With CRUSHmas in full swing and Christmas right around the corner I wanted to share my thoughts on approaching the holiday season. I have seen numerous posts regarding this topic, the majority of which are flooded with the words “balance” and “flexibility”. Although I think these are two appropriate words for this time of year, these posts can often be confusing, as being “balanced” looks completely different to everyone based on their personality and the goals they have. Tell an individual with a type A personality to be “flexible” and you may be met with a pair of rolled eyes. Tell a person with a more lax personality to be “flexible” and they may take this as a free-for-all. Rather than regurgitating these two very broad words, I would like to share three new words that may help others foster an objective mindset and provide an understanding on how to thoroughly enjoy the holiday season while still progressing toward your goals.
1. Ownership – Regardless of the goals you have for yourself, OWN THEM! Remember that you are a product of your own actions, nobody else’s. If your goal is to cut weight and you find yourself overindulging at a holiday party, don’t blame the person who brought the cheese ball. On the flipside, if your goal is to pull back and enjoy food outside of your meal plan, don’t beat yourself into the ground for having that extra cookie. Rather than second-guessing every decision, be confident in the goals you have and your ability to make choices that will help you achieve them.
2. Evaluate – Evaluate your goals based on the situations and opportunities that arise. I am very fortunate to be entering the holiday season without the stress of dieting and with a relatively high caloric baseline. However, this doesn’t mean I plan on trying every cookie offered to me or jumping on each opportunity to eat outside of my typical diet. My goal is to fuel my performance and put on quality tissue, while optimizing my intake…if my goal were to try out for a linebacker position in the near future my actions may look a little different! Associate meaning with your actions and keep the situation and time spent with others in alignment with what you want to accomplish.
3. Integration – Although goals can be very personal, it doesn’t mean you need to approach them in solitude. There have been holidays I have counted macros to a T and others in which I adopted a loser approach to my diet. I have found that regardless of what I choose, being upfront with others about my goals helps me relax and properly execute them. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed while surrounding yourself with loved ones – the people in your life who will support you and love you no matter what. Be proactive about including them in your goals and ALLOW them to support you. Don’t sit in the corner with your Tupperware being bitter that you can’t partake in sharing the holiday goodies. Bring a macro-friendly dish you can share with others and find ways to make the most of the situation!
Bottom line is that the holidays should be enjoyed! Don’t let them lead to unwanted stress or setbacks and be adamant about controlling your mindset. You can’t always control the situation at hand, but you can control how you approach things mentally. Stay positive, realize it’s possible to achieve your goals, and most importantly, enjoy your life.