I don't mean to freak you out or anything, but it's almost October! October, I tell you! We are going to blink our collective eyes and we'll be taking down Halloween decorations, cleaning up after our holiday dinners and dragging our Christmas trees out to the curb after another season of faithful service. Before we know it, yet another year will have come to a close and our minds will turn to the hope and opportunity of a new year. Maybe we will have put on a few holiday pounds, let our exercise routine slide and forgotten to think about nutrition at all. We'll certainly be ready to make a change...for good this time!
I like to take the last three months of the year and make end-of-year resolutions. Why wait until the new year when you can start to make changes now and end the year with a bang? Getting a head start on those inevitable new year resolutions can help you get through the holidays happier and healthier. On January first when the rest of the world is just starting to think about change, you'll already be 90 days in to achieving your goals.
If you start to make lifestyle changes in October, you have about 90 days until the end of the year. 90 days is plenty of time to evoke change and to actually start to see results. When you start in October it gives you a few weeks to practice your new habits before the true craziness of the holiday season sets in. When's the best time to start thinking about health and fitness? Now. When you move your body and eat healthy food you will be better able to manage the stress of the upcoming season.
"BUT I'M BUSY AND THE HOLIDAYS ARE INSANE FOR ME"
We are all busy and for most people, the holidays are the busiest of all. That's the idea. I am not suggesting that you forgo holiday parties, pass on the champagne toasts and holiday cookies. I would never take away your holiday cookies. It's always about fitting healthy habits into your life, not changing your whole life around to be healthier. Do you see the difference? We are always going to have parties, celebrations, social events, work obligations and family craziness. It's called life. A true healthy lifestyle is learning how to find the balance between enjoying your life and making decisions that make you a healthier person. There is a balance that is the best of both worlds.
The best time to learn (by practice) how to fit healthy habits and lifestyle changes into your life is during the busiest part of the year. If you can do it now, you can certainly do it in February. It's not about skipping the holiday party to go to CrossFit or eating a kale salad while everyone else is enjoying Grandma's marshmallow jello salad. That's no way to live. But if you move your body in a way that feels good to you, while making healthier choices most of the time, there will be plenty of room to bond with Grandma over cool whip.
"I'LL ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS AND START OVER IN JANUARY"
It doesn't have be a choice of enjoying the holidays or living healthier. We can do both. It's not all-or-nothing. The mistake that people make is that they think if they are "on the health wagon" then they can't have the sweet treats at the party or enjoy a cocktail or two (or three). So they deprive themselves of everything they enjoy until they break (which everyone does, eventually) and they end up overindulging. It's a terrible cycle which I can talk about with authority, because it's a cycle I spun on for years and years.
I challenge you to enjoy the holidays while also making healthier choices. Go to the parties, enjoy the wine, but drink your water and eat your vegetables too. Savor the indulgences. Eat slowly and mindfully. Eat a serving of the cake but be sure to get your protein. It's a mindset. If you go into these next few months with an intention to make healthier choices while also enjoying all the benefits of celebrating with friends and family, you'll come out on the other side happier and healthier.
Make your end-of-year resolutions now to stay on track through the holidays and start off the new year with a bang. Need help with healthy habits and lifestyle changes? It is the perfect time of year to enroll in my online nutrition habits coaching program. It's a proven system developed by Precision Nutrition to help you reach your health and fitness goals by implementing healthy habits from the ground up. Take this short quiz to test if this program is right for you.
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