Create your balance. Design your life.

Give Yourself the Gift of Less Stress 

origin_5279488614A busy holiday season is upon us, and New Year’s resolutions are right around the corner. It’s easy to get caught up in a frenzy of over-spending, over-eating, over-celebrating, and plain old over-doing…and when you come out the other side, there’s this idea that’s planted on our heads every year about setting some goals to be better, or to do better, in the months to come.

For some, setting New Year’s resolutions are a joy: they imagine the projects they will take on, outline goals and action plans, and maybe add a vision board or inspirational planner to the mix.

For others New Year’s resolutions are another chance to look at “what still needs to be done” or “what I didn’t get around to/do right/do enough of this year.” A time to measure lack rather than engage with inspiration. It can be easy to fall into some tension or letdown here, right on the heels of holiday mayhem.

I’m not going to list out the pros and cons of these two strategies, or how to switch from on camp to the other. You can teach yourself more about that with some internet searches for things like “intention setting” or “mind mapping” or “bucket list”. I’m not going to suggest opting out, either (of course you can do whatever you want).


I suggest, instead, making some now. Not resolutions for next year, but resolutions about here and today: about how you want to finish off 2014. Is there something you’ve been putting off? A certain way you want to spend this time? A project that you swore you’d start, or habit to break or integrate? Start now. Take one step.

When stress is defined as the difference between who you are and how you behave or express, there is fundamental stress in pushing through busy holiday activity when you really want or need some peace and quiet; Likewise in spending a lot of time alone, if you are craving connection. There is stress inherent in putting off taking just one step forward with that dream project, or away from something you dislike, or leaving a mess on the floor if you desire it clean.

Taking one step forward, at a time, in alignment with your intention or resolution for what you want to create, over time, adds up to many steps. As you take action where you are to move closer to where you want to be, stress can melt away. Instead of starting off with “how was I last year” or “what do I want a year from now”, all it takes is beginning with now. Start with who and where and how you are right now, and then consider how you want to be in proximity or response to all that.

And then step forward,


And then do it again.

Drop me a line – I’d love to hear where you’re going.


About the Author:


Jen Kahn MS, RYT is an Integrative Wellness Specialist with a focus on chronic health conditions, stress management, and emotional eating. Through the blessings of modern technology she works with clients all over the world in private consultation and through online workshops. Her website is currently under construction, but you can find her latest event at or contact her by email: When she’s not working with clients, running events, or writing, she can be found biking, cooking, painting, snuggling with her cats or doing nothing at all in the Pacific Northwest.


Present photo credit: <a href=”“>305 Seahill</a> via <a href=”“>photopin</a> <a href=”“>cc</a>

Times Square New Year’s Ball photo credit: <a href=”“>Atomische * Tom Giebel</a> via <a href=”“>photopin</a> <a href=”“>cc</a>

Road photo credit: Jen Kahn,

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