We’re in the final stretch of the year, and is it just me, or does everyone else feel their energy draining, too?
Call it the rush of the holidays, but I think it’s also a combination of the onset of winter, and the upset of everything that is routine in our lives.
Here are five strategies I’m currently putting in to action to keep my motivation on the upswing this holiday season, and I hope you’ll find them useful too!
1.) Get Started on Those New Year’s Resolutions Now
I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions simply because I don’t think anyone should need a January 1st start date to make a change in their life.
However, if you have a goal this year to hit the gym more often, or to increase your weights or push yourself harder, get started on those things now. Not only will you feel less pressure than you would on New Year’s Day, but it gives you time to ease in to a new habit.
One of the biggest reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail is because people go from zero to sixty in a matter of a day, and cultivating a new routine or practice takes time. You’re going to have to take rest days and steadily increase your weights and time, but if you get started on those things now, you’ll be at a strong starting point come the first of the year.
2.) Adopt the “Treat Yourself” Philosophy
Now there’s a disclaimer for this one: not every effort should warrant a treat, but during the holidays this strategy could help keep things in check.
A lot of folks know they’re going to eat more during the holidays. Between the various feasts, Christmas cookies and holiday parties we know we’re going to indulge, and since the holidays only roll around once a year, we think it’s fair that we take advantage of all the deliciousness.
If you adopt the “treat yourself” philosophy, that means putting in a good portion of effort before you partake in indulgences so in a sense, you’re earning it.
For example, if you’re headed to your work holiday party, fit in a tough HIIT workout. If you’re participating in a cookie exchange, make sure to hit a spin class that morning.
Whenever you know you’ll be indulging, try to schedule in something that will allow you to “earn” your extra indulgences.
3.) Make it Fun
Not all workouts need to be serious. One of the key aspects to sticking with your workout routine is making it fun and enjoyable, so the holidays should be no different.
Try participating in a fun holiday-time boot camp, a themed adventure race or a reindeer run.
In fact, VIDA Fitness at City Vista and Verizon are hosting their Inaugural Reindeer 5K Run on Sunday, December 14th at 10:00AM at VIDA Verizon, and it’s something you definitely won’t want to miss.
It’s a great time with fellow VIDA members and you can bring guests with you as well! Check out the event and RSVP on Eventbrite.
4.) Add in a Little Me Time
It’s like clockwork, I always get sick right before the holidays. Part of it is simply the shift in season, but it’s mostly the stress with work and the holidays in general.
With it being so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, I make a conscious effort to carve out some “me time” as to avoid getting that dreaded holiday bug.
That might mean working out in the morning, but hitting a relaxing yoga class after work, or if I don’t have time for a full yoga class I make sure to allot ten minutes of my post-workout to the sauna (aka my version of heaven come winter-time).
Whatever it may be, try to bring some intention to your days by shutting out the outside world and creating time to do nothing but unwind and be inside your own head.
5.) Don’t accept excuses
Okay, we could argue this point is valid all year long, but I think we can all relate to that feeling of letting the holiday season take temporary control over our lives.
“Well, it’s the holidays,” we say to ourselves. “I’ll get back to working hard next week.”
Let’s not forget that the holidays are really only a few days over the course of the month and it’s not exactly fair to ourselves to slack off for the entire month just because Santa’s coming to town.
Anytime you feel yourself saying or doing something that’s an excuse, do 20 minutes of vigorous activity. That could be walking, doing three sets of body weight exercises on the floor, whatever, but you’ll quickly see that your excuse wasn’t valid.
Do whatever works, but remind yourself that you’re worth the time you invest in your health, and no bit of holiday stress is worth more than your health!