Although the festive season is exciting, with Christmas parties and alcohol galore – it’s the season of distractions.
From purchasing gifts for friends and family to attending your kid’s nativity, it’s far too easy to lose structure over the holidays, ultimately making it difficult to keep on track with your goals over the Christmas period.
This is especially the case if your goals are weight-loss or fitness-related – after all, it can be tough to say no to mince pies, Christmas pudding, chocolates, and of course, alcohol.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for some of the best ways that you can stay on track with goals over Christmas.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
When it comes to staying on track with your goals over the festive season, planning is key. One of the best things you can do is create an ordered list or update your calendar with things that you have planned over the Christmas period, and work out when you’ll have time to work on your goal or goals.
When creating your list or updating your calendar, make sure you leave room to have fun – and be sure to plan carefully. If your goal is to be able to run 10k in 45 minutes, then maybe avoid scheduling a 5k run the morning after your office Christmas party.
Prioritise the important stuff first. This doesn’t just mean important things related to your goals – it means things that are important to you. You’re hardly going to miss Christmas morning with your family to attend a networking event, are you?
However, if your goal is to expand your network, you could make time for a networking event on the 27th of December or even on Christmas eve.
Give Yourself Realistic Deadlines
According to the SMART goal framework, your goals should have deadlines. However, you may need to reassess the deadlines for your goals over the Christmas period.
For each task and goal, ensure that you have a deadline that is achievable. This lets you know when you’re close to reaching it, and deadlines can be a great motivator.
However, it’s okay to adjust your deadlines if you’re not close to reaching your goal as your deadline is approaching. If this is the case, figure out if anything went wrong- is it just because you’re busy over the Christmas period or had you underestimated how long it would take to reach the goal?
It can also help to set deadlines to reach milestones that make up the goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 5 stone in one year, then you may set smaller goals with deadlines such as ‘lose 5 pounds by the end of next month’ or ‘lose 1 stone by ___’.
This is a great way of keeping on track and holding yourself accountable for your goals.
Everybody should be able to enjoy the Christmas season, so why not adjust and adapt your goals so you can still relax over Christmas?
However, if you plan on achieving your goal by the end of the year, then you may need to keep working hard to remain on track with your goal throughout the festive period.
Some goals will allow you to be flexible, but others require constant hard work and dedication. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon on New Year’s day, then you’ll probably need to keep working hard and training throughout the Christmas period. However, you can still take Christmas day off and enjoy the day with your friends and family.
The good news is that many people have time off over the Christmas period – and if this is the case for you, you can dedicate time to work on your goals.
If you’re able to take time to yourself over Christmas, then do it. It’s inevitable that other commitments will pop up, and you should be able to enjoy your children’s nativity, Christmas parties and decorating the tree without feeling guilty about not keeping up with your goals.
Make Your Goals More Festive!
It can be far too easy to lose motivation when it comes to sticking to your goals over the Christmas period. However, a great way of becoming more motivated to stick to your goals is by making your goals more festive.
For example, if your goal is to learn a new language, you can still keep up with this in a fun and festive way. You could watch Christmas films in the language you’re learning, or even consider spending Christmas in a country that speaks the language you’re learning – Germany has some great Christmas markets!
If your goal is to become better at cooking, why not cook Christmas dinner for the family, or prepare some delicious snacks? Likewise, if your goal is to eat healthier over Christmas, you can prepare some festive healthy snacks, or make adjustments to your Christmas dinner to make it a little healthier.
Know That Slip-Ups Are Okay
It’s okay to indulge over Christmas. However, forgetting about your goal for a day or two can lead to you forgetting about your goal, or thinking that a slip-up means that there’s no point carrying on with it.
This isn’t the case – it’s perfectly okay to lose track for a few days and get back to working towards your goals. Christmas is a busy time for everybody, but the reality is that it will be over before you know it, and you’ll have time to work on your personal goals and your professional goals again.
Even if you slip up throughout most of December, try not to lose motivation and don’t be too hard on yourself. January may be equally as busy in terms of work, but you’ll most likely have more free time to get things done and get back on track with your goals.
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.