Recently, a person in the user group asked if he should bring his DMD with him to visit his father during a trip for the Thanksgiving holiday. My response, “of course!”

Here’s why: Being focused is not all about work! It’s about taking a few moments to clearly set our intention for the day so that we live it how we want to live it. It also helps us from being sidetracked or railroaded.

Here are three ways DMD can help on Thanksgiving:

Preparing the meal: If you’re like me, Thanksgiving can be a lot of work. There’s a lot of coordination involved and, geez, if something goes wrong.

Using Define My Day helps me avoid mistakes and keep things in order so the holiday goes off without a hitch.

I use the to-do list at the beginning of the week to keep track of the little details. Those “to-do’s” get transferred to the column of the daily page on the day they need to get done. Things like purchasing groceries, thawing the turkey, or setting the table.

In the priority section, the entire week is a blend of work (it’s our busy season) and prep for the holiday. Today (Wednesday) I have the remaining work I need to finish plus the few things that need to be done today to prepare for tomorrow.

My priorities and “to-do’s” than get transferred to my iPhone calendar as appointments. Everything from sending this email to checking the turkey and injecting/seasoning it.

I also have activities with my kids blocked off today, household chores, and downtime including drinks and a movie tonight. I know that as long as I stay on task during the day, keeping the schedule I need to keep, I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the evening while also spending time with the kids throughout the day.

On Thanksgiving Day, I have my morning routine scheduled including reading, meditating, and DMD. Then, I have when to put the turkey in the smoker, etc. But, my Thanksgiving Day priorities are more about enjoyment.

Enjoying the day – Holidays can be stressful for some people. I have a lot of fond memories of time with family but I also know that food prep, running around, and fighting with family members can be a part of it too.

One of my priorities the day of is: “Enjoy the day” with tasks like:

“be present in conversations”
“take my time”
“don’t let cousin Larry trigger me”
“watch football”
“perfect is not possible” or “trainwrecks are fun to watch” lol

Actually, our Thanksgiving will be small this year so one of my tasks will be to “call family.”

How often do we get all pumped up for a holiday and then it goes by so fast that we feel bad about it? Especially if you’re preparing the meal, it seems like hours, or days, of work and then it’s over like that! Don’t forget to enjoy it!

Appreciating moments – By learning to appreciate my time with loved ones and accepting that it can’t be perfect, I’m much better able to quiet the voices wondering if the turkey was done well enough or if everyone is enjoying themselves.

I now focus on the time we have together. The little conversations we have with our boys and the laughs that happen when people get together over a drink at the bar.

By writing down what I appreciate at the beginning of the day, my mind is primed to see those moments as they happen and be more present in them.

Define My Day is the tool that helps me navigate any day in the manner I choose. Even holidays.

I certainly won’t be carrying it around with me and checking off, “not triggered by Larry” but I will sit down with it Thursday morning and go through my routine. When I do that, I know I’ll have the best Thanksgiving possible.