As the year draws to a close, many folks start reviewing the past year. For me, the proper year-end review doesn’t happen until January. I still have time left this year to reach toward the goals I set myself last January, so it seems crazy to cut myself short on that. What I do think about, though, is how I’m going to help myself make choices through the Holidays that I’ll be happy (rather than ashamed!) to include in my year-end review.
For this year, one of my personal goals was weight loss and fitness. I wanted to earn my black belt, which I did last February, and I wanted to lose 20 pounds. That, I managed to do only just. Despite a whole lot of stress and chaos, I ditched a few bad habits and gained some good new ones that have made my whole life healthier. I want to start off my next year feeling solid in my practices, healthy overall, and kinda proud of myself for having an absolutely splendid Holiday experience and managing to hold to my weight loss plan.
The questions I’m answering this week for myself is: How can I best set myself up for success over the next three weeks and How can I best prepare to make the first few weeks of next year as painless and wonderful as possible?
I have a few answers. First off, I’ve already signed up for a one-month course on healthy living with a certified Health Coach (Check it out at Maw-Maw Kelli’s Herbs’s FB page). That program includes weekly webinars, recipes, and ideas to support a healthy lifestyle. There will be one-to-one support from Kelli, the teacher/coach for this program, and I think there’s also a student forum sort of area where those of us who are involved can cheer each other on. I’m planning to use it as an inspiration to help me make the transition out of Holiday Indulgence easier.
I also know that my first couple of weeks in January need to be strongly focused on an almost vegan diet. Lots of vegetables always make my whole body feel lighter. Especially after I’ve eaten a little extra of those wonderful, rich, gluten-heavy foods we all love (it’s not just me, right??), I find that at least having a huge salad each day really helps. The raw vegetables and fruits I use in said huge salad help my digestive system recover and rebalance – rich foods heat and slow digestion while raw veggies cool and speed digestion.
Since I also know I won’t want to do a ton of cooking and I’ll probably feel pretty exhausted creatively with regard to meals, I’m planning on starting my new year with a 10-Day Shred. I’ll only have to take time for cooking one full meal a day and I know the shakes and snacks will keep me satisfied. I did a shred just before Thanksgiving to detox and clear whatever had accumulated in Body, Mind, and Spirit through late summer and fall. It was a lot easier than the past detoxes and fasts I’ve tried, which actually surprised me. I’m counting on a similar experience in January to help me lighten up and re-energize. I’ve set aside a little time to calculate what I’ll need to support my January 2 shred and I’m getting my order in. That way, I can indulge in all those Holiday goodies guilt-free knowing that when the day arrives I will have what I need to successfully launch my shred.
Between now and the next holiday party, my focus is on a combination of motion and good eating with the support of a positively focused partner. I’m sticking to my usual yoga practice fervently, and I’ve set a goal of finding at least 10 minutes each day to do a few of the poses on my own. I’m also aiming to use a variation on the shred diet — namely the gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free elements — for as many meals as possible. I reckon that by being as conscientious as possible in the days before the holidays, I’ll have mitigated whatever weight gain I might have had as a result of indulging at parties and through the festivities.
I’ve enlisted a partner in this part of the plan who’s as keen on staying healthy as I. We’re checking in with each other daily, sharing and cheering our successes, and reminding each other to not look back when we’ve made choices that we kinda wish we hadn’t. The aim is to celebrate every step we take toward our goals, even the super tiny stuff like that chocolate kiss I avoided last night by making myself a cup of rooibos tea with blueberries and goji fruit instead. I sometimes feel silly cheering myself on for something that tiny, but my partner has absolutely no problem calling my attention to it and reminding me that life is made up of many, many tiny choices. That’s one of the loveliest holiday (or everyday) gifts we can offer one another this season.
Whatever your goals, finding ways to prepare for the challenging bits before you reach them can help you succeed. Take time now to:
- Plan for the transitions you know are coming
- Stock up on whatever supplies or tools you’ll need to stick to your path
- Find support in likeminded folks who focus on the positive
- Celebrate every success along the way, even the super tiny stuff!