How To Use this Thanksgiving to Make Next Thanksgiving Better?
Thanksgiving is a day behind us, I hope it was all you dreamed it would be, but what if it could be better? That’s what this episode of “Today is Friday” is all about. We’re having a lessons-learned session on Thanksgiving. You should be asking what’s that?
In the corporate world we called these sessions “lunch-n-learns” or “brown bags”. We’d have an informal meeting time where each person would bring their lunch and we’d discuss what we learned from the project, we’d recently completed. We’d discuss two ideas: what went well and what didn’t go so well. So let’s get to it, grab your lunch and note pad and let’s get started.
The Thought or Concept:
We’re here today to talk about yesterday’s Thanksgiving holiday. First let’s define a lesson learned and/or takeaway. A lesson learned is simply that, what have we learned from this. Through this Thanksgiving experience, what did you learn that you didn’t know before? What ideas, challenges, changes or exceeded expectations will you take-away from the recent Thanksgiving holiday?
Why does one need to go through this exercise?
While this exercise is not necessary, it can be very beneficial. We will get to the benefits in just a moment. It helps to take note of things while it’s fresh on your mind. This way you’re less likely to forget them and have a repeat of the things that didn’t go the way you desired in the future. It also gives you an opportunity to identify what did go well so that you can do more of the same next time. An example of this is when my mom brings real to-go boxes for the family to use. This one thoughtful act has added just one favorable touch to how we do Thanksgiving. Since most people, take a plate to-go, why not have to-go boxes ready.
Take a moment to think of all the things you thought “went well”, jot them down and then share them with your family. Next take another moment to jot down all the things that didn’t go quite as planned, share those with your family as well. Watch and see how your family will come alive in joining you to make next Thanksgiving even better. Go ahead and begin planning for next year, why not? It’s all fresh and there’s no time like the present to make preliminary plans. You know how I like a good plan.
While we’re here and have given thought to what went well and what didn’t, let’s talk about four benefits we can expect to have:
- Prepared for what’s coming each year.
We’re prepared for what’s coming each year. When was the last time you were totally prepared for Thanksgiving and not running around moments before to get things done? Would you like to be more relaxed and in control of your day and this event? Here’s an example of how one can make plans following an event. Keep in mind this is not a Thanksgiving example, but you’ll get the gist. A couple of years ago Pamela and I attended a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert for the first time. After the event, we discussed how Tamia would have enjoyed it. The next day, I decided to save for next year’s tickets. I estimated the cost and divided by twelve and began saving immediately. Boy, I’m glad I did because this year around the time to buy the tickets we were hit with all sorts of unplanned expenditures, but I had the ticket money tucked away. Things go more smoothly when you plan for them, plan out your Thanksgiving ahead of time.
- Make the best out of Thanksgiving.
I believe in incremental changes. This means do a little bit at a time. So next year, you’ll add an additional element to your festivities. You don’t have to do it all this year, spread it out, but do it. Remember Thanksgiving comes every year, not just next year. How can you make next Thanksgiving just 1% better than this one? What would that look like for you and your family? Remember it’s your life, your business, your Thanksgiving.
- Get the outcome you intended to do.
You won’t forget what you desired to do. By putting a process in place, you’re less likely to forget what needs to happen when the time comes. Use a plan to make sure you execute the changes you’d like to see next Thanksgiving from the lessons you learned this year. You’ve already experienced the present state, yesterday, so now plan for what you’d like to see in the future state of Thanksgiving. Don’t allow this once in a lifetime opportunity to pass you by. Take advantage of the experience.
- Anticipate it before it happens.
Thanksgiving won’t sneak up on you any longer. With every good plan, you set dates to accomplish the tasks involved and employ help to get it all done. No one likes to be called last minute to prepare something they never intended on preparing. Let’s create a plan. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it needs to be intentional. Stop allowing Thanksgiving to get the best of you. It happens every year around the same time.
- Prepared for what’s coming each year.
Since it’s the day after Thanksgiving, what can you do now that will have you prepared for next Thanksgiving? Do it while it’s fresh on your mind.
Today is Friday!
It’s time to have a lessons-learned session on your Thanksgiving. Remember, your life is your business; every event, project, and activity, we treat it like a business, your business. What lessons and takeaways do you have from this Thanksgiving? In performing a lessons-learned practice, Thanksgiving will become an event your family looks forward to having.
Share this web-post with your whole family so they too can join you in making next Thanksgiving even better.
Everyone here at Kerry A. Clark & Co. hopes you’ve had the best Thanksgiving ever!