Saturday, December 31, 2011

Did you fall off the nutrition + exercise wagon during the 2011 holiday season? If not, congratulations - well done! If you did, you probably have plenty of company: vacations and holidays, for many, are official breaks from regular schedules.

When I find myself a bit unseated from my fitness / health routine, my first question is, “What am I going to do about it now?” I try to start by not beating myself up for worshipping at the altar of peppermint bark (only Williams-Sonoma’s, of course). Next, I take stock. What habits have slipped? How am I feeling physically? How are my clothes fitting now?

Once I know where I am, I first change the things that are easy to fix - and that will make a positive difference. Increase water intake. Return to regular use of the supplements that helped. Spend a few minutes stretching when I get out of bed. Those are the things that are simple for me to commit to and implement.

As I get back on my regular schedule, I’ll start tackling the harder stuff, which starts off on a hand-written list. I add goals to my routine one thing at a time, allowing each one to take hold before I seriously commit to another.

I like to feel successful in my efforts, and for me baby steps are key. Going for broke with an all-or-nothing, aggressive, fix-me-now approach doesn’t work for me.

Since we are infinitely unique as individuals, there are infinite ways for you to reach your goals - mine is the one that is tailor-made to work for me. Yours should be the one that is tailor-made to work for you. Know yourself. Know what will work for you.

Whether you start small, start big, or somewhere in between, the important stuff is to start with a plan that you know is going to make a long-term difference for you. I’m not in it just to shed a few holiday pounds. I’m in it to live a healthier life.

Please have a safe and fun New Year’s celebration!