what you focus on you create more of
Linchpin: a person or thing vital to an enterprise or organization
As we get closer to the holidays, I am feeling a little more overwhelmed than usual. How about you? There are a lot more unknowns this year, and we need to be careful about how we are handling all of the added stress.
In times of change, transition, or turmoil, it is particularly difficult to stick with our good habits. Our primal brain senses fear and all it wants us to do is to be safe from it. This means seeking comfort. This could look a lot of different ways, but it usually looks like resorting to previously well-worn pathways in our brain- our former bad habits, aka our coping mechanisms.
It makes sense doesn't it? It takes effort to stay on the straight and narrow and stick to our good habits, right? Eat vegetables, drink water, write in our journal, exercise, sleep enough, be kind, be grateful, stay away from too much processed foods, have a growth mindset, be still, meditate, moderate in food and drink, etc, etc, etc.... So exhausting on top of everything else! If it takes too much willpower, the primal brain will take over.
So what can we do about it?
The first step is to notice that you are slipping back into habits that don't serve you. This takes some mindfulness. Once you notice, then you can do something about it.
This is where your linchpin habits come in. A linchpin habit is a powerful habit that is vital to your well-being. Everyone has their own set of linchpin habits. To figure out what yours are, just think about the top three things that make you feel the absolute best when you do them consistently. These are the habits that will keep you healthy, vibrant, and energetic through the holiday season. Mine are drinking plenty of water (half my body weight in ounces), sleeping 7-8 hours a night, and getting outside every day.
Here is the magic: Forget the rest. Let them go for now. Give yourself permission to simply concentrate on your chosen linchpin habits. This way there is less overwhelm, but you are still taking steps in the direction of your health goals.
Choose your linchpin habits today. Write them down on post its, put them on your calendar, do whatever you need to do. Then commit to keeping up with them to keep yourself happy and healthy through the holiday stress. 🧡
About the Author
Kim is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and group fitness instructor. She is a mom of two grown kiddos, and a former elementary school teacher. Most days, she can be found training clients, prepping food, thinking about food, or writing about food. She is also obsessed with mindset and habits. She is a 9w1 on the enneagram.