Day 30 – Keeping Healthy Through December

November is ending, and we are officially engulfed in the holiday season. Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, along with the infamous Black Friday shopping frenzy.

December is not usually considered a big month for health and fitness; it’s more about the celebration. It’s a time of indulgence: over-indulgence, self-indulgence and indulging others. There are parties to attend, presents to buy, travel to be with family – or sometimes travel to get away from family. It is often a fun time, but usually not a time of year that encourages better health. When we indulge, we tend to bulge.

How do you keep your fitness goals but still enjoy the holidays? First, decide what you want from your December. This works best if you write down the things that are absolutes for you. Maybe your list includes “I will not gain even one pound in December!”, like mine does. Or it could be “I will stick to a set amount for gifts, and will not go over that number!”, or “I will eat whatever I want at my sister’s party, but I will not overeat at the office party this year.”  Whatever is a must-do for you, write it down. Now you know that everything else is negotiable.

Second, decide what you can do to make your must-do goals happen. To support my goal of not gaining even one pound, I joined a challenge group that was posted on Facebook, pledging to run at least one mile every single day in December. That means I will run even if it is cold, or raining, or I just don’t feel like it. There is no decision left to be made; I already decided. Running will happen. What will you do to make sure you hit the goals that are absolutes for you? Write it down. Your brain will get clear about what it has to do when it can see what you decided.  Sounds ridiculous, but this actually works. Let your brain know that You. Are. Serious about this.

Third, set yourself up to succeed. Put that written stuff where you will see it every morning. Tape it to your mirror. Take a photo of it with your phone and put it into a reminder so it pops up at you every day. Post it on Facebook so your friends will know, and ask them to help you stay on track. Do the same for them! There is power in making your goals public. Post your goal in the Comments under this post, and the other readers and I will help you stay on track.

Small actions, done every day, compound over time into big results. You can stay well in December, and you can hit that goal that you wrote down. Welcome to the holidays!

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