Tips on how to stay motivated this festive season

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Negotiating the festive season without losing all the progress you’ve worked so hard for doesn’t require superhuman discipline, just a little proactive thinking. The right mindset will prevent you from feeling like an alcohol-infused stuffed turkey come January! Here, Common Purpose, providers of tailored corporate health and wellbeing programs, share six tips to stay motivated over Christmas:

1. Enter a maintenance phase – It’s probably not realistic to expect to be making huge strides of progress over the festive period. Take an example of weight loss, instead of expecting to lose more weight over the holiday period, how about simply aiming to not gain weight? Remember that every day that you don’t regress, is progress. Then come January you can hit the ground running.

2. Delay gratification – It seems that the winter holiday season starts to build as soon as Halloween finishes nowadays! When it comes to maintaining your training and healthy nutrition habits, try your best not to get caught up in this phenomenon. Set aside 7-10 days in the calendar for guilt-free festive fun (say from 23rd Dec – 1st Jan). Try your best to maintain some form of routine and discipline until then.

3.Enter a deload – A deload is a period of time dedicated to reducing training intensity and/or volume, which follows a period of hard training (overreaching). When designing your training program, use the 7-10days you’ve set aside for this purpose. A deload needs to be earned, so train hard until your time off.

4. Instead of exercise, think movement – Christmas is a great time to wrap up warm and head out for long walks with family, friends and dogs! Plan some kind of activity every day, get up, get out and get moving. This doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise (although this is also encouraged). Your joints, muscles, brain, mood and digestive system will really benefit from these “movement snacks”.

5.Relax, recover, restore – When all is said and done, this time really is for enjoyment and relaxation. Life can be stressful, so view this week as an opportunity for mental and physical rejuvenation. Enjoy the downtime responsibly, keep the work emails at bay, spend time with friends and family and savor this time which comes but once a year.

6. Set a “Return to Training” date – Although the beginning of the festive period is ambiguous, we can probably agree that by the first week of January, normality resumes. Choose a day this week to return to your ‘normal’ exercise training. Setting a specific date ahead of time massively increases the chances you will get the ball rolling again.

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