The Holiday Mind-set

Many adults have fond memories of the holiday season while for some, the holidays can create emotional turmoil. As an adult, we can now choose to make your own memories. We can choose to either enjoy the holiday season or allow it to create negativity and stress.

When I think back to childhood holidays I have some mixed emotions. Some family gatherings were stressful, especially if certain relatives had too much “holiday spirit.” Then I think back to the special times with my mom and dad and I smile with the fond memories.

I’ve learned over time that enjoying the holidays involves both an unconscious and conscious mind-set. American Heritage Dictionary defines mind-set as: 1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. 2. An inclination or a habit.

Let me ask you this: Do you go into the holiday season with a positive and grateful mind-set? Or, is your holiday mind-set negative and melancholy? Today as an empowered adult, you have the power to change what’s no longer serving your life into something more positive, joyful and productive. 

The unconscious (subconscious) mind is a storehouse of memories. You tap into these memories during the holiday season. Your unconscious mind remembers the happy moments and the negative ones.  If the holiday season becomes frustrating, unhappy or argumentative then there may be unconscious negative memories controlling your mind-set.

Have you unknowingly and unconsciously programmed yourself not to enjoy the holidays? Have the holidays become an emotional struggle?

The majority of holiday memories were formed in childhood. These are the memories you consciously and unconsciously remember during the holiday season and emotionally honor as tradition.  

Over the years, holiday habits have been formed, expectations set and routines locked firmly in place. It is up to you to decide if these habits, expectations and routines are serving you positively as an adult.

If you are NOT enjoying the holidays then ask yourself:

1. Growing up, what are the most vivid memories I have of the holidays? List ten positive childhood memories and ten negative memories you have about enjoying or not enjoying the holiday season. This exercise should help uncover the holiday “treasures” locked deep in your unconscious mind.

2. What am I doing today, as an adult, to perpetuate negative holiday memories? Recognizing that you’re continuing to honor the memories and habits that create the negativity is a first step to changing what isn’t working into habits that encourage happiness and joy. Name one unhappy or negative holiday habit or tradition that this year you will change for the positive. Who will you speak with about changing this habit – relatives, spouse or friends? Change begins one small step at a time.

3. What will I do to institute a new more positive habit this holiday season? If you want to enjoy the holidays more, create a happier and more joyful tradition for your family and yourself. It can be something like family movie night or going out to eat for the holiday instead of cooking. These are your traditions and habits, so choose the ones that make you smile.

If enjoying the holiday season is a mind-set, what will your mind-set be like this year? Will you be reactive or proactive when it comes to making this year’s holiday memories positive, happy and joyful?


This article was originally published by Sharon Michaels in the Self-Development section of

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I’m Sharon Michaels and my business is dedicated to empowering and coaching women in business. I show women entrepreneurs how to build a financially successful business by empowering themselves and enhancing their business-building skills.

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