Assuming none of us actually ARE in life-or-death situations nearing the holidays, what if we turned the whole “holiday survival” thing on its head? What if we recognized we actually DO have control over our health during the holidays? What if there was something simple we could do to remind ourselves that — no matter how chaotic or stressful or fun or sad or enter-the-strong-emotion-here — we deserve to continue taking care of our personal health needs?
The exercise that I’m sharing with you today (which I’ve modified from The Beck Diet Solution) works to keep your goals top of mind to help you make the best decisions for you as the holidays march onward. This isn’t just about weight loss. Your goal could be to maintain your weight; it could be to not use food and alcohol as a coping mechanism; it could be to work out 2x/week for 8 out of the next 10 weeks; it could be to spend 10 minutes a day for You Time. They can be short-term goals or long-term. You get the picture :)
Ok. Here’s how this exercise works:
- Take out a piece of paper.
- Write out your biggest health/fitness goal at the very top.
- Now, in no particular order, write out all of the reasons you want to reach this goal. There is NO reason that is too small or dumb or silly. Set a timer for 5 minutes or so and get after it.
- Next, take out some notecards (or your notes app on your phone) and write out your reasons in order from what resonates the MOST with you to the least. Don’t judge, just trust your gut.
- Now read your notecards every day! Even on days you don't think you need to.
You can literally take out these notecards or your note app and read this list/manifesto one to a few times a day (when you’re brushing your teeth, when you leave work, when you’re tempted to have another snack or tempted to skip your workout, etc). There’s something about writing down ALL of the thoughts that have been running through your head and reading them that can make all of the difference.
By writing thoughts down, you’re declaring something.
By reading your declaration, you get to remember the big picture at a time when you might feel like you’re losing your mind ;)
The holidays aren’t something to be SURVIVED, friends! They’re something to be ENJOYED. So let’s start now!