“The holiday season is nearly here. I know I’m going to be eating more than usual. Why bother trying to stay healthy or get in shape right now? I’ll just make it my New Year’s resolution’

Right around this time of year, so many of us decide we will just give up and give in.

Because we do this so often, year after year, we feel completely justified in putting off our goals for another two months, because everyone lets themselves go at this time of year, right? Unfortunately, this prospect of a new beginning in January, seems to give us permission to splurge more.

Most people’s excuse to start in the new year, is because they think they’ll have more time then. If you think you’re too busy to start an exercise programme now, do you really think you’ll have time later? The holidays haven’t even started yet – there’s still plenty of time to prepare and even progress towards your goals. Trust me.

New Year’s resolutions aren’t necessarily bad; it’s good to have some new goals and focusses, but I would try and keep the pressure off yourself to be a new person, new fitness, new health, better person, all at once. It’s too much, you’re going to set yourself up for failure.

Does this sound familiar?

January 1st: That’s it, I am really going to do it this time!
Mid-January: There’s not enough time for all these workouts! And who has time to cook and bring food to work every day? Ughhhhhhhh!
Sometime in February: I am feeling kind of bad about myself…
January 1st: This time I’ll really do it!

Stop the cycle. Start now. Tomorrow! Why not? Come to a class, go for a walk with a friend, book that personal training session you have been promising yourself. By doing this now, you’re less likely to feel totally overwhelmed once January comes, plus you’re so much less likely to overindulge, in the holiday season.

  • Build a foundation of habits and fitness that you’ll easily be able to continue when everyone else is just starting. Not only that, but you’ll have sooooo much more energy for all of that socialising, running around shopping, and travelling. Remember: just 20 to 60 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 days per week at a moderate-to-high intensity can improve your fitness level tremendously, according the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
  • You DON’T have to deprive yourself during the holidays. You can eat whatever everyone else is eating, but be mindful of portion sizes and have those colours on your plate too. Why not even wrap up and take the family out for a nice long walk. You’ll start to learn long-term habits and feel better, not bloated.
  • If you start being aware of your food intake NOW, without the pressure of suddenly being on an unrealistic restrictive ‘diet’, you’ll have time to look at cookbooks and practice some healthy recipes. Maybe even ask for a few for Christmas presents!
  • Invest the time for these gradual lifestyle changes and you’ll be less likely to see it as an unfamiliar and inconvenient burden come January.

Maybe you’ve beat the odds and been successful at keeping a New Year’s resolution in the past. If so, kudos! But if you’re serious about making your fitness, health or fat loss goal a lifestyle change, the time to start is NOW.