4 Strategies to Stay Motivated to Work Out During the Holidays

Between a jam-packed social calendar, quality time with family and all of the shopping that needs to be done, maintaining your workout schedule seems impossible this time of year. But then there are the cookies… and the pies… and the indulgent cocktail parties and dinners… and letting your fitness slide isn’t an option, either. To look and feel your best this holiday season, stay motivated with these strategies.

Plan Ahead

Plan your workout schedule at least a couple weeks in advance. This ensures that you have time to dedicate to your training amidst even the busiest holiday schedule, while also preventing you from overextending yourself with more commitments than you can handle. With this proactive approach, you can also better strategize how to handle holiday travel, whether you plan to exercise while out of town visiting family or use that time for rest while ramping up the intensity of your workouts before and after the trip.

Add your training schedule to your smartphone calendar, and take your workout plans just as seriously as you do your work holiday party and your flight home for Christmas. Take this one step further by also printing out a hard copy of your calendar for your refrigerator door. With increased visibility, hopefully you’ll be less likely to snooze those calendar reminder alerts.

Reward Your Hard Work

Some days, squeezing exercise into your busy days is just a struggle of mind over matter. You can think of countless excuses why you don’t feel like working out, but you have to push past them and just get started — after which point, you’re always glad you did. One easy strategy for boosting your willpower and quashing procrastination is simple: Reward yourself.

Set very specific rewards ahead of your most-dreaded exercise sessions to make them easier to complete. Try any of these ideas:

  • Make it a little easier to get to hot yoga by rewarding yourself with your favorite sugar scrub after class
  • Spin your way to some pampering with the treat of a salon facial after cycling class
  • Get yourself to complete a three-mile run with the promise of a soak in the spa when you return home

Get New Gear & Tunes

Order those new Nikes you’ve been eyeing and go on a guilt-free shopping spree at Lululemon. Don’t underestimate the motivational power of new workout clothes, shiny new sneakers and a fresh playlist. Splurge for a premium level subscription to a music service like Spotify. Not only will you get unlimited access to all of the latest hits, you can also sync playlists for offline use to avoid using up your data plan streaming music while at the gym or out running.

Sign a Contract

There’s something binding about signing your name on the dotted line. Draw up a contract in which you commit to your holiday workout schedule. You could even include a fee, payable to a friend or your favorite charity, if you skip ($20 for missing barre? No thank you). Print it out, sign it in the presence of friends and give them a copy.

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