What are your 5 Christmas ‘Critical Success Factors’?

We humans are complex creatures and we each make sense of the world in very different ways as a result of our upbringing, experiences, values, beliefs, previous decision-making, and inherent internal wiring including thinking/learning styles and ‘meta-programs’. What makes, breaks or enhances a new experience varies between us significantly, and this is heightened at Christmas when we share this together and there is added pressure to achieve ‘perfection’ (…but whose perfection?!).

If you had to distil down what really ‘makes’ Christmas for you, what would really ‘break’ it if it was missing, ‘the difference that makes the difference’ for you, what would this be? There are likely to be a number of things, and if you knew what these were for yourself, your loved ones and those you will be sharing Christmas with, how much easier would it be to be able to focus on those and not worry about the other things?

To elicit your own 5 ‘Critical Success Factors’, think about the times when you have had a really great Christmas in the past and start drawing up a list: what springs to mind about those experiences that made them really special for you? It may help to think of examples within the 5 senses: things you saw, heard, tasted, smelt and felt. As you draw up a list you may notice that your examples fall into certain of these categories more than others – this relates back to your internal wiring as mentioned earlier.

Once you have your list of ‘Success Factors’, it’s time to whittle these down to your top 5 ‘Critical’ ones; these will be the ones that somehow really enhance your Christmas experience when included, and seem to deflate you if missing. When you’re ready to share your list, listen without judgement or trying to mind read – allow each person to explain each of their factors in their own way; remember these are the really important ones for them as yours are for you. And this is where it becomes really interesting as you find out things that you may be stressing about that actually don’t even get noticed by others, and conversely, things you didn’t even think about or put any effort into making a real impact for someone else. You can learn a lot about each other as well as yourself, and when children are involved too there are often some real surprises that pop out!

Knowing everyone’s ‘Critical Success Factors’ allows you to appreciate each other’s individuality, and when handled with care, with trust and respect, it’s a special kind of gift. You can even try experimenting and adding additional experiences this time and see what difference it makes.

Wishing you all a peaceful and magical Christmas!