How to Beat those Holiday Ruts

You know, the holidays can be a stressful time.

They can be fantastic but they’re also filled with social events, rich food, time constraints, and all sorts of things that can keep us from focusing on our goals, whatever those goals may be. At RVC it is pretty obvious that most of our goals center around health – whether they be related to exercise, diet, stress-relief, or any other number of things. My goal, (as you may have heard through the grapevine), is to run the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in February, 2016.

And, I’m not going to lie to you guys, it would not be hard for me to get knocked off track this holiday season. It’s no secret that, for most of us, me included, lying around on the couch watching holidays movies while stuffing our faces with huge dinners and baked goods is way more appealing than, you know, going out for a run in the brisk November air or heading to the gym to workout. Sure, afterward I would not feel great about my decision to skip my workout in favor of holiday-themed laziness, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an easy trap to fall into.

Let’s talk some strategies to find ourselves on the other side of January first with our goals (and, in my case, my dignity) intact, shall we?

Don’t Beat Yourself Up This one is huge. I’ve got this tendency, and I’m sure a lot of your do too, to make one mistake and then give up on the whole darn thing. We have got to get rid of this attitude. Having one day where you skip your workout does not make you a bad person. And it especially doesn’t mean that you might as well give up and skip your workouts all week! That’s like… accidentally painting one room in your house the wrong color and deciding to burn the whole place down. Doesn’t that sound like an insane decision? Let’s try to remember that the next time we’re tempted to scrap our whole workout plan because one day didn’t go as scheduled, okay? It’s a busy time of year and things are going to happen that you don’t expect. It’s not the end of the world! Enjoy yourself, don’t stress, and get back on the horse the next day.

Remember You Don’t Have to Go It Alone Sometimes after those days where you felt like you blew it, it can be hard to get back into the gym and into the swing of things. When I get into these ruts, I find it really helpful to attend a group exercise class (if I’m not scheduled to train with JK, that is). An enthusiastic instructor and compatriots who are suffering alongside you can totally change the vibe of a workout. You’ll go from feeling a bit downtrodden to feeling totally pumped, I promise. You will almost definitely push yourself harder than you would on your own, too. (I burned 836 calories in JK’s spinning class last Wednesday according to my MYZONE belt. Do you know what I would have to do on my own to burn that many? Because I sure don’t.)

Talk to Someone Whose Had the Same Goal… and Conquered It You know what is inspiring? Knowing someone who has had the same goal you have… and kicked its butt! I want to give a shout out to Allie, a member who ran the Disney Princess Half last year, who reads the blog, and came up to chat to me about the race of the fitness floor last week. Hi, Allie! Even during our quick chat I could totally tell that Allie is going to be amazing for me to talk to. She assured me that the racecourse is not filled with killer hills, (I know, I know, it’s Florida but I’m from Vermont and I don’t understand how flat places work!), and that it is unlikely that Disney officials will pick me up for going to slowly and refuse to let me finish the race unless I actually crawl the entire way. When you’re feeling like you might get off track with your goal, like your goal might be impossible, find someone who can tell you, unequivocally, that it is possible because they did it. It’ll do you a world of good. And I bet, whatever your goal, if it is health-related, someone at RVC has tackled it and won.

So that’s it, really. Remember that you’re human and you’re going to make mistakes but that’s not the end of the world, find some people to work hard beside you, find a little inspiration, and you’re going to be just fine come January 1st. That’s really what the holiday season is all about, right? Acceptance, love, and hope in all their various forms.

Oh man, I got all cheesy again, didn’t I? I blame all the turkey and the hugging over Thanksgiving.

Come back next week and I’ll whine about something to restore balance to the universe.

The best part of your day

Now is the time to focus on your health and fitness.

What our members say

 Jennifer Packard
Jennifer Packard

Whether you’re just starting out, trying to get back into a routine, or are feeling frustrated with your current regimen: Your fitness journey is your own. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

 Terry Hall
Terry Hall

‘Can’t’ is no longer in my vocabulary, and I have a sense of pride in my ability to work toward a goal and not only achieve it, but often exceed it.