The holidays, in all their splendor, can also be a roller coaster of expectations, emotion and energy. For many, exhaustion is an inevitable part of the mix. The world doesn’t stop as you prepare for — and celebrate — the holidays. Deadlines still loom, bills still need to be paid and laundry still accumulates in the hamper.

executive coach Chicago time management

Time seems more elusive than ever.

What if you approached time differently — starting now? A renewed relationship with time could just be the best gift you give yourself, your family and your immediate world.

Dear Time,

Our relationship isn’t working for me anymore. Please don’t take it personally. It’s not about you; it’s about me.

I’ve come to realize that I’ve been unfairly blaming you for not being there for me … I didn’t go to the gym because “I didn’t have time.” I didn’t read enough books because “time didn’t allow.” And I didn’t register for that class because “time ran out.”

Because you and I are inextricably tied (until I run out of you), I’m going to make some changes in the way I treat you. In turn, I think you will treat me better.

For starters, I’m going to seek more balance in our relationship. I know now that I had given you too much control, leaving me feeling stressed, frustrated and, often, helpless. It’s time (sorry) to even the playing field. I respect that you can only give me 24 hours in a day, but I am going to purposefully and intentionally choose how to use them.

Guilt is no longer part of our bond. I will carefully choose the adjectives I put in front of you — idle, play, me, to name a few — recognizing that spending you on things that I used to deem passive or restorative are just as important as activities I label “productive.”

I also pledge to help you reach your potential. I’m going to identify the things that pose obstacles in our relationship, limiting my capacity to use you to your fullest promise. Multitasking, rushing and overexertion (mental and physical) don’t do either of us any favors. I get that now.

Most importantly, I vow to appreciate you more. In the present tense. I’m not going to ruminate about how I could’ve used you in the past, nor will I waste you by worrying about what could happen in the future.

I will respect you by being proactive versus reactive, choosing how I spend you in ways that align with my values, goals and priorities.

Thank you for always being there for me. I will no longer take you — the most precious collaborator in my life story — for granted.

I can’t wait to see the great things we can enjoy, accomplish and relish together in our new and improved relationship.

With love,


career coaching find more time

For more ideas on how to minimize holiday stress and maximize holiday joy, read 8 Holiday Sanity Savers.