With all of that being said, it is challenging to keep our consistent habits when our lives get crazier and busier. I understand that between running around to get everything ready in time for everyone to have a perfect Christmas and taking the time to hit the gym a few times a week, your priorities might change a little and you might use the little free time that you have to deal with Holiday shenanigans.
Being aware of the fact that things might not be perfect or optimized during a few weeks (sleep, nutrition, training, etc.), it doesn't mean that it all has to go away. You have to stick to your FOUNDATION.
The 'foundation' is a concept I use with my clients that allows them to do the minimum to get the maximum out of a period that's a bit different and less under their control. Everyone has a different foundation. Once you know what your foundation is, you force yourself to stick to it no matter what. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when building your foundation:
- What is the minimum amount of workout sessions that I can fit during my week? And what is the minimum duration for each session?
- What is the minimum amount of healthy meals and snacks per day that I can prep and eat?
- What is the minimum amount of hours of sleep that I can get every night to make sure I can function properly the next day?
Maybe your usual answers to these questions are 5 workouts of 45 minutes a week, 3 meals and 1 snack a day and 8 hours of sleep. But remember that when building your foundation - which is what you will absolutely have to stick to no matter how busy and crazy things get, you have to be more realistic with yourself and figure out what is actually doable. So your answers might change to 3 workouts of 30 minutes a week, 1 meal and 1 snack a day and 6 hours of sleep.
Is it ideal? Nop. Under what you usually do? Yup. BUT by sticking to your foundation, you avoid the deceiving situation where ALL your good habits go down the drain and you fall into the mentality of 'I'll just start all over again after the Holidays'. And that is dangerous. That is when you get sick, overtired, overstressed. That is what makes it so much harder to fall back into your good habits after the Holidays. I'll even go further and tell you to ask yourself one more question to add a few things to your foundation:
- What other healthy habits can I easily keep throughout my days even with a busy schedule and a holiday 'to-do list' that never ends?
Maybe it's drinking 2 liters of water a day. Or doing your 1 minute breathing exercise twice a day. Or meditating 5 minutes every morning. Or taking your daily Vitamin D supplement. Add to your foundation 2-3 key habits that you do daily, that don't require a lot of time and that will keep bringing great health benefits to your life.
Once you have your foundation, write it down somewhere you can see it and get reminded daily that you owe it to yourself to stick to your foundation so you can fully enjoy the Holidays, healthy, a little less stressed and with a little more energy. And so all your hard work doesn't get side tracked by life. And so when your schedule gets back to somewhat normal, going back to your optimal habits will be so much easier.