I love the holidays, I really do. I love the celebration, traditions, and reuniting with loved ones far and wide. I love the time for reflecting, giving thanks, and giving back. I also admittedly love the heavy whipped creamed desserts, rich sauces, the cinnamon twist creamy cocktails, and laziness by the fireplace. I love it all!
But what I'm not into is that after all is said and done, what you’re usually left with is a looser notch on the belt and a face as puffy as Santa Claus.
And while the holidays seem to be a time for gluttony, they can also be seen as an opportunity to learn how to enjoy yourself without going over the edge. And that’s really what being healthy is all about. It’s about the quest for balance. My theory is, if you can learn how to handle the holidays with all of its indulgences and extra toppings, there is no task too great and no mountain too high. So pull out your pen and get ready to turn your holidays from naughty to nice with this healthy checklist.
First off, I want you to forget that it’s the holidays. I want you to imagine that this is any other time and today is the day that you have decided to start becoming the healthiest you. Sit alone for five minutes—door shut, eyes closed, and cell phone on silent—and begin to picture yourself in your ideal physical state. Take the time to really see yourself. Are you happy? Running? Dancing? What does the healthiest version of you look like?
Now take out your journal, and draw the images or words that you see. Have fun with this! It doesn’t have to be exact or perfect. The point is to jot down how you feel about you, and it doesn’t matter how that's reflected on paper.
Now that you've done that, we're ready to begin the checklist. Keep your vision in mind about how you see yourself, and write one healthy goal that will help accomplish that vision—try to keep it simple. Avoid goals that sound like “I want to lose 20 pounds or look like a model.” I’m not saying it’s not possible, but let’s start simpler before we go there. This Lao Tzu quote says it all: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Examples of healthy goals might be:
My healthy goal for myself is to feel more energetic and vibrant.
My healthy goal for myself is to get more toned in my legs.
My healthy goal for myself is to stop eating late night snacks.
Now that you've written your goal, I want you to create a checklist of the things you must do to accomplish these goals. Keep it as simple as possible and limit it to three points. The shorter the list, the easier it's to accomplish.
Examples of a healthy checklist for toned legs:
1. Research three different leg routines and learn them so I can do them every week.
2. Dedicate myself to at least 15 minutes of leg workouts three times a week.
3. I will climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator because I know that will really tone my legs.
After you have finished this, write this at the bottom with your signature and the date:
I (your name here) love and honor myself and my commitment to my health. I respect myself fully and know that by doing these three tasks written above, I'll be well on my way to becoming the person I have always envisioned. I promise to fulfill these tasks throughout the holiday season no matter what.
Fold up the paper and put it in your wallet. Take it with you everywhere and look at it when you need a little reminder. Remember this checklist as you go through your holidays. By accomplishing these goals during the season, it's a true testament that you can have your cake and eat it too.
Happy Holidays! Xo, Kit
This article was originally published on November 22, 2012
Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood's hottest stars are addicted to Kit's unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit's clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, "with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh." Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness.