It’s That Time Again…

It’s That Time Again…

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve are three of the biggest holidays of the year. Within 6 weeks of each other, they represent the pinnacle of celebration for most Americans. These six weeks also represent the downward spiral of individual health that results in the fitness industries business boom come January.

The holidays also bring with them the same of excuses for poor eating, overindulgence and lack of exercise; we all know them by heart.
• It’s only one little cookie, it won’t hurt
• Christmas only comes once a year
• But it’s Grandma’s homemade pie
• It’s a holiday tradition; cookie exchange and fruitcake
• Just a little snack/beverage for the big game
• Everyone else was eating it too
• I will just start the diet after the New Year

I personally succumbed to that extra piece of cranberry tart and homemade apple
pie my neighbor made at Thanksgiving. (And, it was fantastic!) My excuses included, I will just run a little extra tomorrow, it’s a special occasion, and we never have that food in our house since Nick is allergic to wheat and this is the only time I can have it.

And as for running that “little bit extra” later to run it off, last Saturday, the alarm clock went off at 5am for my early morning run. It was raining outside so I hit the snooze, went back to bed, and did not get up until 9am. I had all of the justifications in the world why I did not run: it was raining, I am just getting over this sinus infection and need my rest to get better, it is too cold and wet, I deserve one morning to sleep in, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

As all of those justifications came flooding into my mind I had to remember that, “a justification is never an excuse.” This is especially true when we act in a way that is not congruent with our true self and our goals.

Guess who paid for my overeating and lack of discipline to get up and exercise? It was my wife and kids. Daddy Grouchy Bear came out and everyone was avoiding me. Finally, about 1pm I told my wife I had to go run or I just would not be happy for the rest of the day. Two hours later with 10.5 miles on my shoes, I walked in the front door and exclaimed, “Happy Bear is home!” And, that gave me the motivation that I needed when the alarm went off Sunday morning at 5am, to get up and out the door (by 6:45am) for another 12.5 miles.

The reality of the situation is that in January I can have a great Disney marathon weekend or I can have a great set of justifications and excuses that I can tell everyone for why I didn’t have a great Disney Marathon weekend. And in the meantime, my mental and physical health was still affected even though I could justify why I slept in. The people I love were still affected by my attitude even though I was able to justify why I slept in. They did not care about the excuses, only an unhappy husband and dad.

Justifications are never a good excuse for our poor actions, or lack of action. Watch those thoughts that tend to justify “why” something is done or not done. Don’t let them become the excuse you have for not doing what is most important for you. The holidays can be the best time to start the good habits that will give you a head start on those New Year’s resolutions. Drop that cookie, let someone else have that second piece of pie, and get your blood pumping doing something physical. Remember, these holidays only come once per year and so does every other day of the year. We are never guaranteed a tomorrow, only how we choose to live now.

Stop those justifications, stay focused on your real goals in life and if you don’t have any, maybe you could dream a little dream, or dream a BIG dream and create an amazing today for yourself. You may find yourself setting an example and becoming better for it.

I wish you a Happy Healthy Holiday Season filled with Love, Joy, Laughter and Happiness! (and devoid of justification and excuses)

To your continued success,

James M Murphy


Download, “Maintaining Massive Momentum” as my gift to you! Just go to and in the lower right hand corning of the screen is the sign up. Pass it along to all of your friends as some inspiration for the Holiday Season.