During this time of year, I usually send an email discussing habits that you can do to minimize the effects of over-indulging during the holidays (You can read that here). This year though, I want you to start asking slightly different questions.
I work with a lot of people and there are underlying themes to the issues they are having trouble with. Here are some common complaints:
A – I know I shouldn’t drink that much…
B – I know I shouldn’t eat that food…
C – It’s not what I eat, but I should eat less…
D – I know I should workout more often…
E – I go to the gym consistently, but I’m not sure what to do when I’m there…
F – I should drink more water…
G – I should get more sleep…
If everyone didn’t drink alcohol, ate all the healthy foods in good portions, worked out consistently and with enough intensity, while drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, I wouldn’t have a job.
But what do you think of a person who does all of those things?
Honestly, if someone didn’t drink, ate all healthy foods in good portions, while working out consistently and with enough intensity, and drank lots of water and slept enough, what would you think of that person?
Most people think, “God, that must suck!”
Most people don’t want to be that person.
They consider a person like this to be:
“Someone who doesn’t know how to enjoy life.”
In other words, if you think these thoughts, you are actively trying to change behaviors to be like someone who you dislike. You are literally, fighting against yourself.
But here’s the thing, these images of this “healthy person” are not necessarily true…but they are pervasive.
Have you ever tried to not drink around friends who were used to drinking around you? They look at you like you committed a mortal sin against them.
Or what about ordering something healthy when you’re out with friends? Again, they look at you like you have two heads.
Most of the fears we have are usually based on the reactions of those around us, but not really on the action itself.
So this holiday season, I want you to start asking yourself new questions, because questions, more than anything, helps you shift your focus.
Start Asking Better Questions
By shifting your focus and thinking just a little differently, you will generally start to find that making drastic changes to your actions happens with much more ease.
So this holiday season, start asking yourself different questions. Here’s where to start:
1 – When it comes to alcohol consumption, if you’re drinking more than 4 or 5 drinks per week and want to lose weight, ask yourself:
Why am I drinking?
Is it because I want the alcohol?
Is it because I’m bored? Or is the alcohol helping me overcome anxiety? Or is it peer pressure?
No matter the answer, you will have a starting point in knowing how to start drinking less if you want to.
2 – When it comes to eating, if you’re eating too much or foods that you know aren’t good and that you don’t really enjoy, ask yourself:
Do I have to finish everything on my plate? Why? Is that an old habit?
Am I really that hungry?
Why am I eating this food?
Does it satisfy me and if so, would a little satisfy me or do I really need a huge piece?
Do I think eating healthy foods is boring? Do I consider healthy foods “disgusting?”
Eating and hunger are complicated. It took me years to master being able to listen to my appetite, and most people should not listen to only their appetite at the beginning, because appetite can lie to you, especially if you’ve trained it poorly. The first step though is at observing yourself and why you’re eating certain foods.
The more you can simply chew your foods and enjoy each bite, the better the odds of eventually controlling your appetite.
3 – When it comes to working out, ask:
Is it true that I have NO time to workout? (*There are two 6-minute routines at the bottom)Do you think that you need a lot of time to workout, for it to be effective?
What is holding you back from working out?
Do you need to know what to do when in the gym?
Do you feel like you need more instruction?
Do you need someone to hold you accountable?
Do you think your workouts are boring?
What are your beliefs holding you back from working out either consistently or effectively?
4 – When it comes to drinking water, ask:
What systems can I add to drink more water?
Do I need more flavor? If so, can adding cucumber or limes help?
Is it “too boring?” If so, switch to club soda.
5 – When it comes to sleeping, ask:
Is it a problem falling asleep? How can you change your bed-time habits?
Is it a problem staying asleep? What is it that stirs you awake? Is it just a certain time, going to the bathroom, etc?
Is it a problem with staying up too late because you’re doing other things? If so, what’s the belief you hold that’s holding you back from going to bed early?
So this holiday season, enjoy time with your friends and family, enjoy the foods you will generally, only eat at this time of year, but also start asking yourself some new questions.
Remember, thinking just a little differently, can cause huge changes in results.
*Two 6-Minute Routines
If you’re looking to put on muscle, here’s a quick 6-minute routine to help. Do the following:
A – 1 Minute of Push-ups (don’t stop for the whole minute at all)
B – Split Squat – 1 minute without stopping on the left leg (keep the weight in the front leg),
C – Split Squat – 1 minute without stopping on the right leg
D – Repeat for a second round.
Six minutes and if you did nothing else, for the day, that would be better than having done nothing.
If you’re looking to lose weight, here’s a 6-minute routine for you:
A – 1 minute of burpees without stopping (should get at least 12 reps in)
B – 30 seconds of In and out jumping squats (between 15 and 25 reps)
C – 30 seconds of Mountain Climbers
D – 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks
E – 30 second plank
F – Repeat for a second round.
Again, 6 minutes and you can start to Banish Your “No Time” Excuse.