We just returned from an extra long weekend in Idaho, vacationing with the boys, family and friends at my childhood home. Staying up late, sleeping in, lazy river floats, lounging by the pool, drinking wine in the hot tub, and grabbing burgers and milkshakes from the local Burger Express. It was everything a good summer vacation should be.
And it was just that...a vacation. A rest, an escape from reality, a period of time that's not normal. The problem is that this can easily, and stealthily, become the new normal.
So the big question is how do we not drag all these somewhat bad habits from vacation with us back into real life? The re-entry from vacation mode can be the trickiest thing. It's hard to switch it off, to not let these behaviors (like the afternoon chip grab and the lazing around with a book) become your new normal.
Here's the solution. It takes just a couple minutes of being intentional...like two minutes...to deliberately switch off the vacation habits and prevent your actions from getting out of hand.
Here are the steps:
1. What are your goals right now? Ask yourself what it is exactly that you want to achieve over the next couple months. Are your goals to lack discipline, gain a few extra pounds, skip workouts, and lose muscular strength? I doubt it. Get your goals totally figured out and nail them down.
Make them ridiculously specific, too. Is your goal to get leaner? Then what does that mean? It should be as specific as dropping 2% body fat or losing exactly 10 pounds.
And it sometimes helps to have a time frame. For example, give yourself 3 months to accomplish the 10 pound weight loss. Don't leave it open-ended...giving yourself a time frame gives you a clear starting point, a stopping point, and applies some urgency to the situation.
Be very clear with your goals.
2. Have a reality check with your current behaviors. Vacation behaviors will most likely NOT lead you to your goals. Identify your vacation behaviors. Are you eating chips at 3:00 in the afternoon? Are you having a couple drinks every night? Are you doing only one workout per week? Recognize what's going on right now so you know exactly what you need to change. You probably have a pretty good idea already, but naming your unhelpful behaviors clears it up, big time.
3. Now, line up the good behaviors. These need to be the real action steps you follow to reach that specific goal you put together in point number one. So your good behavior action steps might be to eat a minimum of 4 PRO filled meals everyday, zero splurges during the week, drinks only on the weekend, 64 ounces of water per day and 4 strength training workouts each week. These are clear and specific action steps that can be easily checked off.
(If you need help with good eating habits, go here to download my FREE nutrition guide for Strong Mommas.)
4. Finally, create a plan. Your plan must match up with your goals and your good behaviors. Is losing 10 pounds your goal and one of your action steps is to workout 3 days per week? Ok, great, but what are you going to do exactly? What workouts will you do? What are the exercises and do those exercises actually match up with your goal, too? (For example, if your goal is to get rid of your knee pain and your action step is to run 3 days a week, we've got an issue.)
Also, if your action steps are to eat 4 PRO filled meals daily, what does that look like? What are you eating for dinner this Thursday night? What about lunch on Saturday? How will you grocery shop to set you up for this?
Taking it this one step further and creating a plan will make your efforts far more successful!
(Click here for some great meal plan ideas!)
Stop being lazy. For the best outcome, don't skip any of these steps. If you actually take the time to think through each part, perhaps even writing them down, you will hit this out of the park. Within just one week, the vacation debauchery will feel so far behind you, and you'll feel back on track. Back into your good routine.
I truly believe it's important to know how to relax and vacation well, but we also need to know how to switch it off and pick up our discipline again.
You should never feel like you must cling to perfect nutrition and aggressive exercise constantly. There is no award for that. Balance and moderation, always. But remember, if there is a time for vacationing, there must also be a time for work.
It's probably time to turn off your vacation mode and get to work!
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1
End of Summer Announcement!
As you go through the steps above...solidifying your goals, creating action steps and designing a plan...keep in mind that Strong Mommas can take all of the guesswork out of it!
Starting September 1st, the Strong Mommas Membership will go on sale! Join the membership during the month of September and get your first three months for the price of only two.
As a member, you have access to meal plans, grocery lists, complete workouts that can be done at home or the gym, and a support system that will knock your socks off.
Click here to learn all about it and to get ready to register September 1st!