It’s that time of year… the marathon between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Unfortunately, this marathon doesn’t include much running … instead, it’s 26.2 miles of holiday treats. Have you started to notice the availability of holiday treats in all the places you go – dishes of candy at the office, gift-wrapped boxes of cookies, bottles of wine at parties and dinners out? Even in your own home, foods you don’t normally eat sneak into the fridge via well-meaning guests, gift baskets, etc.
Indeed, wining, dining, and overindulging is expected this time of year, even celebrated. For so many of us, the holiday season is ALL about food – from candy canes, to Thanksgiving stuffing, to champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries on New Year’s Eve. It’s an integral part of our family traditions! It triggers and accompanies all the high and low emotions that arise this time of year – like being around family or not being around family, or feeling lonely or celebratory, etc.
And of course it’s okay to indulge in your particular holiday treats (mine is chocolate!) within reason. But, even the most steadfast among us incurs a physical and emotional holiday hangover and needs a New Year’s resolution to get back on track. There’s a reason most gym membership specials start on January 2nd!
Now, close your eyes and imagine a holiday season in which you didn’t get OFF track! Don’t think it’s possible? Well, we’ll teach you how to Handel it.
STAYING ON TRACK
Imagine if you wrote out a plan for the month of December that outlined exactly how you wanted to live your life; how you would both treat yourself and nourish your body during these hectic, emotional weeks. Imagine if you made (and kept!) a few simple promises about your diet, your meditation routine, your sleep schedule, your exercise plan, etc…
Now, imagine how you would feel on January 2nd.
I can tell you, because I have done this myself. Trust me — I have actually seen the other side of a holiday season that isn’t designed around dinners and indulgences. From personal experience there is nothing like reaching that goal on January 2nd — it makes you feel high as a kite! I mean it! Spiritually, physically, emotionally… there is no greater high on earth than the feeling of being able to trust yourself.
HOLIDAY FOOD PROMISES
The trick is to make and keep promises to yourself. Look at my list of holiday party promises:
1) Drink three tall glasses of water 30 minutes before each party/meal
2) Limit of one alcoholic drink
3) Limit of one serving of simple carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar)
4) Have either no desserts or one bite of a dessert
5) Be in bed by 12:30AM
DESIGN YOUR HOLIDAY, DESIGN YOUR LIFE
I double-dare you to choose one or all of the above promises for yourself! It takes commitment, but afterwards you’ll feel AMAZING, 100% guaranteed! Remember: It’s not about punishing yourself or playing victim to a strict set of rules. It’s about moderation, accountability, happiness, and above all, authorship. You could even consciously decide to gain five pounds over the holidays and schedule an action plan to undo the damage, if that’s what works for you. The real point is to connect your heart with your deepest yearnings and YOUR highest ideals. Sounds awesome, right?
But, be honest… did you read through my holiday promises list and think, “I’d never be able to do that?” I used to think that too, and a hundred other self-sabotaging beliefs. Amazingly, you can change your mind. You can learn how to control your thoughts, act in accordance with your beliefs, lose your vices, achieve your goals, and have the life you want.
Ditch the eggnog and give yourself the gift of personal evolution! When you honor your word and your promises to yourself, you build a trust and a self-worth that moves mountains. @HGLifeCoaching (Click to Tweet!)
Your dreams come true, literally! How is THAT for a holiday treat?
P.S. Ready to take on January 2nd like a real, well, adult? Take our Current Reality Quiz to see which areas of life need a little TLC!
Laurie Gerber is a Senior Coach and Co-President of Handel Group® Life Coaching. For over 15 years, Laurie has led international events and private coaching courses. She has appeared on MTV’s True Life, A&E’s The Marriage Test, Dr. Phil and TODAY.
Image courtesy of Alex Geerts