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Examining Obligation

Lori Saitz Images December 2022

Gratitude Thought Leader: Lori Saitz

The conversation in my networking group earlier this month started out with the question, “Are you sending holiday cards or gifts to clients this month?”

“Never stopping to examine if these “traditions” serve them in any way.”

Out Of Obligation:

And for those who are, “WHY are you doing that?” Is it out of obligation? Habit? If everyone is sending stuff this month, will people even notice if you don’t? What if you sent words and tokens of your appreciation at a different time of year, when you could stand out and they would be remembered?

For many people, this time of year gets even more stressful than the rest of the year. In part, because they take on obligations and attempt to meet expectations set by others – never stopping to examine if these “traditions” serve them in any way.

Examples may include:

  • Sending holiday cards to everyone you’ve ever met,
  • Decorating every square inch of your home with snowmen, lights, and nutcrackers,
  • Hosting the big meal,
  • Traveling back to your hometown for the annual reunion of people you don’t even like, or
  • Participating in the white elephant gift exchange.

Commitments Or Habits:

If you LIKE doing these things, keep doing them! There’s nothing wrong with any of them, or any other traditions.

However, the challenge to you is to ask yourself if these commitments or habits are:
1.     bringing you joy
2.     getting you the results you want

“Generations before us washed their clothes by hand in a river, but you’re not still doing that.”

And if the answers are no, why are you continuing to do them? Because that’s the way I’ve always done things is NOT A GOOD ANSWER. Do you dare reevaluate what you do simply because it’s what you – and generations before you – have always done? Generations before us washed their clothes by hand in a river, but you’re not still doing that. 

Don’t Feel Obligated:

What else might you do instead that you enjoy more and could become a new tradition?

Might I suggest you sit quietly for a few minutes each evening and recall events from your day that you’re grateful for. You can write them in a journal if you’re so inclined, but don’t feel obligated to do that. You can simply reflect. There’s no reason to drag old habits, traditions, and obligations into the next year, or even next month, if they no longer serve you.

If you are living out of a sense of obligation you are slave. ~ Wayne Dyer

Make today the day you break the chains and feel the glorious sense of freedom – what a glorious gift for your New Year.

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Lori Saitz Gratitude Expert

About the Author:

Lori Saitz loves sharing the power of gratitude and meditation with entrepreneurial professionals who hire her to help them boost business success and achieve life goals faster – without working harder. She is the CEO of Zen Rabbit, host of the podcast “FINE is a 4-Letter Word,” and a sought-after speaker. When she’s not working, you can find Lori in the weight room at the gym, because she also loves baking and eating. See more at the Zen Rabbit website and connect with her on LinkedIn. Let’s get on a free call and I’ll help you! Use this booking link to set a time: https://calendly.com/zenrabbit/call-to-connect-45.