Getting in Shape for Christmas


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So you’ve decided to have your New Year start early-five weeks before Christmas to be exact-so what do you need to keep in mind as you embark on your plan to really improve your nutrition and exercise plans before Christmas.


First of all, decide why you want to do this. Motivation needs to be internal. It’s no good doing something because you should or your friends/family/work colleagues say you should. Get clear in your own mind as to WHY you want to do this-greater energy, look better, longer life, greater zest and enthusiasm-only YOU know what gets you motivated. And then, create a picture/reminder to yourself of this. One man gave up smoking when his daughter asked him to; she said she was afraid he would die young.

Keeping it up

First of all, you need to accept that failure is not an option. It’s inevitable. The secret is to see your slips as being useful learning experiences rather than a stick to beat yourself with (and so give yourself a good excuse to not go for a walk or hog a chocolate cake). A Japanese proverb says that success comes getting up one more time than you have fallen. You will know that you are well on the way to success when you begin to look forward to your exercise time and can eat half a bar of chocolate without feeling guilty or driven to wolf down the lot! Be kind to yourself.

Getting support

Let’s face it, most of us find it difficult to keep going without some sort of support. For many people Weight Watchers or Unislim is an invaluable support system. But support also includes setting up your environments so that your goal is easier to achieve. Make sure you always have plenty of healthy food to nibble on. Drink your two litres of water a day. Get a buddy to encourage and support you, make sure it is someone who has achieved this goal or is as determined as you are. If you can’t eliminate junk food from the house, don’t buy junk food you like! Keep yourself reminded of your motivation.


For inspiration, it’s important to check back in with your motivation. It’s also important to set milestones for yourself as you work through the program. Acknowledge your progress. You could inspire yourself by creating a picture of yourself at your desired size or allow yourself specific rewards for reaching specific goals (e. g. walking four times a week for 30 minutes for a month).

The Big Picture

To paraphrase the RSPCA, this programme is for life, not just for Christmas. Imagine yourself next year eating healthily, feeling great and brimming with energy and zest for life. You are fitting comfortably into your clothes and you are looking good. You are feeling more relaxed because you are taking better care of yourself. A key thing to remember is that the better care you take of yourself-the more time, space and energy you will have for others.

Anne Walsh is a life coach based in Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. You can sign up for her free newsletter Bring your best self to light at which will give you tips, hints and ideas as to how to generate more personal and professional success.


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