If you read last week’s article, then you know how much it sucks to get back on track. I’ve heard from personal trainers and gym owners alike that getting people through the door to workout during this time of year is always tough. Some will go weeks or maybe even months without a healthy diet and activity. When they come back in January they are confused as to how they gained the weight or lost the strength they did. That is the equivalent of buying three peppermint mochas a day for the past month and wondering where all your money went. You can’t fall off your fitness progress and expect to be the same when you return.
Here are 3 ways to bypass the holiday fitness hump:
1. Have a goal in mind
This shouldn’t be just any goal- it should be a goal that means something. It should one that is so scorching that it burns through all of your excuses. That if you didn’t succeed in achieving it you would be pretty bummed. For example, I bought my mom a FitBit and her goal is to take at least 10,000 steps a day and take a class at her gym. It is simple and it keeps her from being sedentary. She is so into it that if by the end of the day she doesn’t get 10,000 steps, she will run in our garage and around the block to get the number. I admire her for that because her objective speaks louder than her mind telling her it’s too cold or too late to go outside and make it happen! Your goal may be bigger but make sure it is something you are willing to commit to day in and day out.
2. Make a realistic plan
A goal without a plan is just a dream. If your plan is to workout for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week and you think that you can accomplish that then go for it! I would like to point out that the holidays have a way of replacing plans and old routines with trips out of town, christmas parties, and lots of family time. For that reason, it is important to make your plan realistic while simultaneously pushing yourself. Some easy ways to push yourself would be to choose healthy snacks instead of eating a whole plate of holiday treats (been there, done that). While it may not always be easy to meal prep, it is feasible to buy some nourishing foods to eat on the go instead. While you’re mixing things up, if you can’t make it to the gym because you’re traveling, find ways to be creative and get active! On Thanksgiving, I took my mom out to do sprints with me at a park. It kept me active and in line with my plan of working out at least 5 days a week. Change up your routine and make a plan to get you through the holidays and kick ass even before 2016 comes!
3. Find a way to remain accountable
My mom has her FitBit and I have my workout partner. Who or what is keeping you accountable? Maybe it is a facebook accountability group or you choose to befriend the only other person in the gym when it’s a ghost town. When you may be losing sight of your plan, make it so you have at least one thing that is like “You’re falling behind but you got this!” Behind every super person, is a tribe of people or things that encourage them and let them know when they have to pull themselves together and not spend full days watching christmas movies.
Staying the course during the holidays is completely doable and it will save you a lot of time trying to play catch up when the New Year comes along. Start now because the best gift you can give yourself is the incredible pleasure of being ahead on your goals of being healthier and happier.