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This morning one of the boys at the gym gleefully shared: “It’s only 5 weeks till Christmas!”
As predicted, his observation was met with groans, cries and general dismay. Personally, I LOVE Christmas. I know I’m lucky to feel that way.
For me, above anything else Christmas is a time to catch up with family and friends. I actually like the routine of working extra hard to get to that finish line and then cruise into a week or two off where I don’t feel guilty for sleeping in, or having a beer (Yes I deviate from the usual Shiraz or vodka at Christmas) or watching hours of cricket with the fam or spending the better part of a day reading a book just for the pure self indulgent pleasure of it.
However first it’s a matter of surviving the “working extra hard” bit and being able to “cruise” into a week or two off rather than crashing in an exhausted heap! With that in mine, in todays show I’m sharing:
How To Conspire For Your Success This Holiday Season!
Now, “Your Success” is whatever you judge it to be. However I’d like to think it means, arriving at the end of this year fit, healthy, happy and motivated to power into the new year and all the opportunities it has in store. Lets get rolling with 3 steps to conspire for your success this holiday season:
Step one: Self Talk.
Each year around mid November I start to hear an assortment of debilitating self talk. Language of pressure rather than language of possibility. To be clear, language of pressure is stuff like:
“I have to… Go to another work dinner / attend another Christmas party / buy a gazillion presents / find a party dress”
=> Alternatively if you were to switch to: I choose to / I can / I will… you’ll likely feel a lot more in control and positive.
Or perhaps you’ve caught yourself thinking: “I’m utterly exhausted… stressed out / crazy busy / dead broke”
=> Your more effective examples will be less intense / less emotionally charged.
I have some examples however first please know your body is listening and responding to your self talk. For better or worse. Your better examples might be: I’m prioritizing an early night tonight! / I’ve got this! / how can I best fix this? / what can I learn from this?
As an awesome side benefit NOT resorting to debilitating self talk will positively effect your communication with others. You’ll become one of those rare (welcome!) few this holiday season not unleashing with the tired and tedious old lines like: “I’m sooooo exhausted….”
Step two: Focus On ONE Day At A Time.
If you’ve previously been overwhelmed by everything involved in holiday season decide to keep your focus on just one day at a time.
Yes, of course you’ll still need your dairy / calendar / scheduling device however so far as the daily decisions that will allow you to end of this year fit, healthy, happy keep that focus to today. I’ll share the daily actions (or Keystone habits) that I like to prioritize in a day. They are especially important at the busiest time of the year: this is the time when your body needs ALL the help you can give it to stay functioning effectively and efficiently. It is absolutely NOT the time to short change yourself on any of the things that help conspire for your success!
Top of the list so far as daily actions to focus on?
- 7-8 hours quality sleep. Sure that’s not alwayspossible however I’m a huge fan of make up sleep ideally the next night.
- Plan your primarily one ingredient plant based meals and drink plenty of water. If you choose one day on the weekend to focus on meal prep this will be A LOT more achievable.
- Move every single day for at least 30 minutes. This might be walking to work or to an event.
- Plan your day to come the night before.With tasks by order of priority and ideally time limits / time goals next to each task. I prefer to say I’m going to spend 90 minutes on a certain task rather than say I’ll work on it from 9-10.30am because it allows for more flexibility and less frustration at unexpected interruptions. It’s much easier to focus on just today when you’ve planned today!
- Meditation and gratitudes. These are non-negotiables on my list however this spot on your list can be devoted to whatever it is that most helps YOU stay calm and grateful.
Step three: Consistency Beats Massive Stop Start Action.
This is perhaps the biggest key to arriving at the end of this year fit, healthy and happy. And like each of the previously steps it’s applicable at the quietest time of your year and at the busiest time of your year.
YES, consistency is highly unexciting and unsexy! However it’s hugely effective.
- Consistency is why I’m a fan of exercising even if you only have 10 minutes to spare. At least you’re getting something done AND importantly you’re maintaining your routine.
- Consistency is why I recommend exercising around an injury orat a lower intensity if you’re a little unwell.
- Consistency is why the super-vast-majority of the time you should listen to your training plan not“How you feel.”
- Consistency means your exercise and eating can stand separately yet complimentary to each other. Or put another way, you’re not reactively exercising to try and make up for bad eating choices. You can’t anyway. You’ll never out train a bad diet.
- Consistency means you don’t have to struggle with that hardest part of any exercise or eating plan. That part where you’re starting again after giving up.
Like most effective advice health and fitness, the steps I’ve shared today are simple not easy!
However here are a few thoughts to keep at the forefront of your mind to make it a little easier to stick to the steps.
Picture how you want to look and feel as you cruise (not collapse!) into your week or two off or if you’re not really taking time off how do you want to look and feel as you face the new year?
Remember how much effort and sacrifice you’ve put in previously to come back from an especially extravagant, decidedly undisciplined holiday season? Is it worth it? ALL that effort to just drag yourself back to where you were months ago?
Years ago I admitted that a week of excessive indulgence at the end of each year really was not worth months (Yes months!) of punishing my body with hateful cardio, restrictive food and no vino!
I decided To Conspire For My Success EVERY Holiday Season! I’ve actually documented the steps I take and put them into a mega blog post called: How To Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas and New Year (6 step survival blueprint). To get actionable today I’d love you to check out the 6 step holiday season survival blueprint.
That’s it for this week in Healthification. Huge gratitude to YOU for sharing this week with me.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan. It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy, non-judgemental Vegan! You can do it in 3 short days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, NON-genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated VEGAN-chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked How To Conspire For Your Success This Holiday Season! you’ll also like: Fix Self Destructive Behaviour (7 steps).
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