Five Tips For Staying Motivated This Holiday Season
You don't need a "new year" to begin working on a new you. And in fact, I feel part of why so many people become a fitness disaster during the holiday season is because the holidays themselves precede the New Year.
The prevalent mentality is "who cares if I fly off the wagon during the holidays because hey, come Jan 1 it's a fresh start- right?"
It won't feel so fresh if you've skipped the gym, ate your weight in holiday cookies and are struggling to fit into your clothes.
I encourage you to view Jan 1 for what it TRULY is, another day, like any other day. It follows December 31st and comes before Jan 2nd and nothing REALLY changes, unless YOU decide to make a change. All of the objections you have about cleaning up your fitness habits now will still exist. All of the excuses you allow yourself will still be there- "I don't have time", "I'm too busy", "I don't have the money", "I can't." None of this just miraculously up and vanishes come Jan 1st.
So if you can "start then" you can start now. And CERTAINLY you can stay on track and enter the new year ready to crank it up even more. After all, "an object in motion stays in motion." It's easier to keep going then it is to stop and try to start again.
Some suggestions for keeping yourself focused during the holidays:
1) Start NOW. Procrastination leads to stagnation. You can't and won't feel motivated if you have no momentum and are not taking any action towards your goals. I have seen so many people be INCREDIBLY successful during the holidays by STARTING NOW, and NOT waiting until Jan 1. Beginnings have excitement and newness, and help fill us with motivation. These are all feelings that can help generate much needed momentum through the holiday season. I've had a few clients start with me mid Nov and December and they are KILLING their programs with focus and commitment. So if you're "waiting" until Jan 1. Don't. Start now.
2) Set frequent and measurable goals. If you have ALREADY started, then its time to focus on establishing frequent and measurable goals. Studies have shown that people thrive on frequent and measurable feedback, and that this can actually help create momentum in goal achievement. Rather than thinking in terms of the bigger picture, set daily, and weekly goals, such as "drink a gallon of water" or "get to the gym 5x a week". When one is achieved, then update your goals so small wins are continually captured.
3) Get support! People tend to make more progress when they feel they’re part of a supported community. This is part of why I started the AFS Training FB Group, a closed group for my coaching clients. If you struggle to stay motivated this time of year it can help to connect with other individuals who have similar health and fitness goals. Connecting with like minded people can help reaffirm your purpose and give you the momentum needed to stay on track.
4) Adapt don't QUIT. It's not the individual impact of eating one cookie, or missing one workout that's a big deal. It’s the cumulative impact of allowing it to become the norm. It's critical to stick to your schedule, even if it's only in a very small way. Don't have enough time to do a full workout? Just go for a walk. Drop and do 25 burpees. Do that a few times throughout the day. Adapt don't quit. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing. It's not about perfection, because perfection does not exist, anywhere, in anyone. it's about making progress, and that hinges on your ability to find a way to stick to your schedule, no matter how small may be.
5) Plan ahead. Schedule your workouts if you find you're getting busy. Block out time to food prep. Headed to a holiday dinner out this weekend? Call the restaurant, get the menu. Figure out what healthy options are available. How can you make a good choice? If it's a catered work event you're attending, try to find out what will be served or plan to eat before or after the party and bring your own food. Want to indulge? Plan to make it fit your macros and adjust the rest of the day accordingly. Have to travel for the holidays? Do some research on travel workouts or bodyweight only training that you can do with ease and simplicity. Be proactive in taking control of the holidays. Good decisions are empowering. They fill you with confidence and THAT helps keep you motivated and on track.