I hope you had a super relaxing, enjoyable January! The Christmas holidays seem so long ago now but at the same time, I’m still wishing people a Happy New Year on almost a daily basis, even though it’s already February (yep already!!).
I’m starting to realise that a lot of Sydney people take long (or several short) holidays in late Dec/ January (half their luck!). Which is obviously great when you need to unwind and relax after a stressful, busy year of work/ kids/ study and whatever else you’ve got going on.
But it has a flip side too – the holiday hangover. And I’m not talking about the kind you get after a few too many gin and tonics at the end of a hot summer’s day at the beach, either! I mean those post-holiday feels – when it’s so damn hard to drag yourself back into a regular routine of training and eating well.
You tell yourself you’ll exercise while you’re on holidays but usually, unless you’re super disciplined (or you come along to our school holiday sessions like the kids in the pic above!), then a few walks along the beach are probably all you manage, right?
It feels like such a struggle when you get back to “real life” but it’s not like anything has changed since you were regularly sweating it out before Christmas and seeing those fitness gains, so why is it so hard? It comes down to being out of your normal routine and although your mind is willing (usually), sometimes your body doesn’t want to follow.
If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “I’m never going on holidays again!” while struggling through their first workout after a big break, well, I’d be the one spending all of January at a ski resort in Europe!
You’re probably telling yourself: “I just need to get motivated again, then I’ll get back into it”, but if you no longer have the thought of spending a week by the pool in a bikini as the driving force to get you out of bed in the morning, then motivation is going to be a little harder to come by.
And honestly, I know very few people who can depend on self-motivation alone to get them up and out the door to train every day – or make better food choices on a day-to-day basis. Because motivation is pretty fleeting – but there’s something much more powerful you can use: habit.
There’s a quote I love that sums it up: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit keeps you going.” When you know you have training every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – even though when you start it might feel like an effort, if you can push through the initial internal resistance then it will become a habit. And before you know it, it will feel weird if you miss a session on those days and you won’t want to miss another.
That’s why holidays are so hard – you get out of the habit, out of your usual routine, and it’s an effort to get back into it all over again! Which doesn’t mean you should never take another holiday again. Just that, when you do, be ready for the hangover – and remember, the sooner you get back on the wagon, the sooner it will become a habit again 🙂
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