Be Light and Healthy

Setting Your Intentions For The Holidays

Posted on: November 14, 2010

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” 

Henry Ford
 
As the weather continues to cool and daylight recedes, nature beckons us to slow down.  Many people begin to feel the urge to hibernate like bears in the winter.  However, life in modern society is propelling us forward at an even faster pace than usual as planning for the holidays begins.  As nature is contracting, society is expanding in the form of excess eating, drinking, and spending. 

 

Setting your intentions and developing strategies to balance out these contradictory aspects of life will allow you to enjoy the holidays while feeling vibrant and remaining healthy.  Because of the demands we place on ourselves at this time of year, it is more important than ever to invest time in taking care of ourselves.  Taking the time to eat healthy and exercise will result in increased energy and stamina, which will help sustain you during this stressful time of year.          

 

I used to experience a great deal of anxiety because I always expected to struggle with food throughout the holidays.  Of course, I got what I expected and always ended up feeling lousy and lacking energy.  My food bender typically began in conjunction with Halloween and would continue for the entire holiday season.  On Thanksgiving I would forego the healthy food in favor of cookies, cakes, and pies while at the same time mentally admonishing myself for my poor decisions and lack of willpower.  Once I started eating sweets, I invariably couldn’t stop.  I never really enjoyed or tasted anything because of the mental abuse I subjected myself to as I unconsciously devoured sugar-laden foods.  I’d wake up the day after Thanksgiving feeling like I had been hit by a bus but would continue in the same vain.  Focusing on these feelings facilitated repetition of the behavior leading up to and including Christmas.  I inevitably carried this negativity into the new year thus fueling the continuation of the unhealthy cycle.  Through the holidays I’d vacillate between trying to starve myself and bingeing with the promise that I would go on a diet and start exercising when the new year arrived.  This pattern prevented me from ever enjoying the holidays and left me drained and discouraged. 

 

If any of this sounds familiar to you, please do not despair.  I’m living proof that it is possible to replace these patterns with healthier ones.  If you’ve lived your life in this manner, it is normal to expect to repeat the behavior annually unless you’ve become aware of it.  Wherever you are on your journey, it’s okay.  Maybe you overindulged in Halloween candy and are still feeling badly about it.  Instead of assuming that you’re going to go crazy eating and drinking, why not try to improve some of the choices you make?  Start by giving yourself credit for recognizing where you are, and consider making some small changes that will enable you to enjoy the upcoming holidays.  Spending time with loved ones, meditating, eating healthy, and exercising are wonderful options to consider.     

 

Once you’re aware of a habit you’d like to change and have accepted it, I believe mentally preparing for the change is the next step.  Some people decide to make a change and jump right in; other people think about making a change and take some time to get used to the idea.  Both techniques work, and I encourage you to adopt the one that resonates with you.  Deciding to embark on a major life change, such as weight loss, exercising, or healthy eating, can feel overwhelming. Your body truly wants you to be healthy; however, your mind will try to sabotage you.  Mulling the idea over and slowly absorbing it will soften your mind and allow the possibilities to seep into your consciousness.  I found that by letting these new thoughts gently trickle into my mind, they were able to sneak by the negative voices and keep them at bay.  As the new thoughts started to take root, I began to truly believe that I was capable of changing my life. 

 

I used to think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I lost 100 pounds by the time I turned 40?”  Sure, I thought this would be a nice accomplishment; however, I didn’t necessarily believe I could do it initially.  I knew that Dr. Weil had changed his life and believed other people were capable of making the same changes and that was enough to prevent me from disbelieving the statement and opening up to the possibility.  Because I am no different than the average person and was able to successfully transition to a healthier lifestyle, I believe other people can too.

 

  

Writing down your intentions makes them more powerful and expands the positive energy associated with them.  In addition, visualizing yourself living the life you imagine as well as actually feeling and sensing it in your body will solidify your new beliefs.  Once you’ve dropped all resistance and are moving forward, you will begin to feel like you’re flowing through life with ease.  If you slip up, be kind and forgiving to yourself, which will allow you to get right back on track.  Small changes add up to big results.  Let the momentum of your positive achievements carry you forward.

 

I now believe, think, and expect to eat healthy, exercise, and feel good during the holidays, which is exactly what I do.  Trust me, it’s an awesome feeling when you wake up the day after Thanksgiving full of energy instead of feeling lethargic as a result of overindulging.  If you have any doubts in your mind about changing your life, let my belief in you propel you forward until your belief in yourself takes root. 

 

I invite you to take a moment and make a list of your intentions for the holiday season.  Whether it’s taking a daily 5 minute walk, meditating, or incorporating some healthy new foods into your life, write them down.  Then take a few minutes to visualize and feel yourself accomplishing them.  If you think and believe that you can accomplish them, you can.  In addition, I invite you to sign up for weekly e-mail updates to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy. 

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3 Responses to "Setting Your Intentions For The Holidays"

Great blog! I agree that this can be an overwhelming time of year and it is all too easy to say “screw it!”, I’m going to start my healthy plan after the new year! I have ridden procrastination train before that is for sure. Little changes add up to big ones. You are so right about setting intentions now.

Thank you!

Thanks for the great information. Your caring/sensitive approach to people with weight issues is greatly appreciated. I love reading your blogs.

These are GREAT tips! Thank you for the helpful post – I am definitely going to practice this myself, and suggest my clients to the same.

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