One of my favorite ways to maintain balance (aka, avoid a downward spiral) during the holidays is through an approach called, "Competitive Exclusion."
Sounds complex and scientific, but hold on!
It's actually a super simple concept that just happens to come with a fancy descriptor that the biologist in me, LOVES!
Competitive exclusion is a concept in ecology whereby species A is either introduced OR suddenly grows to OUT-COMPETE species B.
Species A consumes all the energy and space required by the species B, therefore, species B is either kept in check-it's population remains the same, OR it shrinks and dies.
The same phenomenon exists with our habits.
Maintaining or introducing habit A can help to prevent habit B (C, D, E, F....) from swelling and taking TOO much of our time, energy and resources, aka, too much space in our lives!
For example, if habit A is routine exercise and movement, -that requires something of us.
Habit A requires adequate
nutrition as fuel
We have to manage how much we give to our other habits in order to maintain habit A, but more importantly, maintaining habit A as best we can, regardless of our circumstances, will automatically keep habits B (staying up late), C (drinking wine), D (saying yes to too many holiday commitments) and E (eatings foods that make us sluggish and lacking in energy) from taking up too much space.
Because you see, habits B, C, D, and E, they are NOT intrinsically bad.
In fact, they can totally be joyful and fun parts of our habit eco-system.
But when we remove A, they often grow to an unhealthy scale.
They eat up MORE time, energy and space than is beneficial to the whole system that is your body.
They are no longer hindered by restriction of resources-so they can take over!
Check out the drawings below!
See how growing habit A keeps all the other ones in their place!!!
But remove A and look how either immediately or OVER time it's much easier for these other time, energy, resource-requiring habits start to occupy a larger niche!
For me and for most of my clients, habit A is MOVEMENT.
Having a routine exercise and movement practice keeps us disciplined and vigilant in the other areas of our lives.
We sleep better.
We're more intentional about our eating habits-and quite frankly need a little additional fuel for our workouts.
We trade staying up late drinking wine for early morning or late afternoon workouts.
We choose not to let screen time prevent us from being active.
Our metabolisms, digestion, hormones and cravings are balanced and supporting rather than derailing us.
Our moods are also improved, which makes life FAR more enjoyable.
And it makes perfect sense, because human bodies are meant to MOVE.
We are designed to walk and stretch, lift, roll and skip.
Physical activity promotes health and health supports our happiness!
So this holiday season, rather than devoting energy to the list of things you are NOT going to do this year, instead focus your energy on GROWING your movement practice.
Prioritize it, no matter what. Get some form of DAILY MOVEMENT in.
Need ideas on how to make this happen?
1. Commit to daily leisure walks 30 minutes or more. Grab a friend, pet, partner, kiddos and make it happen as often as you can!
2. Press reset! I'm a HUGE fan of Original Strength resets, especially on days when you can't get outside.
3.Start doing Highly Efficient kettlebell workouts 2-3 times a week!
Join Kettlebells For Cool Kids and get three 20 minute workouts per week to help you get in a FANTASTICALLY challenging, but totally DOABLE muscle and fitness -building workout!!
There are only TWO spots left for people to join this round!
The program is 10 weeks long and comes with 90's hip hop and dance-themed PLAYLISTS!
You can learn more, see what members are saying about their experience and sign up here: