The Festive/Holiday Season is no longer around the corner. It has now arrived. In the immortal words of South Africans everywhere; KeDesemba Boss!!

With it comes numerous year-end work and family gatherings we are all committed to for the next 30-odd days. These are filled with a minefield of irresistible treats, that are just too yummy to avoid. And that’s awesome! Let’s not delude ourselves; this is an incredible time of year, no matter your reason for celebrating or taking part in all these banquets.

As a gym owner, lover-of-health, coach and all-around Nice Guy, I’m not going to be fooled by people’s assertions (myself included) that this is the year they will make only “good decisions” at meal times and avoid all sugary and alcoholic beverages that are paraded in front of them. I mean, come on guys, be honest with yourself, for Odin’s sake!

We all know we are going to over-indulge this holidays. We also all know that it will happen more than once. So the real question becomes: how do we manage this time of year, with the most success, in relation to all the hard work we’ve put in up until this point?

Well let’s start here:

  1. Be Fair on Yourself

It’s the festive season. You and I both know what’s coming – food and drink with lots of socializing. It’s one thing if your goals and determination are such that they outweigh the temptations before you. For that you shall be rewarded with a great performance, I have no doubt. However, if that’s not you, then why are you actively avoiding having a good time?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for gluttony and excess. But enjoying dinner with your friends, having a drink with the boys or girls,

having an extra chocolate IS NOT GOING TO KILL YOU.

Furthermore, allowing yourself to be guilted into feeling like you’re a failure or piece of trash for failing to stick to your kale soup diet over Xmas is just stupid. I’ll go a step further, unless you are medically required to avoid treating yo’self, you should deffos treat yo’self.

Just don’t go full retard. Eating ‘til you feel sick is unnecessary. Show some maturity. Enjoy what is on offer, but stop yourself before it gets out of hand.

  1. Set Yourself Regular Activity/Fitness Goals

In the light of the above acknowledgement of higher calorie intake (that’s science for eating a lot), we need to try and make sure we make space for said calories. Which means we have to keep exercising.

And let’s face it, it’s easier to sneak off for a 20-30 minute run (or do 100 burpees next to the pool) on the daily than it is to say “No” to Mum’s 16th helping of trifle or roast potatoes. For me, it is anyway.

We are not going to solve all our problems this way, but we will avert a disaster for sure if we simply commit to trying to maintain one aspect of our routine; our exercise. And it doesn’t have to be as hardcore or rigid as it is for the rest of the year. But it does have to happen.

The biggest challenge I have with people waddling back into the gym in the middle of Jan is not that they ate too much, but that they decided the best way to reward themselves for a year of good effort, was to do absolutely nothing. For a month.

This is probably the biggest recommendation I can make:

STAY ACTIVE throughout the holidays.

You will thank me later. It’s a great time to take the pressure off your training, learn a new skill or get better at something you suck at.

And let’s face it, if you’ve gone for that run, or done those burpees, you’ll feel a whole lot better pythoning those burgers at lunchtime with fellas!

  1. Set Yourself Mini-Goals for The Festive Season

We’ve all had that feeling when you get to the end of the holidays and you haven’t quite achieved anything and you feel a bit useless. Granted, it is a time of rest for most people. But there’s also nothing stopping us from improving on ourselves.

This year, why not set a different goal relating to your health? It can be a fitness, or an eating-related challenge. But challenge yourself to do something you haven’t done before.

Make sure it’s something you can actually achieve and that won’t interfere too heavily in your social or work calendar but put it out there. It can be as simple as only having one serving of starch/sugary stuff per meal. Or it can be doing 50 push ups extra a day.

Set yourself the goal.

Write it down.

Track your adherence to said goal.

Evaluate yourself at the end of it.

10/10 if you do this, you will leave feeling a helluva lot more accomplished when it comes time to “go back to school” in January of 2019.

  1. Set Yourself a Target Date to Clean Up in Jan 2019

Usually, things in Jan really take a long time to get going. Even people without kids seem to wait until school holidays are over before they decide to get back into any sort of routine….

But what a waste of time! There are so many days of the year, why not use more of them? Set yourself a target date (whenever that may be) for when you decide that you need to start implementing your routines.

Ultimately we need routine and structure to be the most effective versions of ourselves. Effectiveness though, is heavily reliant on DECISIVENESS. So you need to decide how your going to get to where you want to be. I’m afraid I won’t be phoning you up to find out when you’re finished binging on mince pies….that’s on you. You’re an adult! The world does not stop coz you are still feeling lazy. In fact, the world is leaving you behind, and if you ignored my 3 previous tips, you will be even further behind than you thought.

Set yourself a date to start eating better. Set a date to start being more rigid on your workout schedules. Set a date to start that extra studying you planned. Whatever it is, set a date.

  1. Why Not Work on a Roadmap to Chart Your 2019 Strategy for World Domination?

This is an interesting one. Often we get caught up in the whirlpool of “life”. Sleep. Work. Eat. Repeat. We complain about not having enough time to just “live”.

Well….here’s that time. Here is (potentially) a period of decreased pressure for you to start thinking about that. Take some time. Half an hour should be adequate to start. Write down how it is, or what it is, you want more out of your life. This can literally be anything.

But it all starts in the same way. With a plan. Once we have a plan, we develop a roadmap. With that map, we can start moving in the right direction to achieve those goals or dreams we have set for ourselves. That’s not to say it will be easy going, or that there won’t be detours, but at least you’ll know where you are and what your priorities are.

Use this time. Draw up your own map.

That’s enough for right now. We at CrossFit Shumba really wish you all the best of the holidays. We hope you find these useful and we hope to see all at The Box sooner than later.

Live Untamed.