Year end Stress – GONE

by Marcy Heim on November 13, 2019

Your Stress-Free, Year-End Success Questions to Ask


It’s like an epidemic this time of year. “How are you?” “Overwhelmed.”

Or, struggling, or crazy-busy, or don’t know how I will get it all done, or exhausted, or stressed or well, ok, but there is just so much.

Never be overwhelmed again.  HOW? sticky notes on face


Make a list of how you DON’T want to feel. What is the exact opposite? Stop and decide HOW YOU DO WANT TO FEEL!  Then only speak that. Words are powerful. They fill our mind and “we become what we think about.”  Stop saying you can’t focus, you can’t sleep, whatever. Stop putting what you DON’T WANT out to the universe. Say instead, “I am so glad that I am no longer OVERWHELMED!” Every.single.time.this.thought.enters.your.mind.

2. STOP being negative.

This time of year co-workers, family and donors can really bug you. Don’t say you want things to be different, to get along with everyone and embrace the spirit of the holidays, and then go to lunch and complain on and on about how stupid accounting is being, or how unfair your boss is, and that things are never gonna change!

3. START being positive.

It’s not enough to stop being negative. If you’ve been negative for a long time, it’s not easy to change. Negative people often have been hurt so often that they feel, “Well, if I don’t expect anything good to come out of this conversation, I won’t be disappointed.”  “Happy Holidays, the world’s going to hell.”  NO! You need to start saying the RIGHT THINGS and be positive.

lots of sticky notes4. CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER

It piles up. Holiday cards, sticky notes, Memorandums of Agreement in the works, thank you letters to sign, notes, copies of checks, lists, fund reports, sticky notes, lots of half-started, half-finished.  Stop, put on a pot of coffee and burn the midnight oil, but CLEAN IT UP, CLEAR IT UP.  You can’t work your best when the piles around you are all screaming at you for your attention.


Be willing to begin again, and again, and again…It’s easier to be negative than positive. You will be happier and more successful if you take on an attitude that is eager and happy to be here and every time you slip back (which can be 2 minutes after you read this) start again with “From now on, I will not talk about being overwhelmed.”  “From now on, I will stop fearing a “no” to my ask.”


Today I walked to the bank – 3 miles – 16 degrees.  Deposited 4 checks.  Dark and cold versus lights and action!

well done sticky note

7. Control what you can control

If your ED simply does not want you to visit with someone – let it go. If key donors want to wait until next year and double up giving in 2020 to get past the new, larger standard tax deduction, set up lunch for January 6th and celebrate the first gifts of 2020.

8. Make REAL priorities
Every morning I plan out my calendar with what I will do every minute. Key priorities fight for space on the calendar. Once I decide I am NOT doing something this day – it’s gone – done – until it gets a chance tomorrow. Making long lists you know in your gut you will NEVER get through is just plain stupid. Set yourself up to WIN EVERYDAY! FOCUS – What will bring in the most money RIGHT NOW?


My MORE Major Gifts Accelerator members are amazing folks!  We had a coaching call this week and shared the top question we will use to begin again every time we are “overwhelmed.” Here are some of my favorites from our coaching call.

Why is my confidence unwavering?

What if I don’t fail?

Why am I letting the board’s availability dictate my schedule for making visits?

What if I became laser focused?

Why am I so adept at shutting out the noise?

Why am I so perfectly equipped to make the decision on what database to get?

What if I go ALL-IN as the ROCKSTAR Marcy knows me to be?

I’d say you all should pick that one!  And I’ll believe in you until you can catch up.

Invest in JOY®


Marcy Heim is a trusted authority in the development profession and helps organizations and educational institutions boost their major gift programs through artful, long-term relationship building that dramatically increases fundraising success while promoting increased staff job satisfaction. To receive a free chapter from Marcy’s book, Empower Your Board to Serve as Effective Development Ambassadors, click here.

Questions:  Contact KK Konicek at

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