We’re into the final few days of November.
Christmas, and all that entails, is just around the corner. It’s around this time of year that the concern of dwindling motivation begins to arise.
A couple of times a week at the moment there’s the conversation with clients around the lack of motivation at this time of year. How hard it is to continue the habits built during the year into a time in which focus and priorities may shift towards family, time off, food and socialising.
It’s easy to give in whole heartedly, throw in the towel and aim to restart in January.
However things don’t need be black and white in terms of our approach. It’s not a case of strict regimentation vs completely succumbing to the gluttony of Christmas. We can be flexible and still maintain, or continue to improve on, where we are currently.
Even the smallest of continued efforts is fundamentally better than nothing at all.
If that means going from 4x workouts a week down to 2-3 shorter 30min sessions every 10 days or so. Absolutely no problem, you’re still making progress.
If it means that you’re daily step count drops from 12,000 down to ~8000, but you’re still seeing 20-30mins of sunlight during the day, you’re still making progress.
If it means that you take time away from the calorie math of daily food tracking and simply keep an eye on bodyweight every few days, aiming to maintain a good percentage of your protein intake, you’re still making progress.
If it means that you know sleep may be disrupted by some late night Christmas parties, but you aim to limit alcohol consumption after 8pm so that you still get some quality REM even if its overall a shorter sleep time, you’re still making progress.
Myopic thinking gets us into trouble in all walks of life.
Being either completely “on” or “off” a programme or a diet, limits the capacity to actually make long-term, sustainable steps forward.
We’re never 100% fully motivated outside of the first few hours/days of initially starting something new.
However we can still maintain the intention we have towards a goal, remain disciplined enough to keep making strides forward, and rely on the habits we’ve developed over the year to enjoy the time with family, time off from working, food availability and socialising without becoming frustrated at the lack of motivation towards health and fitness goals at this time.