The Dark Side of the Holidays

Devouring the pie

In the midst of all the holiday cheer, an evil lurks. A villain awaits, knowing you’ll slip up on your diet, your budget or the new habits you’ve worked so hard to set up this year. The enemy will be there to remind you each time you slip. The nagging will begin during the long Thanksgiving weekend. At first the voice will sound comforting, like a friend saying, “with the incessant commercials and sales fliers and feasts, of course you ate a little extra and spent a little too much.” And “how could anyone avoid spending money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” And suddenly we’re in December, life is a blur of holiday parties, decorating, shopping, baking, eating and gifting. No time to catch our breath, no time to reset our habits.

One morning in early January we look in the mirror, our checkbook or scheduling calendar and feel terrible. That voice in our head is now telling us, “see this happens every year. You just don’t have what it takes to be healthy and wealthy. Give it up.” We fight back by making a list of what we’ll accomplish or change in the new year. Unfortunately, most of our New Years Resolutions don’t make it past March.

Sorry for the downer heading into Thanksgiving. But it’s true, right?! What can be done?

  1. Know this WILL happen. You know it will. It’s a month and a half of events and visiting and emotions. Walk through in your mind the temptations you’ll be up against before each event. If you know that the enemy will be there you can prepare to win.
  2. Plan ahead of time which parts of the party mean the most to you. If you have a soft spot for pumpkin pie, rather than fight it, plan to have a piece. Look forward to it all day. If you love spoiling your kid with gifts, pick one that you know she’ll be ecstatic about and decide to spend money on it. You flip the program in your head when you consciously decide to do something. By planning it out ahead of time, you shut down that nagging question of “should I or shouldn’t I?”
  3. You’ve been looking forward to the pie. You’ve decided to indulge. Savor every bite. Don’t feel guilty. You’re not breaking a commitment. You’ve made a conscious exception. Don’t just enjoy the pie. Enjoy the whole day. Be present with your friends and family. You might just learn something.
  4. Positive self-talk. The thing about that internal grinch that interrupts the holiday magic with well-timed jabs about how terrible we are at keeping our promises is that we can convert him. We can get his heart to grow a few sizes. Continually feed your mind positive quotes, inspirational books and reminders of the best parts of who you are and who you are becoming.

Remember that most of us overestimate what we can achieve in the short-term and underestimate what can be done long-term. Your decision to be financially free or physically fit is a lifestyle decision. You won’t become wealthy or fit in an instant. Small decisions over time define us, shape our bodies and determine our financial status. We WILL frequently slip up, get off course and make mistakes. When this happens take a deep breath, forgive yourself for being human and get back on track. Long-term you’re on track for financial freedom. You ARE on the path to living the life you choose. Don’t give in to the dark side!

Oh, and enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years!


  1. Dustin Muller says:

    Great read, nice article!!

  2. Jeff Sprowls says:

    Great blog and good points and reminders – thank you.

  3. I am with you on this 100/

  4. Sounds like PLANNING is a good plan!

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