The combination of social gatherings, changes in weather, visiting family members, and traveling might impact your workout motivation during the holiday season. As much as it’s expected every year, staying connected to your health goals can still be difficult during all the end-of-year celebrations. But have no fear, use the following tips to develop a strategy for success during the coming weeks.

Create a Plan 

Research shows that planning when, what, and how you are going to accomplish a task dramatically helps to improve the chances that you will succeed at completing that task. Your workout is no different—plan ahead for the day, week, or even month. You can make specific plans to start your workout earlier on days when you know you’ll be busy (Delose, 2015). Block off time in your calendar, and you can go a step further and even choose what class or on-demand workout you’ll do that day. However, be mindful of making realistic goals. Realistic expectations help create a series of success that results in consistency during the holidays.

Create Space

Creating space designated for exercise will help your success in staying committed to your wellness routine through the holidays. Remove yourself from distractions and find a space that energizes you. This space can be in your home, a local fitness studio, or even your favorite park are all great options. Behavioral sciences theories suggest that the physical environment can dictate expected behavior in a given environment. According to this concept, it’s beneficial to have an area that can help you mentally, if not physically, separate yourself from work and home responsibilities, distractions like TV and cell phones, and mindsets like “couch time” or “homework.” During the holidays, a setup as simple as a suspension exercise strap and a workout mat in the garage can help you stay connected to your fitness routine. 

Create Accountability

Many people will be around more friends and family during the holidays, so why not ask them to join you for a workout? Limit your time watching movies, shows and sports games together, and instead find an active game, get outside for a walk or hike, or go to the gym together. If you have someone else to show up for, you’ll be more likely to work out.  

Good Hygiene

This may have seemed trivial prior to 2020, but one thing that can easily put a damper on your workouts, appetite, and general wellness is illness. Being extra diligent about hygiene will improve your chance of avoiding a cold or flu this holiday season. Wash your hands, get plenty of sleep, and drink plenty of water to avoid any winter bugs.

The holidays are a special time of year and one that you should enjoy with loved ones. Consistent exercise and making conscious healthy choices will only make the holiday season that much brighter and set you up for a great start to the new year.  

Delose, J.E., VanDellen, M.R., Hoyle, R.H. (2015). First on the List: Effectiveness at Self-Regulation and Prioritizing Difficult Exercise Goal Pursuit. Self and Identity Vol.14, No. 3, 271-289. 


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