Make Your Holiday Plans with Your Health in Mind

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The holidays are upon us! For most of us this means fun, fellowship and food in abundance. When they are over we will stand on the scales or cinch up the the belt and groan with disappointment. We have put on a pound or two or more!

Many people plan to eat and live healthier but they fail to think through the necessary details in advance. Every successful business operates with a plan, regularly reviewing progress and making adjustments when needed to meet the goals. What is your plan?

Here’s a few simple steps that will increase the likelihood of achieving your objectives of healthier living during the holidays–or anytime.

  1. Be specific. Although it is wonderful to aspire to eat and live healthier, that goal is too vague. Research shows that the best way to reach your goal is to set specific strategies. Deciding to consume “two different fruits and vegetables at every meal and limiting sweets to once per week during the next six months” will increase the likelihood you will achieve your goal.
  2. Write your goals down. Time and again studies have shown that writing down specific goals increases the chances of subsequent success. Human nature is strong on good intentions but weak on follow-through.
  3. Review regularly. In order to have something to review it is necessary to keep progress records. A written exercise log can be reviewed weekly or monthly and important adjustments made if needed. Without doing this months can pass before you realize that you are not exercising as much as you planned!
  4. Seek God’s help. Make sure you commit your plan to God and specifically ask for His help in implementing it daily. Those who think otherwise set themselves up for disappointment. Humanly, it is not uncommon to go off track and then reason that all is lost and go back to the old ways! Remember, God is interested in the smallest part of your life and desires to help you achieve the very best. If we fail He stands ready to help us up!
  5. Remember, holidays are more than food! Food is important, but it doesn’t have to be the center of the festivities. Spend time in reconnecting and strengthening relationships with family and friends–and with God who gave us the Reason for the Season in His Son Jesus Christ. Take walk together, enjoy some physically challenging outdoor activity instead of only sitting and visiting and eating!

Enjoy the holidays, spend time with family and friends, and, with God’s help, stick to your goals!

Author

For over 35 years, Dr. Hardinge has been communicating the message “Your choices can lead you to be healthy and more productive!” to a wide variety of audiences. His background includes pastoring, academic teaching, community health education, corporate training and consultation, administration and private health counseling.