The festive season is on the horizon ladies and gents! Can you smell the roast beef and feel the sun kissing your skin? The late mornings and late evenings? The festive season, along with all its glory and memories, is on its way. This is the time for you to relax and reflect on a year of hard work, tears and smiles. But this can also be the season that you want to start working on those fitness goals. You might be thinking that getting back into the gym will be your New Year’s resolution. Or it might be that you have been going at it fiercely in the gym and want to relax until the holidays are over. We always think that the new year is the best time to start with your new workout routine, but the best time is NOW! This is the time to start creating those fantastic habits and get a head start on the new year. This is the time to make that mental, life-changing difference that I know we all need. This is the time to keep pushing and without realising it, this will be your best holiday season yet!
Here are a few simple but effective steps to kick your holidays with a bang:
- Write your goals down. It is easy to think out loud about your goals. Anyone can do so but the key is to write them down. By writing down achievable goals you are forcing yourself to prioritise and get yourself motivated. “The first step to changing your behaviour is to create awareness around what you do regularly,” explains Dr Lisa Marsch, an expert in behavioural change at Dartmouth College. Thus, writing down small daily goals will create awareness about your daily routine. Do not set yourself up for failure. The key to success is taking small steps.
- Be held accountable. Making excuses for why you’re not achieving your goals is easy if no one will hold you accountable. Find someone that will always hold you accountable. Those eyes that will peek over your shoulder to push you to do what you know is right. I empathise with the struggle of getting that body moving when you are tired or just want to binge a series on Netflix but I can promise you this: you will thank the person who held you accountable. It can even be fun – schedule fun, healthy activities or workouts with friends who you know will show up. You’ve got this!
- Stay hydrated. When you are continuously sipping on that H2O, you are fuelling your body to perform optimally during exercise. The sun and the heat will leave you craving soda. Fizzy drinks and sweetened juices make your fitness goals much harder to achieve. It’s not a sin but if you know you are a sucker for it, keep your water bottle close. Drinking water before a meal can also help prevent overeating. Make it fun – throw in that slice of lemon or cucumber. You will fit right into the summer vibes.
- Plan your workouts. I cannot stress this enough. Have you ever found yourself ready to start your workout but realise that you have no clue what you can or should be doing? Just hoping that you are shaking off those calories somewhere… With the internet by our sides, it is so easy to find a great workout on YouTube or even on Google. Social media trainers often post fun and effective workouts. Get a calendar and plan your weeks exactly, taking into consideration all the holidays and family events – give yourself time off on those days and get moving again the next. You can vary between cardio and HIIT workouts, as well as lower body, core and upper body workouts with intermittent cardio. You know yourself the best. Schedule your workouts in the early mornings to feel refreshed for the day and then you know other activities will not steer you off-track.
- Lose the “all or nothing” mindset. For me, this is the most important step – not only in your fitness life but everywhere else as well. There will be days that you might skip a workout or over-indulge. Do not feel like you have failed and don’t punish yourself. Just keep going the next day or make your next meal a healthy one. All is never lost when you’ve slipped once or twice or even three times. Just keep going!
We make excuses so often, that we do not realise we have been stripping ourselves of success when thinking it might be more difficult than we thought, or that we may fail. It is human but it is a trait that we need to let go of. Excuses stem from a deeper, subconscious need to protect ourselves from anxiety or shame. Do not let that be the reason why you don’t better yourself. I believe in you. Believe in yourself. Making fitness a part of your life and daily routine is so much more than just physical change. Mentally, you will feel uplifted and confident. Give yourself the power to achieve MORE. No excuse is worth the regret that follows it. You have got this! Make that change and be the example that everyone needs this holiday season. Have a great one!