What Less Can We Do?

Coll de la Traba, Catalunya, November 15, 2018

Some part of me remains hopeful. Hopeful that every Sunday morning, perhaps an idea, maybe a sentence, or even a single word might move one person to consider the steps needed to change behavior.

Here we are at the holidays. For many people, behavior change is considered off limits during this stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

“I can handle my holidays just fine, thank you very much.”

I hear you. The traditions and indulgences of the season pull at each of us differently and in striking ways. I would be okay not sharing my experiences from just a few years ago — I was the poster child of pretending that what I do pre-January could be set straight on January 1.

My holiday season would start with good intentions. Yet, whenever I found myself at a standstill or bumping into obstructions, I would push on the gas a little harder. Run the engine a little higher.

What this actually did was add more pressure on top of my already overloaded system. Holiday traditions and indulgences became my go-to fix.

Then I had a revelation. Why not use Thanksgiving week to begin a new holiday tradition? A tradition that has grown and includes my family and friends and many of the readers here at Sunday Morning Joe.

Instead of asking “What more can we do?” We ask “What LESS we can do?”

Instead of adding, what can we subtract?

Before getting into the specifics of what to subtract, let me be clear about the start line of where I want to be when the holidays are over:

When 2018 becomes 2019, I will continue the same physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual morning routine that I practice and value on every other single day of the year.

In other words, the New Year is NOT a massive reset for me — with big goals, new actions, and huge changes — it doesn’t need to be, since the year or even weeks leading up is a series of small, mindful choices.

So, back to the subtraction. Here are some simple ideas. Even if you pick one, you’ll make a substantial impact on yourself, and perhaps others, during the holiday weeks.

-1. Consumption

At the top of the list is the subtraction of new toys, processed foods in the grocery cart, and an over-focus on the daily news. Typically, these consumables interfere with the true intentions of the season — which I believe are simplicity and tranquility.

-2. Sit-around gatherings

The gathering part is nice, but too often these events swing back to the pitfalls of consumption. Holiday invitations can be difficult to turn down. Try to replace at least one “RSVP-yes” with a text to a friend to schedule an “after work” or moonlight walk outdoors at the exact time the sit-around gathering is underway. Start a new tradition that replaces “sit-around” with “active.” Gather friends or workmates together to go walk, run, play, serve, sing, contribute, ski, or clean.

-3. Push & Pull

Take a break from the “push and pull” of the season. It is okay to say *no thank you* to at least one request each day during the season. That time then becomes yours for positive self-investments. Your daily practice needs you more than ever when the days are short and hours seem rushed.

What remains after these three subtraction opportunities?

Less. Which is the best kind of more.

With gratitude,


Do you know somebody who would benefit from reading this post? Consider sharing What Less Can We Do? using THIS LINK and the hashtag #LessIsMore.

Where the Essence of Joe Jacobi’s Olympic Gold Medal Habits, Mindsets, & Cultures of Excellence Transform Your Performance in Business and in Life

Hi, I’m Joe, the owner of 5 With Joe Performance Coaching. My clients are leaders, organizations, and teams who utilize my Olympic Gold Medal performance strategies and 40 years of navigating whitewater river rapids to streamline decision making and actions when engaged in complicated river currents of business and life.

The best way to interact with me is through Sunday Morning Joe, my weekly newsletter that explores the art of improving performance, overcoming challenge, and aligning with purpose for Sunday readers in search of more depth and motivation. Subscribe HERE for free.




Olympic Gold Medalist & Performance Coach helping leaders & teams perform their best without compromising their lives. http://joejacobi.com/5-with-joe/

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Joe Jacobi

Joe Jacobi

Olympic Gold Medalist & Performance Coach helping leaders & teams perform their best without compromising their lives. http://joejacobi.com/5-with-joe/

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