Comfort and Joy

McCauley and Wagner Christmases Past

December 1st!

 If you’re looking for tips on managing your h0liday to-do list, cookie recipes or a coupon code for free shipping … you won’t find it here. 

The holidays can be an exciting and beautiful time for family, friends, celebrations, and festivities. But for some, there are pressures around finances, strained relationships and the quest to “get it all done” by December 25th.

Let go.

A little.

I know people are busy, but I haven’t met anyone yet who has every single day of December booked for something.

Here are three ways to slow down and define what you want this holiday season and the coming year (decade!).  


If you anticipate you’re going to set some goals for yourself in 2020, you have to know where you’ve been in 2019.

It’s incredible what occurs within the span of a year. We hear people reference an event from our past and it seems like it was years ago … until we realize that it only happened in April.

If you want to absolutely-100%-guarantee positive changes

in any area of your life, then write every single day.

 The promise of that is worth at least 10 minutes of your time. 

Set aside some time for yourself to go all the way back to January 2019 and review your calendar for each month of the year. Look at all you’ve accomplished or have been a part of this year.

For each month, write down what you’re most proud of, or what meant the most to you out of all of the happenings that occurred.  

And if you really want to have some fun with it, choose a “theme song” for each month of 2019.

At the end of the exercise, you’ll not only have a beautiful reflection, but you’ll also have a 2019 soundtrack, too!


December may seem like a “connection” overload but look for ways to rethink it.

First, how can you connect to yourself? What are the places in your life this month that allow respite and time for reflection?

And if you’re feeling like you’re running on autopilot — or empty, there’s nothing that will offer you a more energizing wake-up call than connecting with your body.

Don’t wait until January to hit the gym or the pavement to move your body on purpose.

Your thought processes will be better, your stress levels lower, and energy more steady.

And even though family gatherings and parties might feel like a connection overload, consider reaching out to a friend or special family member and making plans for a face-to-face meet-up this month.

Carrie and me. December 6, 2018.

Sure, you may see one another at work or at special family gatherings, but the connection that happens when you steal away from the bigger holiday soirees can be more personal and meaningful.

My high school friend in that photo, Carrie Radford, came to Louisville for a brief visit last December. We kept messaging back and forth about meeting up in-person while she was here.

A lot of times, those well-intentioned exchanges on Instagram or Facebook Messenger fizzle out and turn into nostalgic apologies:  “I’m so sorry I missed you! I was so busy!”

Carrie and I kept our word.

We had not been in one another’s physical presence in almost twenty years — our daughters were babies the last time we spent time together.

We sat together in a coffee shop for almost two hours, told each other stories and how proud we were of the lives each of us had created. Two decades of female evolution is a powerful conversation.

That is Christmas to me.

Make a date to take an hour, have some coffee, and catch up on a deeper level. Experiences are often the best gifts to give or receive.


Remember that list you made of what you experienced and accomplished in 2019?

Close those chapters with pride; you lived another year of your wild and precious life.

Right now, you have the power to decide what is to come in 2020.

Find a lull in the post-Christmas week, take that time and begin creating your vision for the coming year. It’s your head start.

A vision board is a powerful representation of your goals and desires for your life in the year to come.

My Wagner / Heil family and made 2019 vision boards during Christmas week 2018

It’s playtime for you to look through old magazines (travel, fashion, lifestyle) and find images and words that give you a feeling of the direction you want your life to take.

Want to make it even more fun? Invite a small group of friends or family members to gather with poster board, magazines, scissors, paste — and maybe some celebratory New Year’s champagne — to create your 2020 vision boards.

Speak power to those boards and talk with one another about what your dreams for 2020 mean to you.

If you haven’t already connected with me online, you can find me here:

Facebook (personal) *send me a FRIEND request*

Facebook (professional) 


I post something almost every single day on social media that’s inspirational, motivational, educational or just plain “here’s a fun slice of my life.”


Have a great week!

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