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Looking Forward After the Holiday

Holiday hangover

How are you feeling now that the holiday season is behind us, with fleeting memories of all the preparation, shopping and dare I say, spending? Chances are, you’re feeling a little tired and maybe some let down.

Many of us suffer from “Holiday Hangover,” which typically begins on the first day back to work, or school. Common symptoms include tiredness, general let down and dread in having to get back on track with your schedule, and normal routines. YUCK!

As you reflect on your holidays, you may be adding some shame to this already dreadful feeling. Perhaps you overindulged with the extra goodies and a few too many egg nogs, and now you feel pudgy and have regrets over some of your overeating. Maybe you are feeling guilty about the spending that seemed to get out of control and now you are filled with dread, that feels like the frosting on the cake of shame.

As with any kind of hangover, this can be painful, but can also be cured. Remember, hangovers are generally short-lived, especially if we practice an early intervention! Here are some suggestions to bounce back and get moving towards a positive New Year, where you are on track with reaching your goals:

  1. Remember that you are human! We all fall off track with the excitement and preparation for a holiday. You are allowed to feel drained. Acknowledge it and take some time to recuperate in small doses of rest time. This will increase your energy, allowing you to have a better focus on your goals.
  2. Forget your New Year’s Resolutions! Most people can’t keep these for more than a few weeks. Instead, think about your intentions for the upcoming year. Ask yourself, “how do I want to feel at the end of this year?” Do you want to feel healthier? Do you want to feel more confident about your finances? Setting intentions can help us set measurable goals, rather than wishful intentions.
  3. Every day offers an opportunity to get back on track with your goals. Today can be the day! Rather than focus on any regrets, focus on taking an action step in one area that you would like to improve. If you want to feel healthier, you could bundle up and take a brisk walk. Want to improve your financial confidence? Take a deep breath and decide that you will save small amounts weekly toward building a savings account. With both fitness and finances, it’s not about making big, uncomfortable moves, but taking small, consistent steps that can be maintained long term.
  4. Decide to keep going! We tend to set goals, and then think about the excuses that will stand in our way. These are the reasons we will give up before we really try to reach our goal. Make a commitment to go the long run, no matter what!
  5. Use visualization: What is it that you really want? Paint a picture in your mind of the true outcome you want with your goals. Ask yourself, “What will my life look like when I accomplish this?” “How will I feel?”  Using a positive emotional outcome as your guidepost can lead to the persistence it will take to commit to your goals. Another great way to visualize is a vision board. You can have some of the pictures represent the emotional outcome that you want.

Hangovers can be prevented! May your next holiday season be filled with the peace of knowing you can stick to your goals, and the joy of your new-found confidence. Happy New Year!