They hit the same time every year. We know they are coming. So why
do we experience anxiety around the Holiday season?
“Situational Anxiety is a result of unpreparedness”.
We don’t have to over-think or experience fear around our Holiday
season if we have a plan.
You’re not going to execute your fitness and nutrition process at a
100% success rate year round. I’ve been in this game for 15 years
now. I’ve worked with thousands of people, formed relationships with
hundreds of other fitness professionals and trainers, and have even
formed friendships with professional athletes, bodybuilders, and other
top-level physical performers.
Exactly ZERO execute at a 100% clip for a full calendar year.
Here’s what the most successful performers do:
They plan their year. This may seem like planning a tad too far
ahead, but we all realistically know what seasons of the year are
harder than others to execute a fitness/nutrition process at a high
level due to some combination of personal and/or professional
commitments. For me, it’s Thanksgiving through February, MayJune, and August-September. That’s roughly 6 months in a given
year where I know it will be tougher to get my workouts in
consistently, I’ll have more access to tasty foods, and I’ll have less
time to plan meals, cook, etc.
They push the envelope during their less busy times. It’s important
to take advantage of your calendar in a positive way. When you
can push, push. Don’t miss workouts during this period. Hold
yourself accountable to the bare minimum standard you’ve set for
yourself. For me, this means 4 strength training workouts each
week, 10k steps per day, booze 1x/wk or less, and less than 3
takeout/restaurant meals per week.
They go into maintenance mode during the busy times. Just like
it’s important to recognize when the calendar is working in your
favor, it’s just as important to recognize when the calendar is
going to make things harder for you. This is where I see most of
the mistakes happen. It’s easy, during these times, to throw
everything out the window. If we can’t workout 3x/wk, we may
as well miss entire weeks. If we don’t have time to prepare 5
lunches ahead of time each week, we may as well get takeout
every day. This is where it’s important to establish our bareminimum standards for maintenance. For me, it’s minimum 3
strength training workouts per week, at least 8k steps per day,
booze less than 2x/wk, and less than 5 takeout/restaurant
meals per week.
Work to make progress during times of the year where you can truly
commit to the process. For many of you, October through MidNovember may be one of those periods. Use this time wisely.
In using this time wisely, you’re actively preparing for a Holiday
season where it may be harder to commit to your process. There’s a
good chance that by trying to be perfect from Mid-November
through January 1st, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Set yourself up to WIN.
During the busier periods, play the game of damage control. Don’t
go backwards. It takes far, far less time and effort to maintain your
weight and fitness levels than it is to improve them.
Do the bare minimum to maintain where you’re currently at, so we
don’t just keep gaining and losing the same 10-15lbs throughout
It’s okay to have different standards for yourself – or even a
different process altogether – at different points of the year.
Like we discussed with Rebecca earlier – Your schedule dictates
your approach to fitness.
Take advantage of the time you have right now in October, if you
Develop a plan to maintain around the holidays instead of going
The holidays should be a time for family, gratitude, and fun.
Don’t allow it to be a time for anxiety because you didn’t have a plan
They come around the same time every year. Plan accordingly