It’s inevitable that on January 1st your pants will fit a little tighter, right? That a month’s worth of feasting instead of sweating will set you back on your wellness goals? Sometimes as the invitations flood in for holiday revelry, resistance towards the annual battle of the bulge does seem futile. But with intention, commitment, and creative planning, it’s possible to ring in the new year feeling just as fit as as you did when the season began! Here’s my five favorite ways to stay heathy throughout the holiday season.

1. Explore New Territory: If you’re traveling this holiday season, use it as an opportunity to try a new workout in a different town! Check Yelp for well-reviewed studios and sign up for classes before you even hop on the plane. You’re more likely to attend sessions for which you’ve already paid—and you have an excuse to make your escape for some precious me-time when the family drama hits the fan!

2. Create a Win-Win: Visiting family? Hosting houseguests? Enroll them into joining you in your usual fitness routine! Not only will you maintain your own physical health and support theirs, you'll eliminate the sense of guilt that can sometimes crop up when you sneak off for a workout while everyone else is sipping eggnog. Plus, you'll create the opportunity to deepen your relationships while bonding over a shared experience!

3. Schedule your indulgences. Booking your workouts is a given. But do you plan your special treats too? Prevent feelings of deprivation (which can often lead to overdoing it when your willpower runs out) by planning which holiday treats you'll enjoy. It will be a lot easier to say no to tonight's surprise tray of gingerbread if you know tomorrow's scheduled cocoa date is just around the corner!

4. Find an accountability buddy. Got a friend who shares your commitment to staying in shape over the holidays? You needn't have the same schedule and take all the same classes together; rather, you can create a system of accountability that consists of declared intentions, and then check in with each other. Send each other gym selfies and snaps of your healthy meals to keep inspired! 

5. Make friends with the scale. Being in relationship with the impact of our actions is the best way to course correct them when needed. So make a habit of stepping on the scale every morning. Do it not from a place of self-judgement but as a valuable reality check, in the same way you'd monitor your bank account to prevent overspending. It's easy to think that several nights in a row of cocktails and cookies won't have an impact—and indeed a few here and there won't!—but if you see the number start to climb steadily upwards you know it's time to put down the Brie and reach for the celery! 

- Anne Sage

Read Anne's blog here and follow her on Instagram @citysage