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  • Writer's pictureMarcy Kocher

How Do You Want to Feel?

My husband and I took a road trip the weekend before Thanksgiving, and we used the time in the car to plan for the holidays.

We planned menus, grocery lists, gift ideas, parties, etc.

But most importantly, we planned how we wanted to feel.

I asked him, “How do you want to feel on Thanksgiving?”

It was a great conversation, and together we decided we wanted to feel grateful, generous, and engaged.

We chose how we wanted to feel ahead of time.

We didn’t allow unforeseen circumstances to dictate our feelings.

The truth is we can’t control circumstances or people.

The weather could be bad; sickness can occur, the oven could break (true story).

People might not show up, or someone could be rude or grumpy or talk about politics or, God forbid, vaccines.

But none of that dictates how you feel.

Only your thoughts about it determine how you feel.

And good news! Your thoughts, feelings, and actions are always in your control.

Knowing what you are in control of helps you plan wisely.


We wanted to feel grateful, generous and engaged no matter what happened, so we planned our thoughts ahead of time.

We chose to think thoughts like,

Our life is so good, and we have so much to be grateful for = grateful.

We love to share our home, food, and time with our loved ones = generous.

Our kids are grown, and we want to enjoy every minute we have with them = engaged.

These thoughts created the feelings we needed to drive the actions of preparing our home, food, time, and conversations in an enjoyable way.

Did some things go “wrong”? Absolutely.

Did we still enjoy the day? Absolutely.

Because we chose to.


So instead of focusing on all you have to do and letting that dictate your feelings, start with how you want to feel and allow that to drive what you do.

Do you want to feel exhausted or rejuvenated during the holidays?

What you think, feel, and do now will create your experience.

So, as you plan the meals, decorations, and gifts, don’t forget to plan your feelings.

One person showing up prepped can affect the entire dynamic of your gathering.

You can be that person.

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