Halloween is over, we’re almost a week into November, and the holidays are right around the corner.
I am always interested in hearing what health and fitness stuff people are working on during this time of year because it seems to me like most people take one of two approaches to wellness in the months leading up to the holiday season:
Go all in completely gung ho, attempt to make too many extreme changes at once, and then once the holidays hit, throw any new diets or exercise programs right out the window because they are too much to maintain.
Say why bother, refuse to implement any new healthy habits because trying seems like a waste of time before the upcoming holidays, and instead just wait until January 1st to start fresh.
Both of these approaches actually do us a huge disservice.
If you align more closely with approach A, this is the category that I would have chosen years ago. As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve been there, trying to eat perfectly 100% of the time and doubling up on workouts before the holidays. As if doing these things ahead of time would somehow counteract or justify all the treats I knew I’d eat during the holidays. Oy! Guess what? Science doesn’t work that way.
And if you align more closely with approach B, this is actually pretty common. Society sets up the holidays as a time of year where it almost becomes EXPECTED for everyone to “fall off the bandwagon.” No wonder so many people’s health efforts start dwindling between Halloween and Thanksgiving. It becomes an acceptable norm to say, “Oh well, it’s the holidays. I’ll get back to the gym in January.” Right!?
But what if there’s a different option!?
Let’s talk about approach C for a second.
With approach C, you have permission to not be perfect, you don’t have to give in to society’s bullshit, and you most certainly don’t have to wait until the New Year to get started or continue working on a health or fitness goal.
I’ll give you an example. Last year around this time I posted a blog called Why and How I’m Focusing on Fat Loss Right Now. In the post, I shared that I was actually feeling pretty motivated to re-introduce some fat loss friendly habits that I’ve let fall to the wayside in the last couple of months. Here are three of the main behavior changes I decided to focus on last November:
1. Added 5-10 minute metabolic finishers after my lifts twice a week.
2. Reigned it in on alcohol, bread, and cheese by thinking more strategically about how to incorporate them into my day as a whole (still having all of the above, just being more mindful of quantity + frequency).
3. Prioritized stress relieving activities, especially leisure walking and not over-committing to a million things so I could have time to recharge.
That’s it. No diet, no crazy changes to my current fitness routine, no restriction, no extremes.
I simply decided what was important to me at the moment, what habits I wanted to revisit BEFORE the holidays hit, and what behavior I wanted to carry strong into the New Year rather than push off just because that’s what everyone expects.
Honestly, what is the point in waiting until the New Year? That’s months away! So much can be accomplished in ONE month, nevermind almost three.
You just have to let go of the all or nothing mentality and let go of the story in your head that health has to A) be totally perfect or B) why bother. Just pick a few things, however small they might be, and commit to them now. Why wait?
Readers, let’s chat! Which approach to health and fitness do you tend to take before the holidays? What are you committed to working on right now?
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