In my mind, the Christmas season officially kicks off tomorrow, December 1st. And I must say, I’m really excited for many reasons:
- Always a great buzz around the place
- A great opportunity to enjoy quality family and friends time
- A chance to take a step back and re-evaluate the past year in all areas of life- personal, family, business, etc
- Delicious food- this is a biggie to be fair!
- Great quality events- we have our Christmas party coming up soon!
- A chance to plan for an amazing year ahead
- Lots of downtime to simply unwind
- My daughters at an age where she’s a lot more interactive so lots planned with her over the next month
It’s just a great time of year if you truly want it to be and can really provide you with some great memorable life experiences which is exactly what I plan on doing!
It’s also a time of year when many people let their health & fitness completely bottom out and dig themselves into an even bigger rut than they are currently in. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here are a few simple pieces of advice to make sure you get the most out of the Christmas holiday season and start the new year in the best possible position.
- Get clear on what you want to get out of the next few weeks. Is it great memories with your family, to re-charge your batteries and catch up with old friends or is it to party yourself into a worse rut, eat everything in sight to the point of excess and drain yourself of vitality as you start another new year. You must get clear on this and nail down exactly what you want to achieve in 2017 in all areas of your life. If you don’t you’ll just drift through it.
- Start your 2017 health and fitness program in December. Avoid the drama, hype and false promises of new year resolutions. After all, if they’ve failed you for the past 13 years, why would this year be any different.
- Pick a day over the next month to review your 2016 and plan your 2017. Many people just float through life with a sense of purpose and direction. Learn fro your mistakes, take inspiration from your success and use them to design your 2017. I’ve my review and planning day booked for Saturday 31st December.
- Take time to completely unwind and rejuvenate your mind and body. I find this hard to do but I always make time for it and the difference it makes never ceases to amaze me. I’m less stressed, more focused, in a better mood, feel lighter and ultimately more driven to chase and achieve my goals in the months ahead. Give it a shot!
- Take time to break your current routine and mix things up a bit. Try new foods, take different route for your walks, read a book you wouldn’t normally read, change your exercise program (I’m planning on doing a bit of yoga and running along with my gym work). Adding variety to your life is one of the best ways to avoid becoming a glutton over the holidays
- Take time to help someone else without expecting anything in return. What can you do for a neighbour, a stranger, a friend? This is a must any time of year and is one of the most powerful ways I know of to boost the quality of your life. After all, it’s not all about little-old you!
- Book in for some manual therapy such as physio, massage, osteopathy, acupuncture, etc. While you’re having a bit of downtime you might as well give your muscles, joints, etc. a little TLC as well. They’ll thank you for it, trust me.
- Don’t go hard on yourself for not being perfect. I’ve no intention of living like a saint when the food stares to flow and social events kick off so allowing myself some lee-way in advance will remove any guilt
- Tip away with a bit of exercise if you are already doing it. Don’t let yourself go to pot with the promise that you’ll get started again come January. You’re body won’t appreciate a month of complete inactivity on top of all the excess food, drink and partying. Keep yourself moving.
- Always remember that for truly healthy people, those that place a high value on their quality of life, Christmas is just another part of the year to be enjoyed. Of course they’ll enjoy everything it has to offer but you definitely won’t find them doing the 12 pubs of Christmas or eating until they are completely stuffed and unable to move. Work on developing this mindset
- Amidst all the health and fitness challenges that December brings, focus on developing and/or maintain some of the basics of a high quality life. Keep yourself fully hydrated, don’t neglect your quality sleep, eat lots off high quality vegetables, carbs, fats, proteins, fruits etc. along with all the usual December suspects (chocolates, wine, mince pies, etc.)
- Use this time to de-clutter your house. The internet is full of ‘how-to’s’ on this and it’s something I don regularly. While you’ll have a cleaner, more organised house, it’s the mental freedom this creates that is the big ‘REASON WHY” for me. It’s just so liberating!
- Wrap up any loose ends that have been on your to-do list for too long. Don’t drag them into a new year and don’t have them playing on your mind when you should be focusing on the more important things in life such as family, personal down time, etc. Just suck it up and get them done. You’ll thank yourself for it later
As you can see, there is so much value to be gained from December other than simply eating and drinking yourself in a stupor. But the key is that you must know in advance what exactly you want to get from the next few weeks and then being pro-active about chasing those goals.
Let me know your thoughts below
Here’s to a great Christmas season and a great 2017 ahead.