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It happens every New Year’s Eve without fail. Surrounded by a crowd of your friends, you hold your champagne high and announce that this year will be the year you kick off your fitness plan – for real, this time. In past years, you’ve either spent a couple short weeks in January dutifully making strides on the treadmill before letting the habit slip away, or completely forgot your resolution by the time you finished your pancakes on New Year’s Day! Planning for a lifestyle change on New Years never works. To spark a real difference, you need to start considering your fitness strategy before the holidays launch into full swing. Here, I outline a few strategies to carry your plan to productivity.


Set Your Goals Before the Holidays

If you truly want to make a plan you’ll stick to, you should start developing your routine before the holiday season begins. Between gift-buying, decorating, celebrating, and your everyday working life, you won’t have space in your schedule to spontaneously head out on a run. Sit down with your calendar and plan out your workouts ahead of time. That way, you can plan your holiday to-do list without sacrificing your exercise routine.


Be Realistic

No one can go from couch potato to marathon runner in a week. Set realistic, achievable milestones for yourself, then make an effort to hit them each month.


Have a Motivation

What drives you to exercise? Do you want to lose weight, be more active, or get stronger? Find a motivation and stick to it; write it down if you need to! Reminding yourself of why you started your journey towards physical fitness will help prevent you from stopping too early.


Commit to Waking Up Early

We’re all busy people during the holiday season. You may be too exhausted by the end of the day to even consider hitting the gym – so why not circumvent the issue by getting your exercise out of the way early? Make a habit of stepping out for a run or trip to the gym before work! The fitness benefit aside, doing so will help energize you in the morning and ensure that you have the pep you need to tackle the workday.


Allow for Compromise

Let’s face it – you’re going to have that Christmas cookie. Why not accept it? Indulging over the holidays is perfectly acceptable so long as you avoid stuffing yourself or making yourself sick. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or consuming large amounts of candy during your celebrations; the bad feeling you’ll get the next day isn’t worth the indulgence!