The Coach's Corner

One week til Thanksgiving!

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #23

If you are at all nervous about the Thanksgiving meal you’re preparing, look no further. At – you can plan the whole day down to the minute.

Avoid a mid-day meltdown by planning ahead and prepping dishes long before it’s time to eat. Read our detailed timeline, which breaks down the most efficient schedule for preparing everything from starters to desserts, to ensure that you’ll be trotting that turkey out right on time.

They’ve got lots of ideas for you:)

Shop in any grocery store and you’ll be offered packages for the entire meal to be cooked and ready for you to pick up. Check in with restaurants and senior centers and you can find a full Thanksgiving meal awaiting you and your family, with a reservation.

It’s this planning element – in connection with how many of my coaching clients are looking at their own development plans as this year winds down – that is inspiring me this week.

Today’s headline – one week til thanksgiving – can bring some folks a lot of stress, while others salivate with joy for this holiday. There’s room for everyone! I’m going to share an insight , with permission from my sister-in-law, Deb, on how the two of us manage to plan our joint Thanksgiving in a fairly organized and stress-free way. And I had no idea that we are actually using SMART goals to do that, which is today’s tool ! Let’s dive in.


One week til Thanksgiving!

If you’re watching, listening to or reading the news right now, you’re getting consistent headlines about the big event. For all your turkey needs, there is the old faithful: the butterball turkey hotline.

This site is filled with turkey topics: how to choose a turkey, how to thaw a frozen turkey, how to stuff, brine, inject or marinate a turkey.

You can find tips on how to deal with your crazy uncle, what to expect on the busiest flight day of the year, and I hope you’ve already made your reservations!

I recommend booking your Thanksgiving flight by late August or early September for the best price. If possible, book in June or July.

And what about road travel? Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel, is on it.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving and travel go hand in hand, and this holiday, we expect more people on the roads, skies, and seas compared to 2022.

Real Simple even has the ultimate Thanksgiving checklist. Scroll down to the ‘week before’ for some great ways to deal with any stress you might be experiencing.


Using SMART goals to plan your dinner

And you thought SMART goals were only for your career development?

This week as I was coaching several folks who live and breathe through their SMART – Specific/Measurable/Achievable/Relevant/Time-Bound – goals, it dawned on me how I might use this tool to deal with next week’s Thanksgiving dinner.

For the record, I LOVE Thanksgiving: especially the cooking, hosting, engaging, eating and leftover part. The planning is rarely an issue, because my sister-in-law, Deb, likes planning as much as (if not more than) I do. I kid you not. As an aside, we successfully hosted a family reunion for 37 this past summer, should you need any family event planning assistance.

Weeks before this blessed (Thanksgiving) event – Deb (her real name) and I connected by phone/text to share details of who’s coming, etc. (SPECIFIC.) Then she took off and made assignments for her family, (MEASURABLE.)

Now that we know what they’re bringing, (ACHIEVABLE,) I’m able to fill in the blanks for our portion of the dinner, (RELEVANT.)

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, we’ll all decide what we can prepare ahead, (TIME-BOUND,) and voila – a dinner for 20+ is taking shape.


SMART goals

This is a tool many of us know by heart, because we use it so frequently.

I really appreciate this mock-up – with all the important elements front and center.

When you get specific and dig in, decide how to measure your progress, determine if the goal is achievable, make sure it’s relevant to your success and then use time-bound elements to check on your completion – you have a solid plan.

For life, work or your Thanksgiving dinner.

My takeaway

This is the first Thanksgiving, since COVID, where all of our family in Colorado is gathering together again in one place.

I am looking forward to this with sweet anticipation, mostly because I’m excited about having a full house of family ranging in age from 6 months to 80+, AND because we have a plan in place.

There’s a reason some of us relied on Martha Stewart for years to keep us on track through the holidays. Who knew anyone could plan like that? Now I’m one of those people.

Of course there’s plenty that can go awry. Dropping the turkey on the floor. Forgetting to add sugar when baking a pumpkin pie. Burning the biscuits.

But there’s plenty more to be thankful for, this year and beyond.

May your Thanksgiving, with whatever sort of planning you choose, be filled with savory foods, great conversation, laughs, long walks and love.

Have a SMART and Happy Thanksgiving!

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