How to Stay on Track with Your Exercise Routine Over the Holidays

Written by Tricia Moore

What is the No. 1 excuse for not exercising? Survey says: “Lack of time.”

But is it truly that we’re too busy, or is it something deeper? Each day, life seems to pull our attention in a hundred different directions—family, work, social media, chores, errands. Amongst it all, exercise can easily get lost in the shuffle. And for millions of Americans, that’s exactly what happens. Their time to exercise just seems to disappear, especially during the holiday season. To that end, I present to you: 

How to Stay on Track with Your Exercise Routine Over the Holidays

Make an Exercise Plan

No matter where, when, how or how long you’re going to be exercising, you need to go in with some sort of plan. We make that easy for you at Invictus with our online programs especially with being able to easily see weeks at a time in SugarWOD. Pick your favorite workouts if short on time and note them in your calendar.

Calendar Your Workout

Block out time in your calendar strictly for exercise, the same way you would a meeting or conference call. Respect that time and make it sacred. If something comes up during the block of time you have set aside for your workout, move the block to another time! (Super easy to do in most calendar apps) After all, if it’s in the calendar it matters, right? 

Find 5 Minutes for Self-Care

Even the busiest person in the world can find five minutes for themselves. Find a point in your day to work in five minutes of “me” time. You’ll be surprised how far a few minutes of self-care will take you. Five minutes slowly turns to 10 which turns to…you get where I’m going with this one. Sometimes, committing to a small task snowballs into greater long-term gains. Use this tactic to jumpstart your workout routine. Stuck at Grandma’s over the holiday? Awesome. 100 burpees for time please! Here are some other holiday travel workout ideas.

Eliminate Wasted Time

The people who tell me they’re “too busy” to work out likely spend a significant amount of time doing nothing each day. It’s just a fact of life; most people do it. What are your time-wasters? You know what they are. I’m not saying you can’t ever watch TV or scroll mindlessly through IG but it’s really those periods where you default to doing those things because you believe you’ve got nothing better to do that we’re looking to eliminate. Because guess what? You do have better things to do—like exercise!

Practice Positivity

This one has the power to change your entire life. Negative self-talk will stop you before you even get the chance to start. Do you find yourself constantly thinking, “I don’t have time to work out?” With an attitude like that, of course there’s no time!

Instead, approach your day with a can-do attitude. The power of positivity and positive self-talk make a huge difference in how successful we are. Too often we tell ourselves that we have to do something, rather than we get to do something. Exercise can and should be an enjoyable experience. Understand that change doesn’t always come from being comfortable. But pushing our body and mind to its limit can be an incredibly powerful thing. Flip that mental switch from “I can’t” to “I can and I will.” The only way to know if you can do something is to go out and try!

Workout Early in the Day

Willpower can often feel like a limited resource. By the end of an exhausting day, it’s pretty easy to talk yourself out of hitting that gym session or going for a run. This is why working out first thing in the morning can be a valuable tool for many people. There’s something special about knowing you’ve worked out before most people have even gotten out of bed.

While it’s not recommended you do so at the sacrifice of your sleep, if you can shift your sleep schedule around to accommodate a morning workout, you have a great opportunity to make exercise a consistent part of your life. Pro Tip: Make things even easier by laying out your workout clothes the night before.

Find an Accountability Buddy

Get your friends and family involved and tell them about your goals (or even ask them to join in). When you have a workout buddy who depends on you to meet them in the gym at 5:30 every morning, and a social support network behind you, you’ll be much more likely to show up. Use your social relationships to help keep you accountable.

Control the Controllable

In the end, we’re all just trying to be better versions of ourselves. If you miss a workout, don’t beat yourself up.

There are only two things in life that we can control: our attitude, and our effort (shout out to my dude Eric Byrnes). Approach each day with a “can-do” attitude and give what you have. Some days you’ll be able to give more than others, but remember that consistency is key.

Change is constant, but progress is not. What can you do each day, no matter how small, to make progress? Something is always better than nothing.