Good Old Good Habits
Do you start the new year feeling like you need to “Detox” your entire life? Be a completely different you, get everything back on track and eat nothing but salads because you’ve been chewed up, fed up, pumped with prosecco, stripped of your awareness of the day or time and then spat out again by Christmas?
I’ve definitely been there and it’s not a nice way to step into a new year.
You wanted to enjoy time off with your loved ones, join in with the festivities including all of the yummy foods and drink so you DID and no one should try to make you feel guilty for that, especially you.
If that’s what we chose to do, we should just do it, enjoy it, accept it and move on.
But the problem is, we don’t.
We indulge a little, feel guilty and then just let it snowball until the flood gates are completely open and feel almost out of control (because hey we’ve done it now) so we might as well go wild until New Year!
Year after year I used to do the same thing, promise myself I’d gym as much as possible, but struggle to get there even once. Tell myself I’d eat “healthy” other than a FEW treats then my eating would spiral insanely away from the plan…and so on and so forth.
The same thing every year, ending up convinced I’m a big fat failure of this superhuman I signed myself up to be…
So THEN, once I feel like a failure… of course I just let ALL of my good habits slip. Instead of making sure I ate my veggies at dinner before that slice of yule log, I just turn into some fussy rebel child – refusing to eat any form of nutrition or join in on anything slightly healthy or active because WHAT’S THE POINT NOW?! Might as well run with it! (or not in this case)
Yes we need a break from routine sometimes and on the days that it’s done right, it’s awesome…but when I start kidding myself (when I know I’m just procrastinating), all I’m really doing is cheating myself out of those feelings of accomplishment- achieved by those usual little wins and start to feel pretty sh*tty, pretty fast!
I feel that once you enter that whole “I’ll start in the new year/Monday” merry-go-round…you turn “starting” into this big effort that you dread and get stuck in that mind set- acting accordingly and avoiding any chances you see to make better choices, practically laying the red carpet for Little Miss Anxious!
It’s taken me all of these years to realise that putting unrealistic pressure onto yourself just sets you up to fail HOWEVER totally letting loose can make you feel like a slob- leading to a negative mind-set either way!
Learning to accept times like Christmas instead of fear it means I’ve managed to achieve a much healthier mind set- which has allowed me to enjoy all of the good stuff without the unwelcome side of guilt, simply by making a conscious effort to keep a few of my good habits in tact, balancing out the fun stuff.
Keeping up with even a handful of the simpler good habits (when chilling out a bit on other fronts) means I still get a hit of those good feels, which THEN allows me to happily join in on the daily glass of Baileys and all of the never-ending good foods on offer or play on just dance with Miya for an hour instead of dragging myself away from all the fun to go to the gym.
They’re only little things but what they do for me is so much bigger and as I hear soooooooo many people suffering with post-Christmas guilt- I thought I’d share just how important I think our good habits are at getting us through life that tiny bit smoother, by showing just how much a little bit of consistency can keep you feeling accountable when everything else feels in limbo.
If you have dedicated your time off to doing sweet FA then good for you, enjoy yaself!
BUT if you’re the kind of person who knows you will just feel dreadful if you let big scary Christmas suck you in and take over your life… then take back some control!
Pick 5 good habits you KNOW make you feel all productive and lovely and stuff… then make it a priority to carry them out each day and see if you can make it through the most wonderful time of the year ACTUALLY FEELING wonderful by the end! (whether you made it to the gym or not)
Who knows you might even come out the other side victorious and ready to take on self-cares next archenemy- The January Blues!
Here’s what my little list of good habits looks like:
-Drink another glass of water
-Add veggies to each meal
-Add fruit to each dessert
-Eat some source of protein with each meals
-Go for a walk or bike ride
– Read another chapter of my book
– Put a wash on or do the washing up (or both)
-Make a list of things that need doing and plan them out
– Do a facemask
-Listen to music or a podcast
-Plan and mindfully prepare my next balanced meal
-Use any fruits and veg that need using to make a smoothie
-Spend time with someone who makes me feel good
-Put the kettle on and mindfully make a cuppa something
-Have a bath with all the trimmings (candles/bath bomb/bubbles)
These are just a few examples and they’re just simple tasks but carrying them out are like therapy for me.
On good days I might aim to fit them all in, other days I might just pick and mix a couple and some days I could be such an unorganized mess that managing to complete just one will make my entire day.
Working out what YOUR little things are is so important because on days that you’re really in need of some positivity from those little wins, those good old good habits NEVER FAIL!