Whether you’re out celebrating in style or chillin’ at home taking it easy, Christmas time is always a great excuse to let your hair down and be in the moment. Yes, Ritual is the gym that’s all about optimizing your health and life and all that, but it’s also about being able to live the life you want to live. So, you know what? Just go for it. Let loose. Make some questionable decisions, get messy.

The fitness industry is full of rules and restrictions. Conventional wisdom tells us to enjoy ‘healthy options’ over delicious Christmas goodies, and the internet is overflowing right now with articles on hacks and tips and tricks on how to save yourself from packing on the pounds during the festive season. No, you don’t have to guilt yourself into turning down those cocktails this Christmas. And no, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to eat that dessert. In fact, you should live in the moment and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Because you’re human, and good food with good company is amazing.

You see, it’s less about the quick-fixes and stopgap measures, and more about the things you do consistently. Let me explain: How you look, how you feel, and how healthy your body is are all consequences of what you do most often. If you’ve been eating nutritious food, sleeping pretty well and exercising regularly 80% of the time for the last 12 months, is 3 nights of eating cake and drinking too much really going to ruin your life and make you obese? Probably not. Do you really need to be stressing out about calories, sugar and carbs right now? Probably not. Don’t be ‘that’ guy. Sustainable fitness and healthy living isn’t about restriction, guilt, strict rules and quick-fixes. It’s about making conscious choices consistently, and enjoying the process.

In our experience, the best way to breed this habit of making conscious decisions is by building and maintaining a sense of awareness. Fundamentally, that’s what we try to teach at Ritual. If you understand and acknowledge that how you move, how you eat, and how you live will have an impact on your body, you’ll be better off than most. Whether it’s about push-ups, deadlifts, rest, sleep, fat loss, carbs or avocados, it’s got less to do with the ‘perfect answer’ and more to do with you being able to make educated, conscious decisions, right now. If you’re going to be with family and friends you haven’t seen in months and you want to have a couple more drinks and go nuts, take a minute to acknowledge the decision, understand the repercussions, plan for them, embrace them with a smile, and thoroughly enjoy the experience, guilt-free.

When it comes to health and fitness, people tend to fall into a downward spiral because they don’t acknowledge the consequences of their actions. Sharing a pizza tonight and thoroughly enjoying it is drastically different from eating pizza every night with no acknowledgement of how it can affect you.

Make conscious choices, because after that, your actions can be governed by logic:

… Going to get messy tonight, so maybe I’ll go to Ritual at lunchtime and have a shake for lunch. Tomorrow morning is going to be rough, so maybe I’ll go for a long walk when I wake up instead of booking a session. When I’m hung over, I’ll also probably want to eat whatever is convenient, so maybe I should stock the fridge with a couple of healthy options before I go out tonight…

See what I mean? If you live with awareness, there are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ decisions – just conscious decisions that build on top of each other. And once you’ve decided, just go for it, because there’s nothing more distracting than second-guessing a decision that feels right! Sometimes it’s okay to just ‘figure it out on Monday’ 🙂

Be Brave and Happy Holidays!