Having a plan is a good thing, that’s what I tell myself right about now as the holiday “To Do” list has me hustling to get it all done. Attempting to maintain a balanced lifestyle becomes a huge challenge. Suddenly there is not enough time to prepare meals properly, take an energetic walk, do a yoga practice, and have some time to relax at the end of the day. Instead I have to spread these activities out if I am to do them at all.
We can count our blessings that it all happens over a short span of time, but one way to enjoy the madness, after all, ’tis the season to be jolly, is to have a plan for what to do as soon as the clock strikes midnight on December 31. I find that having a plan in mind provides me a time line for unfettered freedom during the holidays. Just how much I abuse that freedom must be recouped in the month to come and with that in mind I am not so “unfettered” as I was in my youth.
Diet: Schedule a day after January 1 when you will begin to eliminate those foods that accompany the holidays and will continue to accompany your thighs unless eliminated promptly. Knowing you have a specific day to transition away from over eating holiday sweets, leaves you space to enjoy your Christmas cookies in the moment.
Money: I learned from my mother that if you shop for gifts during the rest of the year, come Christmas you will have your shopping done, money in the bank, and time to be at home rather than braving the malls and highways. Of course, I also learned from my mother that you best remember where you hid all the presents or come Christmas Eve you will be jostling with the last minute shoppers until the midnight hours. Keep a savings account that you contribute small amounts to over 12 months (with a vow not to touch it unless it is an emergency), so that January’s bills can be paid.
Time: Note to self, make time to just sit and read a book, get a massage, have a facial, or plan 10 minutes each morning to sit in meditation. In other words, put it on the daily calendar to have time to do nothing. Just enough time to clear the mind and breathe. When you take conscious breaths you infuse the body with energy, and at the same time calm the nervous system. A simple practice with astounding results.
Exercise: Need I remind you that moving your body is one of the most important things you can do for good health and weight loss. Plan an activity you enjoy doing, whether a sport or exercise, and dedicate time each day or week to keeping your body fit and healthy. I prefer yoga, dancing and walking and look forward to returning to tennis come the springtime. For me there’s nothing like variety to stay interested and excited about my exercise regimen.