I love this time of year because I love seeing so many signs out and about saying things like “Peace” and “Joy”. These are words that most of us don’t use — even though deep down they point to what we’re all wanting more than anything else.

For many these words just blend into the other superficial decorations of the season — like a drunk fat guy in a red suit holding a sign saying “Huge Sale!”.

But what other time of year would it be socially acceptable to put a big flashing sign in your yard that says “Joy”? This reveals a mindset that’s easy to slip into…

“I strive and bust ass all year and then hopefully find a little peace and joy at the end.”

In other words – Peace and Joy are a place to get to. They’re only acceptable at certain times like Christmas, or retirement, or once all of the other stuff is done (which is never).

But here comes the new year! A new you! A new race! And a collective surge to create a huge big list of stuff to change and achieve.

”Peace and joy? Not yet. I gotta get all of this stuff done first.”

Along with the excitement and hope for the new year is the anxiety that comes from trying to carry 15 gallons in a 10 gallon bucket. And after a few months (days?) many of us are exhausted, frustrated, and turning the blade on ourselves for coming up short.

No Joy. No Peace.

So here’s a reminder to myself that I’ll share with you:

Joy and Peace are not a place to “strive for”. They’re not on the other side of a fiscal year, completed to-do list, ideal body fat percentage, or a fat bank account (even though those things are nice).

Joy and Peace are to be cultivated. They are the place to “come from” instead of “get to”. They are the foundation for creating our best lives. It just takes practice.

There’s no need to deprive ourselves of joy and peace today. There’s no need to motivate ourselves through fear, disgust, scarcity, or shame. Keep an eye out for the collective urge to place peace and joy beyond a “finish line” that will rob you of that experience today.

I hope that you and the ones you love have a wonderful holiday season.

Much love and gratitude,