Christmas is the time for us all to eat as heartily as we’d like whilst pretending to ignore both the scales in the bathroom and the nutritional information on all those boxes of mince pies.
And then January is the time to make the resolutions that you are absolutely going to stick to no matter what: go to the gym twice a week, cut out sugar, stop drinking wine on weekdays…all that good stuff that inevitably gets abandoned after the reduced Quality Street tins start to line the shelves of supermarket. Whilst well-intended, only one in ten of us can actually stick to our New Year’s resolutions for longer than a month, and this is because many of us set unrealistic goals while trying to perform ‘damage control’ after the Christmas dinner.
The easiest way to stick to your resolutions is to make your goals more achievable in the first place – and believe it or not, you can start from December. New Year’s resolutions may be made with the ‘new year, new me’ idea in mind, but if you’re already signed up to and paying for a gym membership in December, chances are that you’re going to find a lot more motivation to continue these habits into 2017.
Step 1: Don’t let Christmas become ‘an excuse’.
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself at Christmas. You are allowed to make a beeline for the yule logs and indulge in the roast potatoes on the big day. But many of us use ‘oh, whatever, it’s Christmas’ as an excuse to justify out-of-control eating habits. Treat December like any other month (and therefore pretend that you have a pine tree in your living room and tinsel around your lampshades all year round), and it means you can afford to go all out on the 25th.
Step 2: Start making changes.
There’s no unwritten rule that says you can’t join your local gym halfway through December. Spoiler alert: if you sign up and start paying for it, you’ll be far more inclined to use it since you’re already paying for it. And if you’re already motivated to use it, it’s going to make ticking the box next to ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fitter’ on your resolution list far easier. This also applies to food habits: if you’re going to try and eat healthier in the new year, why not start now and slowly work more vegetables and fruit into your diet to make that change easier?
Step 3: Don’t stress about it.
Your resolutions are not law. You won’t be doing anything wrong by taking a break from them, or not doing exactly what you intended to when you first wrote them. Congratulate yourself on your progress and don’t make it into a very black-and-white, “I either succeeded or I failed” thing.
Those who post their updates publicly on Facebook are more susceptible to feeling bad or stressing about them due to everyone else knowing that they’re trying to achieve something – so when it turns out that you might not be able to do it, the shame of confessing it on social media can make you feel worse. But here’s the thing: social media doesn’t have to know. Tell everyone when you’ve achieved something, not when you plan to. Of course, not having to publicly admit defeat can be a source of motivation for some, but for others it may just increase the stress of it all, thus leading to a bigger ‘crash’ when you give up.
Above all, enjoy Christmas. Eat, drink, be merry, and don’t worry too much, because everyone all over the world is doing just the same as you are. But if you feel like you do need a little kick to help you recover after the Christmas dinner, why not try LiveWell Health’s personal training services to keep you on track? For more information, contact us on 07939 212 739 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.