Dear Friends,Welcome to December (a few days late, I know). If you’re like most Americans, you’re feeling the chaos, pressure, full calendars of office parties, business parties, friends’ parties. Not to mention if you have children or family in town, you probably hear your child saying “I want that for Christmas!” at every commercial they see, or every time you go into the store. Did I mention that at every party, and mostly everyday this month your co-workers and friends will be tempting you with fresh-baked goodness?So how do you stay healthy and fit this month? I have a few simple tips that will help ease the chaos, keep you feeling good about yourself, and even get a jump start on those 2014 New Years Resolutions!
Channéll’s Tips to Live in Joy & Peace this Season
- THINK BACK TO YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2013. Did you write them down or perhaps even make a poster board for them? When was the last time you looked at them? A good starting place to end this year strong, is to remember the energy and enthusiasm you began the year with!Don’t even be thinking about next year, if you haven’t completed this year! There is still time in 2013 to get as close to your goals as you can. Don’t quit. Even in the month of December.
- SET YOUR GOALS FOR THIS MONTH. Although there are only 27 days left in the month, remember that it only takes 21 days to change a habit. That means that if you start now, you will have 22 days before Christmas to develop that habit! If you start tomororw, well, you have exactly 21 days. It’s always a good idea to set short-term goals to meet long-term goals. But, that is no new information to you. So, if you have the information, why not put it to use?
- ELIMINATE NEGATIVES FROM YOUR DIET. So many people try to change everything all at one time. Be realistic with yourself. Yes, I said it. Realistic. Don’t say “I am not going to eat any candy at all! I am done!” If you know that you will eat that candy at some point. Don’t view your food as your enemy, view it as your fuel. If you know that you usually resort to the office baked goods for your lunch instead of the healthy meal you packed, maybe your goal will be to eat your healthy food from home first. Then, if you want to have a singe piece of a treat, have it. Eliminate as many negative factors as you can before you start to add positive ones.
- DON’T NEGLECT YOUR EXERCISE. Now, I am not saying that you have to work out every single day, and never just get a day at home to enjoy with your family. In fact, during this season as the busyness sets in, and the travel takes up more time than you wish, you may actually have less time than usual to hit the gym. That’s okay. Work with the time you have whether from home or in the gym.
- MAXIMIZE YOUR INTENSITY DURING WORKOUTS. If you don’t have the time you usually would have to devote to your workout, make sure that you’re increasing your intensity to acheive maximum results. If you only have 20-30 minutes, get a hard run in and some pushups/stretches. No workout is worthless if you’re working hard; regardless of the time.
- GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER. Find someone from work, or even just a friend in another state to help you manage your stresses, and keep you focused with positive, and encouraging words. Set goals with each other and parameters for what your relationship will look like. Will you hit the gym at the same time after work together, and then call each other after to talk about how good you feel? Or will you simply text each other throughout the day for empowerment and encouragement? You determine who this person would best be for you. If you know you’re an emotional eater or stress too easily, do not choose someone you are emotionally sensitive with. If you know you’re prone to arguments with your spouse or best friend, choose someone who is not as intimate with you. That way, you know for a fact that you won’t storm off on that person. Whomever you choose, be committed to them as well as your success.
- JUST SAY NO TO SUGARY DRINKS! Did you know that the average American under-reports their caloric intake? On top of that, on average, Americans consume 20% of their daily calories in liquid form. This means sugary coffees, hot chocolates, whip creams, all of it. If you want to indulge that is ok, but don’t excuse yourself into believing that you can have that Venti Peppermint Chocolate Mocha Quad Shot with Extra Whipping Cream at no cost to your health. Limit yourself to gatherings, or vow to drink tea instead of coffee for the month. If not, you may do what I do – drink black coffee all but 1-2 days per week (on my weekend).
- MATCH YOUR ACTIVITY TO YOUR INTAKE. This seems simple. Calories in vs. calories out. Now, I know what you’re thinking! Who in their right mind is going to track their calories during Christmas? Well, our health is just as important today as any other day of the year. For me personally, I no longer track my calories on a counter, but I do make sure that I run extra on days that I know I may indulge or have a feast to attend. It’s a good way to find balance while still caring about your body.
- AVOID TEMPTATION. We all know those people who like to seemingly sabotage our goals. You know, the ones who you tell them that you’re not drinking, and they offer you a glass of wine? Or the ones who you tell them that you’re not eating bread this month, and you come in to find a whole home-baked pumpkin bread just for you on your desk? Do not allow yourself to be guilted. Yes, have manners and be polite, but don’t feel like you have to try and eat or drink everything that someone gives you. Listen to your body first and foremost. Avoid these people as much as possible.
- LIMIT ALCOHOL. If you’re like many whom are part of dysfunctional families (all of us in some way), you may be emotionally driven to drink in order to just relax. Be very careful about how you conduct yourself, and the types of drinks you’re choosing. My drink of choice is wine or whiskey, but I know some people who choose all of the fruity, flavored alcoholic drinks at the holidays. Limit and control your intake. Be in control of your judgement, mind and your body.
Most importantly, remember that the season is not about gifts, being careless, wreckless or just plain chaotic. The season is about the real reason. Be and stay blessed.With Love,Channéll