Friday, February 23, 2018

November Is for Saying “No”

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

“No” gets a bad rap. Sometimes, amidst the positivity and flow of yes, a solid no can—and should– be the healthy answer. November is a great time to introduce a little no into your life.

Say NO to Skipped Workouts

You can be busy and fit.

Time seems to accelerate at year’s end. Now more than ever, you may struggle to manage your workout. Be honest though. You’re always busy. Why question your date with exercise now? Busy people get the job done, as per the saying. So, be busy and be fit.

Make your next workout something fun and different. Construct your fitness program as an “offer you cannot refuse.” When life gets in the way of your commitment, you won’t be able to resist an energizing, holiday-pie-busting sweat session.

Say NO to Cheat Meals

Just as we must avoid skipping workouts, avoid slipping into poor eating habits. Drive-thru meals become a quick, convenient solution when we aren’t overindulging at a large feast or celebration this time of year.

You deserve better.

The season’s standard hectic pace combined with an abundance of treats and food-related gatherings makes it easy to declare cheat meals. They turn into cheat days and cheat weekends. Suddenly, the whole season is a big cheat. As a result, your health suffers.

You may think you deserve to pile your plate high, grab a pizza on the go, or sample the entire dessert table. After all, you’ve been working hard all year long. However, a season of good health is what you really deserve. You have developed and maintained healthy habits. They are a work in progress. Refuse to wreck them now. Just say, “no.”

Say NO to Over-Commitment

You don’t need to gift your time to everyone in a show of gratitude and love from now until the new year. Volunteer your time and energy in accordance with your priorities. Remember, little things have a big impact. Phone a lonely friend, help at a school party, prepare a meal for a struggling neighbor. You don’t need to chair a township-wide fundraiser or bake cookies for your entire office.

Keep commitments reasonable so you can focus on essentials, like your workout, good health, and those new year resolutions you still hope to accomplish before next year.

Say NO to Excess

Aside from year-end budget meetings and deadlines, many are busy idealizing the holidays. The Internet is scoured for the best gifts, meals, and decorations. This kicks off subsequent shopping, prepping, and cooking—and spending and stressing and even some swearing. Stop the madness by keeping it simple.

Prepare wholesome, clean foods that are full of flavor without a lot of fuss. Rather than extravagant (often fattening) recipes, serve fresh fruit and cheeses with your specialty entrees. And put more thought into your gift-buying; you may find you spend less money.

Simplify. Embellish the season with kindness, wellness, and health.

Minimize expectations for the upcoming weeks. Know your limits and respect them. Remember the limits of those in your life. They will be the same people you deal with year-round. Jumping through holiday hoops won’t change that (regardless of buying expensive gifts or toiling over their favorite desserts). Leave expectations behind. You will be less disappointed and more grateful.

Simplify and be content. You will be able to accomplish priorities, maintain your health and fitness, and enjoy. Time and energy are too precious to spend on overdoing. Just do. Just be.

Say NO to Holding a Grudge

Let go and live.

When you fail to say “no” in any of the above scenarios (and it will happen), let it go. There are enough outside forces in life that attempt to berate our spirit. Don’t contribute by clinging onto mistakes. Skipped workouts, cheat meals, a spontaneous and excessive extravagance happen to the most disciplined individuals. They are isolated incidents, not indicative of future slips or general weakness.

This year has seen a trend of staying home and nurturing oneself. “Let’s Stay Home,” declarations are popping up on everything from pillows to memes. Comfort and self-care help avoid burnout and recover from life obligations. Follow this approach as we enter the holiday season. Take time to recover from your work, workouts, and commitments. Be kind to yourself and shine in NOvember.

Image Credits

Group workout:

Fast-food fries:


Autumn joy:

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