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Healthy Holiday Motivation – 5 Tips

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

I'm Dreaming of a White...

This is the time of year when millions thousands a crapload of people you and your best friends Betty and Veronica make resolutions and promises, some of them involving blood, toil, tears and sweat (quick, history buffs, who said this?)! This Season of Determination is quickly followed by the Season of Broken Dreams, as resolutions go out the door faster than old eggnog (an evil holiday beverage).

But do not despair; instead get motivated. There are ways to help yourself get and stay motivated to implement your goals.

Season of Broken Dreams

1. Focus on the Process, not the Outcome–The process is the road there; the outcome is the final destination. You cannot get from here to there without some sort of journey. In practice, this means take it one step at a time. Set yourself up for success by naming and writing down the steps it will take to get you where you want to be. “Get Super Buff” is a fuzzy outcome, because it’s not defined. What would that look like for you, and how will you get there?

Journey, not Destination

2. Make it More Fun–If you hate running, why promise yourself you’ll start a running program? In this situation, “running” is spelled F.A.I.L.U.R.E. As I mention in our Womensradio  radio broadcast on this topic, if you love to dance to Led Zeppelin, that’s what will be fun for you. Who cares if everyone else loves boot camp if your thing is boogie-ing down to disco classics?

Boogie Down with your Fit Self

3. Allow Yourself Opportunities for Mastery–Find activities you can do that allow you to become good at something. For example, if you hate push-ups, why beat yourself up that you cannot do a flying push-up (maybe I’ll post video of this someday)? Instead, try a wall or knee push-up.  Then you can legitimately tell yourself, “I did a push-up.” This is highly motivating and will lead to further successes!

4. Go With a Friend–Whether it’s in person, (a walk or exercise class together), or by check-in (“Hey, did you go to your fitness class today?), being accountable to a friend dramatically increases the chance that you’ll keep to your plan. No-one likes to be the one to let a friend down.

5. Avoid Comparisons–Face it, you will never be the person you were in college or your wedding (unless they were in your very recent past). You are older, and probably have a better ability to pace yourself now anyway! Comparing yourself to your distant past is like asking for a date with disappointment (yes, I know him. He was all hands). And comparing yourself to how you should be in some never-quite-there future doesn’t work either. If you must compare yourself to something, choose yesterday. Then do something that is more than yesterday and you’ll have a good basis for comparison. While you’re at it, don’t compare yourself to others either. They’re all either better-looking (darn your parents for those imperfect genes) or worse-looking (that’s just mean), so stop it right now! (Of course, I have an identical twin, so have a lot of experience with the comparison business – so sad for her!)

Speaking of my imaginary twin, she wrote an excellent piece on this very topic (wow, what a coincidence)!

Photo credits: Photobucket

Dear Motivated Readers: What little “tricks” do you use to help yourself stay motivated? And why is the word “ate” in “motivate?”

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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17 Responses to Healthy Holiday Motivation – 5 Tips

  1. Evelyn December 20, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Hi Twins,

    These are excellent tips. I especially like “Allow yourself opportunities for mastery.” When we enjoy what we are doing and we’re good at it, there’s no reason why we can’t be master our passions.

    Take care,


    • Kymberly December 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

      Hi Evelyn! We hope you are enjoying your fine self even when not reading our blog. Here’s my excellent tip – I am master of Alexandra. Oh darn, I hear her coming home soon. Gotta go. Thanks for the comment and rock on!

  2. Kazi December 20, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Once again, you ladies have hit it right on the nose- Ouch. “If you don’t want to quit, keep the fun in fit.” But I don’t appreciate your bursting my return to Senior year stamina dreams ; (

    Great minds think alike:
    Kazi recently posted..Blood Sugar Balancing Food MedicineMy Profile

    • Kymberly December 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

      Oooh, Kazi: I like your pithy saying. May we use it calorie and royalty free? For the record, we think you really can reach your Senior Year Stamina Dream. Don’t tell the others.

  3. Susan@Home Workouts December 22, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    I always tell my clients to use the buddy system when exercising, as you have suggested. That way, it makes it tough to back out of a workout date. I would also suggest doing workouts that allow you to get in and get them done in the shortest amount of time. Working in a few of these workouts each week can do wonders for your fat loss. For example, take the 100 burpee challenge: record how long it takes you to do 100 burpees. Then every week or few days do the challenge again trying to beat your prior score. LOVE IT!
    Susan@Home Workouts recently posted..A Holiday Home Workouts Gift Just For YouMy Profile

    • Kymberly December 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

      Susan: Did you just throw down a burpee challenge? Oh crap-a-doodle! Time for me to rise to the occasion. I am going to meet your challenge, then call you every day to tell you how I am doing. In detail. Daily. I think Alexandra will meet the barfee challenge when she sees my burpees. Keep up the home workouts!

  4. Russ Egan December 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Great tips. I have found the best way to stay motivated is to keep a nutrition and exercise journal. This lets you see exactly what you are putting into your body, and lets you make sure your are meeting all of your goals. It is hard to start and hard to stick to, but after a while, it is an easy habit which is really helpful.
    Russ Egan recently posted..Nutrition Advice for Building Muscle MassMy Profile

  5. Claire December 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    My son was saying to me just the other day…….”what kind of person doesn’t like eggnog????”
    Claire recently posted..Healthy Holiday Motivation – 5 TipsMy Profile

  6. Calla Gold December 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Great advice! It’s impossible to get things done if you aren’t motivated. Focusing on the here and now, taking it step by step, and making it as fun as you can goes a long ways! Happy Holidays!

  7. Tara Burner December 13, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Love it!!! especially the yellow brick road image! :)
    Tara Burner recently posted..How to manage holiday stressMy Profile

  8. Michele @ nycrunningmama December 15, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    Love these tips – and love all the awesome pictures!! I agree with all of them – especially #4. It really helps to have someone going through what you are – someone to hold you accountable!
    Michele @ nycrunningmama recently posted..Staten Island Trail Festival 25kMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit December 15, 2011 at 7:28 am #

      Thanks Michele, especially for comment about the photos because it takes me forever to find good pics! And I love #4 too. I invite people all the time and am always surprised when people don’t take advantage of a free guest pass!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..C-c-c-cooking with Ch-ch-ch-chia seeds! My Profile


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