Healthy and Happy Holidays—Part 2


In Saturday’s blog, I posed some of the questions to ask yourself in order to go from Halloween to New Year’s with balance, grace, and fulfillment. Today, I am going to share how I answered those questions and my plan to make January 2nd a day where I feel great–mind, body, and spirit.

Having a different experience over the holidays takes awareness, planning, and celebrating the smallest victories. Think about what your answers to these questions would be.

To gain awareness, I first have to look at my past experiences. What are those things that typically knock me for a loop?

My biggest challenges over the holidays include the extra temptation of all the treats that are around from Halloween to New Year’s, my perception of family expectations, and worse, my own expectations that everything has to be magical and perfect. This makes me pack too much into my to-do list and I get challenged when my priorities aren’t shared by others, which results in stress and feelings of resentment.

Now that I know what my biggest challenges are, I can look at what the holidays mean to me.

They mean unconditional love, recognizing and celebrating the magic in life, others, and myself. They mean having fun, relaxing, and laughing with friends and family. They mean being content and at peace.

When I compare what the holidays truly mean to me and my biggest challenges, what are the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that come up?

Stress and unmet expectations—my own and others. Having to have everything be perfect—decorations, sending out cards, gifts, and food, etc. Not wanting to feel deprived. Wanting to feel loved. The feeling that there’s too much to do. The feeling that people won’t love me if I’m not perfect.

What are my internal values that I truly want to honor over the holidays?

My connection to my Higher Self. Love, for myself and others. Self-care, so I have the energetic capital to give to others. Being appreciative of myself, others, and all the blessings in my life.

How do I want to feel over the holidays?

Connected, balanced, happy, content, and loving.

How do I want to be on January 2nd, using the present tense?

I  feel energetic and in balance–body, mind, and spirit. I have maintained my weight and I feel strong and fit. My relationships feel good. I appreciate life more. I am eager and excited about this New Year.

Not that I’m clear on what it is that I want, I can start planning.

What do I have to do differently to get more of those feelings and to honor my core values?

  • Ensure that I take the time to meditate, exercise, and rest so that I maintain my connection to my Higher Self and have mental clarity and physical energy. I am having surgery over Christmas so my self-care will really need to be a priority.
  • Focus on the best qualities of everyone I love and forgive them for not being perfect. And forgive myself for not being perfect.
  • Release myself from the responsibility for anyone else’s happiness.
  • Prioritize my to-do list so that what I’m doing aligns with what I truly want.
  • Release the need to do everything myself and either ask for help, or let things go.
  • Focus on all the things I appreciate in my life.
  • Focus on all the reasons I want to start the New Year feeling great and choose foods that will support that. But also allow myself to have some treats so that I feel like I’m fully experiencing and enjoying the season.

What are the obstacles I’ll face and what do I need to do differently to work around them?

Time—So I’ll need to actually schedule those things that are a priority, like meditating, exercising, and some evenings where I just relax. I can focus on doing those things that really match up with my values. I can ask for help with decorating, shopping, and wrapping and shipping presents—and truly acknowledge and appreciate the help that I do get.

Expectations—Since I don’t have control over anyone else’s reactions, I can focus on my own. I can be authentic and loving. I can be fully present. I can acknowledge other’s feelings, and I may have to allow them to feel disappointment. I may have to allow myself to feel disappointment. I can forgive them—and myself—for not being perfect. I can make lists of all the things I love and appreciate about others so those things are clear in my mind when I see them. I can enjoy what is instead of how I think it should be.

Tempting foods and treats—Where I have control over the menu or am bringing something, I can provide healthy foods. I can eat before a party so I’m not as tempted. I can eat healthy foods for most meals and plan to have one meal a week where I allow myself to have treats. I can exercise my resistance muscle—and celebrate my success! I can forgive myself if I do give in and get back on track with healthy eating at my next meal. I can write down all the reasons I want to feel great on January 2nd, and I can read the list every day and carry it with me if I need a reminder of why I am choosing to eat healthy.

When and how are you going to do those things? (Be specific.)

  • Today, I will schedule time to meditate every day and exercise six days a week, and work the rest of my schedule around them.
  • I will schedule 15 minutes each day to write and read lists of appreciation. Tonight I will create my list of all the reasons I want to feel great come January 2nd and I will include reading that in my 15 minutes of appreciation. I will carry the list in my purse, in case I need to remind myself why I’m choosing to forgo a treat. Each week, I will plan some downtime in my schedule. I will make getting adequate rest a priority.
  • If I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I will take 15 minutes to meditate and/or ask for help. I can also let go of things that aren’t on my priority list.
  • Every week, I will create a healthy meal plan and based on parties and other activities, I can decide when I will have my treats.

Finally, it’s really important to keep myself motivated and inspired to stay on track, even when things get tough. How and when will I celebrate all the small things that I am doing to create a balanced and fulfilled holiday experience?

  • I will acknowledge and praise myself each time I meditate and workout. Even if I only get in 15 minutes, I will consider it a win.
  • Each time I face a temptation and choose to stick to my food plan, I will give myself praise. And as a bonus, when I get to January 2 and have maintained my weight and feel great, I will buy myself something I want.
  • When I take time out for rest and relaxation, I will honor the time and will make a point to do something that is truly relaxing.
  • I will celebrate my family and friends and share my appreciation for them. Each time I successfully release an expectation or respond in a more positive way than I would have in the past, I will acknowledge it during my time of appreciation by writing kudos to myself in my journal.

Right here and now, I make the commitment to do these things and to make this year’s holidays’ healthy and happy.

I encourage you to take the time to think about, plan for, and celebrate your journey from Halloween to New Year’s. How do you want to feel on January 2?

Together we can do it!

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