There is something about summer that makes us all feel festive. The longer days and the warmth of the sun can feel so energizing and invigorating. That festive feeling often leads to BBQs, drinks on the patio with friends, and family runs to the ice cream shops. But let’s face it, the summer party mode isn’t conducive to that summer bod we all said we wanted.
I have seen this theme across my weekly coaching with my clients in recent weeks and I think we can all benefit from a little check-in with ourselves.
First off, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a cider on the patio with friends and taking your family out for ice cream. But if you party all weekend and wake up full of self-loathing and regret come Monday, now we have a problem and we need to rethink this whole thing.
You are the sum of your actions and choices, you need to be at peace with them.
First off, acknowledge and accept where you are at today.
Second, determine where you want to go.
Third, determine what it will take to get you there.
Now here is where we need to re-define this a little better. You need to be clear on what it takes to get to where you want to. Ensure you are willing to put in the work necessary. But you should also take a moment to write down and determine what’s non-negotiable. What can’t you live without?
If you want something different, you need to be ready to make some changes. Doing the same things and keeping the same habits will only leave you where you are currently. We all have non-negotiable things and any plan that does not factor this in will never actually be successful.
For me, family date night out is a must; we enjoy 1 meal out weekly and have a big bias for pizza. I am not a big drinker, but in the summer I also reserve the right to enjoy a chilled glass of Chardonnay or two. I also fit in ice cream as part of my plan on the regular. I am not a good abstainer, but I am a great moderator*; if I enjoy some treats in moderation, I stay on track. If I try to go 100% clean and abstain, I almost always break and end up with binge-like behaviours.
Other example of this would be:
- Date nights.
- Friday night beers after work with the crew.
- Weekly Sunday night family dinners.
- Girlfriends lunch out once a week.
- Drinks after your golf game.
- Family pizza nights.
Whatever it is, you need to define it. Keep in mind that you can’t say all of the above, and some sense of self-control will need to be observed. But you factor your non-negotiable things into your plan, understand where that leaves you in regard to your goals, and set a plan you can fully commit to.
Now that you know what you want and what you can’t live without, you can make an action plan for you to achieve your goals while maintaining your sense of self and balance in your life.
You do need to set goals that are realistic to the amount of work you are willing to put in to attain these goals. Set daily habits to support your goals. Be patient. Learn to enjoy the process and find new, healthier ways to celebrate summer and life with your loved ones while supporting your goals.
We all want to be included and accepted by our tribe, but it is also important to create a strong support network around us to succeed. Make sure your friends and loved ones are on-board and supportive of your goals.
Tie in your next ice cream family outings with a hike first. Grab an iced Americano and meet a friend at the dog park. Pack a lunch and take it to the beach; packing your own treats allows you to control what you are eating and stay within your macros. My family does this all the time.
Host a pot-luck BBQ in your house. Eating in is always more successful than eating out, and you can make dishes that you can enjoy guilt-free. Summer time is great for grilling, as well as a great time to visit your local farmers market. Pick up something new, experiment in the kitchen and have fun with your health goals!
If any of this resonated with you I’d be happy to help and can be reached at email@example.com .
Go out, enjoy the sun and find your happy balance!
*If the concept of moderator vs abstainer is new to you. Google Gretchen Rubin and take the test. The more you know yourself, the better you can set yourself up for success.