Wait! You can still stay on track during the holidays

The holidays are often one of the biggest saboteurs for staying well, remember the Grinch is not real, sorry. Eating well, keeping fit and staying to your routine will keep the Grinch at bay.  Developing YOUR strategy is key! Set a realistic goal to develop a plan that works with the flow of your life over the next couple of weeks. It is not too late!

Don't let the Grinch mess up your holiday

Want to be successful? Keep reading.

State your goal to an individual or group that cares about you. If you are drawing a blank – write it on a Post-It note. It’s amazing the motivation that comes from a little accountability from a fun, social atmosphere. It’s gotten me moving when the couch has a greater calling. Just put it out there – you really will receive that motivation.

When setting your goals, budget your time wisely. Your schedule may be nuts, so aim for shorter workouts or just getting out for a walk. Doing something will help you stay on track, stay motivated and move through the season with success.

The goal is to keep it simple, move regularly, and eat well. It’s the present you give yourself.

Give yourself a gift

Don’t worry if things don’t go as well as you have imagined or planned, you did your best.

Give yourself a gift

Give yourself the gift of flexibility, realistic goals, and a fun group of people to hang out with this holiday season. Go with the flow. At the end of the day, you will appreciate less drama.

Here are a few tips that can help you slide into 2020

questions to ideas
From questions to ideas

Tip #1 – Set your strategy & plan

This time of year there will be parties, oh yes! Your schedule will be messed up, yep. Friends and family will drop by unexpectedly and many other distractions that you did not plan for will occur. Part of your strategy should be to accept that your normal routine during the year will change. That should not stop you from making a  PLAN to help you adapt to the holiday potholes in the road. They are there.

What can you control?

There are things you CAN control. You can PLAN to eat well around the holidays. On those days when you are not at the events you love (and may go a bit off the rails), just keep to your routine. PLAN your workouts on days you don’t have a commitment that can totally get you off track. OK, so you can’t or don’t have a regular workout – just do something and move.

Admit that it’s not going to be a perfect time of year to eat well and get your exercise, but it does not mean you can’t plan around it.

Be mindful of what you planned and forgive yourself if you go off track.  It doesn’t mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater, it means – give yourself a break, and jump back on that horse.

Don’t deny yourself.

Sometimes when we don’t allow ourselves to embrace holiday cheer we start feeling deprived and throw up our hands. When we admit defeat we are at risk for just tossing it all out the window.  We say to ourselves, I’ll get back on track January 1st.  That is the worse thing we can do to sabotage ourselves.  Just pick up where you fell off and get back on track, don’t wait for the 1st.  Just like a small child learning to walk.  They fall, cry and then get back up and try it again.  You can do this!

Some plans you will need in your toolkit:

  1. Have a workout, stretch or other activity (like dog walking) ready for those times when you are short on time.
  2. Map out the upcoming events. Plan and visualize what you will eat and drink at those events.  This preplanning can help moderate overindulging.
  3. Figure out a way to keep yourself on track. Saying you will isn’t enough. Writing it down will be better so you can see where you are hitting the mark and where you missed. You can then go back and revisit your plan and make corrections.

Tip #2 –  Be kind to yourself

Strike a balance and accept that some days will b better than others.  Go back to Tip #1 and PLAN how you can add some fun and manage that holiday cheer.

Maybe you could go for a walk or go ice skating with friends and family.

As far as meals.  When you are going to be home – do your best to eat clean and healthy, knowing that other days may not be so great.  It’s OK.

Tip #3 –It’s OK to Say No

You might want to say no to that alcoholic drink and have sparkling water instead.  You might want to say no to that dessert.  You might even want to say no to an event or gasp, a family gathering.  If you think about it – do you remember who was at the parties you attended last year?  Will anyone even remember (family not included as they WILL remember).  That’s when returning to Tip #1 can help.

It’s OK to say NO

Think about how to say, “No” and not feel bad about it!  Remember that when you say yes to something, you may be saying no to something that is more important. Think about it.

Tip #4 – Maximize The Time You Do Have

The reason HITT classes are so popular is that they are quick and you work hard and be done.  You can adopt this philosophy as part of your plan for exercise, meal planning or even shopping. Do it and be done.

You can combine activities.  If you are cooking, do some single-leg squats.  If you are watching TV, do some arm circles and arm curls during the commercial.  You can get a solid 2-minute workout during a commercial break. Can you make a solid plan for baking cookies or holiday shopping to be as efficient as possible – make it a game and win it.

Being healthy and staying on track doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym for an hour-long workout. Quite frankly, when I see people at the gym, they may be there for an hour, but they spend more time on their phone than working out. Get off that phone, stand up straight and MOVE.

Make a conscious effort to add more movement into your day. Stand, stretch or move 1 minute every hour. Another option is to add in a stretch or do a one-foot balance every time you get up to go to the bathroom. Let your doorway help you stretch. Reach between both sides of the doorway, grab ahold and lean forward – it will help your posture and feel good.  When you wash your hands at the sink, stand on one leg and then switch. You’ve got this!

Tip #5 – Set Small Goals

No matter what time of year, having small, simple daily and weekly goals to hit will give you a sense of accomplishment. Small goals roll up into big ones.

Starting small helps make your long-term goals seem more manageable and gives you something to focus on every day so that you don’t become overwhelmed with achieving that huge goal.

Some examples are taking a sip of water every hour, or standing up and walking around every hour.

Remember, baby steps, just like the baby learning to walk!

Starting with tiny habits slowly leads to real change.  


Celebrating can help keep you on track because it helps you remember to recognize your progress even if you aren’t yet at your long-term goals.

Be your own Elf, give yourself an hug or maybe even give yourself a present! You deserve it. Happy Holidays.

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Sandi Feaster