In the last monthly post of the year, I thought that a post about finishing the year strong would be timely. The end of the year is usually tiresome. For some, it may be the end of the semester. For others, it may also be the end of the season or a time with extra presentations if they perform artistically. On top of this, there are all the gatherings, meetings, and, potentially, shopping time. All of these extra commitments, in addition to the tiredness of the end of the year itself, can make it hard to maintain our usual dedication to reach our goals. Plus, if healthy nutrition is part of your performance requirements, the gatherings full of food can be an extra challenge for you.
There are two things that will help you with these challenges: commitment and planning. On the commitment part, it is important that you remember why you work so hard towards your goals. If you haven’t done it yet, write it down! What you want to achieve and why it’s important for you. Commitment is the foundation of everything you do and will help you in difficult times. In one sentence: you need to know your why!
Once you know why it is important for you to keep working towards your goals in times of tiredness and fun alternative events, it will be easier to stick to your plan. I have written here before that resting is as important as working. If you don’t rest, your mind and body will get increasingly stressed to a point that you may experience burnout. And burnout is not good for performance, physical health, or mental health! Therefore, point number one to consider in your plan: make sensible space to rest and recharge. This doesn’t mean “just rest and do not practice”; it just means that gatherings with friends and family may help you recharge and make your practices even better afterward, so try to accommodate some on your schedule.
Related to this point, it is also important to make specific and realistic plans, because making decisions on the spot about practicing or not, or going to a gathering or not, may be a hard test on your commitment. Plan ahead of the holidays when and where you will practice and which places you definitely want to go. And be realistic about it – if you know that you will end up going anyways, just plan around the event. The same goes for what you will eat (if nutrition is part of your worries): be realistic about what you will want to eat – dietitians are pretty good about giving you a plan where you can eat a bit more than usual during an important holiday and compensate in a healthy way on other meals.
Once you have a specific and realistic plan that includes some recharging time, commit to it! Many people find it useful to communicate their plans to the people they live with or interact with on a daily basis, so they have more support to carry out the plan. In addition, announcing the plan to others tends to make the plan feel more official to ourselves too and we are more likely to stick to it.
I hope these tips help you have a productive and recharging end of the year! If you would like more help with it, please contact us for more information.