This is a stressful time of year – the days feel too short (amplified by fewer hours of daylight), the to do list way too long. In can be so tempting to try and do it all: follow your diet plan perfectly, get in all your workouts, hit your water intake goal, and conquer the work and family to do list. What usually happens next is feelings of guilt, frustration and shame when you can’t do it all and something inevitably gives or falls off.
Let’s let go of expectations
My advice - let go of high expectations and being perfect. We’ve all heard the saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” In high stress times, don’t set yourself up for feelings of failure, defeat, and shame but setting unreasonable expectations on yourself. You don’t need to do it all. Give yourself permission to adjust expectations and do what is manageable for you, what you can sustain, through the holiday season and high stress times.
Set small goals
Let’s focus on setting small goals that celebrate and reinforce the habits you’ve been building as part of your healthy lifestyle. Bring it back to basics – maybe it’s focusing on getting a fruit or vegetable with each meal and snack, going for a 10-minute walk outside daily, meal prepping on the weekend, or spending 5-10 minutes each day on something you enjoy for stress relieve. By focusing on small goals, ones that you can achieve, you reinforce habits that will carry you through stressful times and calmer moments in your journey.
Celebrate the little wins
Last week, we talked about the power of the non-scale wins. This time of year, I encourage you to focus less on the number on the scale and driving towards weight loss goals. You can’t always control or predict how you and your body will react to stressful times. Instead, focus on what you can control – the little decisions each day that build on your healthy routines. And then reward yourself for consistency this holiday season. Whether it’s a pedicure on the weekend, a bubble bath, or maybe watching your favorite tv show or movie.
What Small Goals May Look Like
Here are some examples of some small goals to focus and bring it back to basics for the next several weeks.
- Set aside 5 mins of stress relief per day – meditate, read, dance, or listen to your favorite song
- A quick burst of endorphins with 5 or 10 minutes of exercise
- Consistently go to bed at the same time each night to work on your sleep
- Eat one fruit or vegetable with each meal and snack
- Drink a large glass of water with each meal and snack