This isn’t going to be one of those typical “discipline is greater than motivation” posts… as much as I love those.
Believe me, I’m about to get silly, festive, and enjoy allllll the treats. I think this is the time of year when we can strategically have our cake and eat it too!
The rest of this year is about enjoying ourselves while still stacking tiny wins and building a bit of momentum heading into the New Year.
In honor of 2022, here are 22 things you can do to finish the year strong:
1. Big Protein and Fiber Breakfast
This is an easy area to win! Fiber and protein keep us feeling fuller for longer. Eggs and avocados are nutrient-dense and will help us save carbs for later in the day.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Proper hydration is another great habit to start building consistency in now. In the winter we tend to drink less water. Aim for 3 liters per day! Stay thirsty my friends.
4. Track Your Protein
Tracking calories is huge for optimizing lean muscle mass. An easy place to begin is by tracking your protein intake, which can be done without an app just by reading labels and keeping a rough estimate. I aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.
Make it a bit easier by following your workout with some SFH Pure Whey.
5. Run Sprints Once Per Week
Sprints have a host of benefits including improved cardio, burning calories, and an epic ab workout. If the weather is nice, head outdoors. If winter weather pushes you indoors, hop on a treadmill for some Tabata sprints!
Read about the Benefits of Sprinting
6. Eat a Minimum of 2 Serving of Veggies Each Day
Vegetables are nutrient-dense, low-calorie, and high-fiber. Heading into the New Year get in the habit of prioritizing your vegetable intake.
Pro Tip: At parties, always hit the veggie tray before treats and drinks ;)
7. Finish an Unmet Goal
Do you have any lingering goals left that you set at the beginning of 2022? Whichever goal is the most attainable, try to accomplish it before this year’s end.
8. Resistance Train 4 Days Per Week
Notice I said resistance and not just weights. I think weight training is ideal but not always realistic this time of year with travel. Aim to make it to the gym 4 days per week but have some awesome bodyweight workouts prepared, so you don’t miss!
9. Don’t Forget to Take Your Fish Oil
Stress can be high this time of year and we will probably be eating more inflammatory foods than normal. Keep inflammation at bay by keeping your diet high in omega-3s - I love the Super Omega Fish Oil Gel Caps because they travel well and are convenient!
10. Get in the Spirit of Giving
Giving is the best - Last holiday season my family made gallon-size bags of essentials to keep in our cars for homeless people. In the bags, we included chapstick, warm socks, gloves, protein bars, a bottle of water, and a gift card for a local grocery store. Such a great learning experience for our kids.
11. Read an Inspiration Book
Build some momentum by reading a book in a field or interest you want to excel at in 2023. A great goal is to read 10 pages every single day.
12. Get a Jump Rope
Buy a jump rope and travel with it everywhere. This is a great contingency plan for holiday travel. No gym or workout equipment? Knock out 10 minutes of jump rope and you’ll stay right on track - plus it’s fun!
13. Track Your Calories
This is building on number 4 - download a calorie-tracking app and input your weight goal. It is super freeing to know that you can enjoy all foods in moderation and adjust calories elsewhere to stay on track. Calories are king!
14. Go for a Walk
Walking may be the most underrated exercise. When all else fails, throw on your coat and go for a long walk. It is a simple way to get in some physical activity, get moving, and do something positive.
15. Max Push-Ups in a Day
This is a workout I like to keep in my back pocket when I know I won’t have access to the gym. I will typically challenge a family member or friend to see who can accumulate the most throughout the day. One year I got 1,000 reps in a day!
You can scale this to any fitness level by doing knee push-ups and only as many reps as you can do with proper form.
16. No More Than 3 Days Without a Workout
This is a great rule to live by. Sometimes we might enjoy a long weekend and that’s okay, just make sure you get in that workout before the 4th day passes.
17. Focus on Improved Mental Health
The holiday season can be tough for some. We talk a lot about improving physical health but this is also a great time to strengthen our mental health. Find something that works for you: get out in nature, do yoga, meditate, journal, etc!
18. Build a Stronger Core
The beauty of planks is that they can be done anywhere by almost anyone. This is another “no excuse” exercise. Drop down and knock out a 90-sec plank and improve your core strength. Then see how much longer you can go as the year comes to an end.
19. Get Some Sunlight
This is tough in the winter months, darker days mean less Vitamin D. Sunlight helps us keep Vitamin D levels up and even improves our mood. Plus a good way to simultaneously get some vitamin D and cold exposure. Wim Hof, anyone?
20. Formulate a Plan for 2023
Don’t wait until January 1st to set New Year’s Resolutions, set goals now!
21. Prep Work for 2023 Goals
If you get consistent with healthy habits during the holidays, you are really setting yourself up for success in the New Year. Start building consistency now and reap the rewards for a lifetime.
22. Enjoy the Holiday Season
Listen, I’m going to live a little and I’m going to enjoy the festivities. Learn to give yourself some grace and that life is about balance. If you completely fall off the wagon for one day (or a few) do you know what happens? Not a lot. Just start back fresh the next day.
Don’t get discouraged when you’re not perfect. There are 365 days in a year and if we are on point for 80% of them, we will see success.
Stack some wins, encourage people along the way, and let’s crush some goals!
Meet the Author
Ben Barker is a fitness coach from Little Rock where he lives with his wife, 4 kids, and their dog, Wrigley. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Central Arkansas and is passionate about helping people push their boundaries of fitness and performance.