Staying fit and healthy through the holidays is more about your motivation and one small (but effective) trick than checking off a list of to-dos.

Before you read on, ask yourself why you want to stay (or get) fit this season. Are you going on vacation? Do you want to avoid illness this winter? Do you want to reduce your stress during the most stressful time of year? When you understand your motivation for working out you better understand yourself. Ask yourself “why” so that when the going gets tough, you stay the course.

Unrealistic goals

Ok, you are going to set your alarm for 4:30 a.m., workout for an hour every day, and lose 10 pounds by New Year’s Day! Monday rolls around, your alarm goes off, you hit snooze, snooze again, and snooze one more time, until it’s 6:30 a.m. and you have to jump out of bed and start your day. Oh well, you think, “There’s always tomorrow.” February rolls around and you realize you still have not worked out once.

What happened?

People often fail at their goals because they set lofty, unrealistic goals.

Three minutes per day to a healthier you through the holidays

In college, I was determined not to gain the “freshman fifteen” or the fifteen pounds that most girls put on in their first semester of school. I heard a motivational speaker say that “if something is important it to you, you can set aside a minimum of three minutes per day to devote to that practice.” This became my fitness motivation in college. I made a promise to myself that I would workout every day for at least three minutes. Yes, just three minutes. More often than not, once I trekked all the way across campus to get to the gym, I would start my three minutes, feel motivated, and then keep going! Often I would continue working out for an hour or more, but my goal remained the same. I did not get down on myself if I only worked out for three minutes. I didn’t gain weight that first semester, I lost weight. During the hardest transition of my life as a first year college student, I learned that creating consistent habits was one key to weight loss, and more importantly, discipline.

You are more likely to create a habit if you set small goals such as working out for only three minutes per day. You can do anything for three minutes per day. Anything. Once you start working out (treadmill, elliptical, swimming, dancing, squats, pushups, etcetera) you may start feeling so good after three minutes that you keep going! Let’s say you do ten minutes every day. At the end of the week, that is 70 minutes more than you did last week! Even if you only do three minutes per day, you are creating a lifetime habit of healthy movement — during the busiest season of the year! If you can start a workout routine now, you can do anything! And you are worth it. You are worth more than mediocre health this holiday season. You are worth exceptional health.

God bless you and Merry Christmas!

 

Photo via Flikr and Contours Express

Ashley Darkenwald

Author Ashley Darkenwald

Ashley Darkenwald is an inspirational speaker and the author of Living Wellness, the book encompassing her 10+ years as a fitness professional, club owner, and nutrition fanatic. Ashley enjoys homeschooling her two children, leading worship at the WHY church in Elk River, and playing sand volleyball in the summer. Ashley’s favorite speaking topic is FREEDOM through the practice of exceptional health.

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