- Decide what’s important to you in the next 4 weeks. Yes, big picture, behind door #1 you want to lose weight and get strong. But guess what? You are now free to peek behind — and even choose — what’s behind door #2: Loosen up the habits a bit and coast. Maintenance IS an option and it’s completely valid. The key to this: Continue practicing your regular habits day-to-day but choose those days/evenings/events where you’d like to ease off the breaks a little bit. Then, own the decisions you make and ENJOY every moment.
- Paint a picture of who your best self is. Make that picture vivid. Not so much what you’d look like physically but what your best self is like in action. What kinds of decisions does your best you make when it comes to getting to the gym? To getting enough sleep? To making optimal food choices? To de-stressing after a long day? Too often you say you feel out of control with your life. Sometimes you just can’t get to the gym or you eat all of the Samoas in the box. YES, it’s legit to feel out of control sometimes. No one can tell you you don’t feel out of control. But you should know it’s not a genetic condition or flawed personality trait that you’re doomed to die with. It’s just a modus operendi that you need to practice getting out of the habit of doing. That MO is one path. There are others. One such alternate path it to visualize who you are as your best YOU so you can start to do what that person does and alter your journey.
- Stop thinking of your holiday actions as being “good” or “bad”. “I was so bad, I had two slices of pecan pie and three glasses of wine at dinner.” “I’ve been so bad, I’ve skipped the gym for two weeks.” “I was so bad at fill-in-the-blank, I consumed too much of fill-in-the-blank.” As Georgie Fear points out in her book Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss, there are no ethics in food. Eating deep-fried butter does not make you a bad person. Eating massaged kale with a piece of baked chicken breast does not make you a good person. But thinking this way can certainly make you feel tortured, especially around the holidays. Get emotions out of the way for a minute: Either your actions are leading you closer to your goals, further away from your goals or keeping you in limbo. Remember what your goals are for the next 4 weeks and then decide what action you’re going to take. Whether that action gets you closer, further away from or right on top of your goal, own it and remember that it doesn’t make you good or bad.
So: Will you choose to re-read the story you’ve written yourself in years past or will you skip ahead to a different page altogether to create a different outcome? The choice is yours.