How to Stick to Your Goals for the Thanksgiving Holiday

The Three Qualities You Must Have to Keep You on Track

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Most people start getting anxious for the holiday season right around this time, especially when they are trying to commit to a healthier lifestyle. As Thanksgiving approaches, there will be lots of gatherings focused around food, family and drink. And while it's difficult to resist temptation and stick to your goals, it isn't impossible. The key to sticking to your goals is to be realistic, committed and prepared.


Be Realistic: 

Now may not be the time to join the gym and spend hours upon hours working out. And it may not be realistic to lose twenty pounds before the New Year, especially if you have an active social calendar. Being healthy this time of year is not impossible, but in order to do so, you should set realistic goals. If you are someone who has never worked out in a gym in all your life, then starting now probably isn't the answer. Aim to set yourself up to succeed so that you may continue to stay motivated and set new goals. For example, decide to walk everyday leading up to Thanksgiving for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. And if you're on track losing weight, perhaps now is the time to maintain and then begin again after the holidays. You can set realistic goals on your own or with the help of your certified diabetes educator. If possible, right them down or log them- you'll be more committed that way.


Be Committed: 

Being committed means sticking to the plan. Sometimes life doesn't always go as planned, but if you are committed to your goals you're more likely to stick to them. It is much easier to stay committed when you've made realistic goals. And once you've accomplished these goals, you'll have an even greater sense of achievement which will make you even more committed then before.

For example, if you've set a goal to walk daily, commit to making this goal part of your daily routine. On Thanksgiving morning, take a stroll with the family or sign up for a turkey trot. By starting the day with exercise, you are more likely to make good decisions throughout the day. In addition, you will give yourself a bit of wiggle room to enjoy some of your favorite treats. 

A key strategy in staying committed, though, is allowing yourself to slip up from time to time. If you overeat on Thanksgiving day, let it go and start fresh the next day. Try not to get caught up on mistakes that happen along the way, instead use them as ammunition to do better the next time. 

Be Prepared: 

The most critical component to staying healthy and sticking to your goals is preparation. When we are prepared, we are ready to take on anything. Being prepared may mean bringing a healthy food option on Thanksgiving day or planning to have a small taste of everything, but to load your plate with vegetables.

Making a plan can help you to avoid worrying about how you will handle the situation. For example, your Thanksgiving Plan may include the following: 

1. Wake up the morning and go for thirty minute walk with the family. 

2. Do not skip meals. Eat a regular breakfast and lunch so that I don't arrive starving. 

3. Bring a vegetable based appetizer to the Thanksgiving meal. 

4. Avoid high fat appetizers like fried foods and cheese. 

5. Allow myself a taste of everything, but fill most of my plate with non-starchy vegetables. 

6. Stick to one plate. Try to avoid having second servings. 

7, Have a few bites of my favorite dessert and savor each bite. 

Perhaps you stick to the plan perfectly or maybe you only hit a few of the goals. Whatever it is, it's one day. When it's over, let it go and move on. The bottom line is that you can be successful in staying healthy this Thanksgiving holiday. 

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