Why I don’t worry about December anymore.

I know there will be a lot of newspaper articles, TV reports, and yes, blog posts in the coming weeks giving us the latest and greatest ways to get in shape and eat better in 2016. To which I say: Great! Bring it on! I’ll be ready for it.

But I’m not ready right now.

The avalanche of stories about resolutions and how to keep them used to make me feel like I must have lived poorly over the previous months, whether I had or had not. The truth is that feeling guilty doesn’t make me feel motivated. It makes me feel guilty.

Instead, I now look at December like a chance to get a head start on fitness and diet goals. I no longer look at the month with dread about having to deny myself of everything, or that I’ll be sunk if I don’t get to the gym every day. Now I think of each day this month as an opportunity. No, really, I do.

I look at the few days here and there in December that I can work out as add-ons to my January, February, and March workouts. Like I’m starting the process early, even if it’s only in a small way. The same thing applies with food. I’ve definitely had moments when I’ve eaten too much. Who doesn’t? But that’s been tempered somewhat by soup and salad dinners, and days when I don’t eat anything extra at all.

And then… I try to give myself a break. I’m sick of being too hard on myself and feeling like an abject failure come January. Knowing myself, I know that cutting myself some slack, plus doing what I can, when I can, makes December a much happier month.

I’ve been far from perfect in December. But I have had good moments too. And now I’m in a good place, physically and mentally, to pick up the pace in the new year. I hope your December has been great so far, and your 2016 starts on a great note.
 

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