people think, well, it’s there. It’s put out there. You know, what are the things that are in front of you during this season? 99.9% of the time sugar 99.9% of the time. This horribly processed thing that lights up the pleasure centers in your brain the same way that cocaine does, 99.9% of the time, the stuff that’s in front of you is the stuff that makes you feel happier for a period of time that makes you feel better about yourself for a period of time. I always think it’s funny because this has happened multiple times where people will bring sugar into an event, whether it’s Next Level Life or StratPlan. You could see people bringing in their bag of sugar, whether it’s you know, some sort of candies or something like that because they’re expecting stress, they’re expecting it to be tough and so their goal is that they will continue to light up the pleasure centers in their brain by eating sugar and still feel okay about themselves. Guys, that’s great. If that’s all that happened, if that’s all that happened, that would be one thing, but it’s not. Here’s what you are doing: You are absolutely killing off the good bacteria in your stomach and you are absolutely feeding the bad bacteria in your stomach. So while you put something in that lights up the pleasure centers in your brain and you feel better about yourself, what’s you’re also, and by the way, that may not just be sugar. It may not just be, well, it’s sugar, but I mean, it may not just be pies. It could be the, you know, 47 ounce Starbucks Frappaccino thing with the two pounds of whipped cream on top. That’s a, that’s a new item right now. Uh, just kidding. Uh, you know, it could be the, the coffee drinks that you’re doing. It could be the alcohol that you’re doing. It could be all kinds of stuff, right? When you’re off the good bacteria in your gut and you are growing the bad bacteria in your gut, what you’re doing is while you’re getting a moments happiness from the pleasure centers in your brain, you’re actually bringing on inflammation. You’re actually feeding a bacteria that is now growing in causing digestive issues. You’re actually creating what is going to bring on depression, anxiety, stress. So this is the crazy thing. People shove sugar into their bodies to feel better about themselves and then wonder why they’re depressed and then wonder why they have anxiety and wonder why they feel horrible about themselves and wonder why they’re down. Well, there’s a reason you keep putting stuff, You keep feeding your body the wrong stuff. That’s why so I am not saying that you can’t have a piece of pie. I’m not saying that you can’t have fun for the holidays. What I’m helping you with is understanding why this becomes so difficult when you are shoving in and what people do when they go shopping. What’s the first thing they do? Go get one of those sugary coffees, right? Go.
Let me go dump a bunch of sugar in myself so I can go walk around a mall for 17 hours and then eat crap while I’m there as well. When you put that stuff in, you start creating inflammation. You start creating digestive issues, you start creating more bad bacteria and killing off good bacteria, which starts sending signals to your brain to put more of the sugar in. Why? Because you’re feeding the very thing that is growing like crazy. When you do that, your mood swings. When you do that, your pleasure centers, when they’re not being full of sugar, you actually start to feel depressed. It is. There is so much information now that is tying depression directly to inflammation. I mean it’s, we’re not. Not a lot of people are talking about it, but there is a ton of research on it doesn’t take you long to go look it up.
Seek Health and Happiness
That depression, anxiety, these pieces come from what’s happening inside of your body. So if you want happiness, don’t get it for five seconds by shoving sugar in during this time. Don’t get it by overindulging, instead and still make really smart decisions. Eat clean, eat healthy, make smart decisions with whole foods. Make sure that you’re putting organic non GMO stuff in your body. Healthy stuff, not processed crap. That way when you eat that piece of pie or you eat that cookie or two or three, not the whole box, then you’re actually doing way better with your health. You can still feel good eating something that is got sugar in it, but it’s not destroying your body at that moment, right as if you ate all day long or every or you know, every place you go to or the cookies that are showing up in your office right now or whatever. So make smart choices, deny your body the sugar for a while. Eat clean, clean, clean, clean so that you can make the decision to eat something that’s not so clean. Just don’t keep eating all the not so clean stuff. If you will do this, then you will keep yourself from overindulging this season. And here’s the great thing. What’s the first thing that’s going to happen when we turn the beginning of the year, because of all of the stuff we’ve done to our bodies, we’re going to feel like we need to go, you know, fix everything. So here’s what people do. It’s, it just cracks me up knowing that they’re going to start working out in January and then they’re going to do that for five total weeks and then drop off again. They eat like crazy now, so they add on a whole bunch of bad stuff. They overindulge like crazy. Planning on going in, spending the whole next year working out, which literally if you look it up, I think it’s about the average amount of time in a gym starting after new year’s resolution is about five weeks, right? It’s about four or five weeks. So listen, don’t go pack on a whole bunch of bad, unhealthy weight only to not go work it off, right? Be smart. Make smart decisions. If you find yourself shoving a bunch of sugar and ask yourself the question, why am I doing this? Why am I putting this in my body? If you’re married, if you have an accountability partner, whatever, say, Hey, help me through this time. Help me not to put a bunch of Junkin. Now on top of this, this is, Oh, I forgot to mention this. Uh, I used to in the, in the December timeframe years ago, that was a time when, you know, people are sending things to the office. I’m eating all kinds of junk and I would get sick every single year. Every year in December, I’d get really sick by eating a bunch of sugar and it wasn’t until I actually discovered what I was doing that was causing the sickness that I was dropping my immune system like crazy that I was growing the bad bacteria and killing off the good bacteria in my stomach, that I was putting this junk in my system that was causing my, my digestion to get jacked up my liver to get jacked up my sinuses to get jacked up, that I would end up sick. Crazy thing. When I stopped eating a ton of sugar in the holiday season, I stopped getting sick. I’m not saying I haven’t ever been sick in this timeframe, I’m just saying what happened every single year. All of a sudden it happens once in a great while. So if you find that your kids get sick during this time, that you get sick during this time, take a hard look at what you’re putting in your bodies. Once again, not saying that you can’t eat a piece of pie. You can do whatever you want to.
End the Holiday Hangover.
My goal isn’t to be here to, you know, smack your hand with a ruler. My goal is to be here to give you the information that helps you to make smart decisions that helps you to be disciplined in the process. So eat your pie, spend time doing fun things during holiday events. Spend money if you’ve got it, but stick to the things that are values in your life. Keep these values in these areas and it will keep you happier. It will keep you healthier. It will keep your waistline smaller. It will keep your sanity, uh, much better in place. For most of you. Some of you, I’m sorry. You’re probably already out there on the fringe right now anyways. Uh, it will help you to keep doing what you really enjoy without feeling overextended. So don’t wake up in January. Stressed out with bills, feeling unhealthy and having a holiday hangover. Instead, make smart decisions in all three of these areas. Start with why. Why am I doing this? Then set up a plan to get through this time in the healthiest way you possibly can. Now, next week, we’re actually gonna talk about what it’s like to put in some healthy boundaries. Some of you are going to be spending time with family members, and for some of you it’s going to be fantastic and awesome and loving and great. And for some of you, you’ve been dreading this for weeks. So, next week we’re going to talk about how do we put in healthy boundaries with people that we’re going to spend time with and make sure that we keep ourselves healthy and keep ourselves from being toxic. Well, folks, hopefully this has helped you today. Thank you for joining me. I hope it has served you well. I encourage you to subscribe, rate, and share the podcast to help more people join our community. And as always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.