I find that the hardest part of this time of the year is finding a good balance between rest/indulgence and maintaining some sort of exercise routine. And I don't mean just in terms of food and physical activity, although that does have something to do with it. With all these holidays, keeping up the self-control to say "no" to sugary foods or eating too much is nearly impossible, and the motivation to exercise in the cold is... low, to say the least.
But for those of us that just came off of NaNoWriMo, there's a different kind of challenge. (Not going to claim we don't have problems with balancing exercise and caloric intake, but for the moment, that's not the challenge I'm talking about.)
Many of us have just spent an entire month staying up late and low-key panicking as we try to meet the arbitrary goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. I didn't reach that goal, but I wasn't trying to - that didn't stop me from staying up late most days trying to get in a few words each day.
You may have read somewhere that it takes 30 days to turn a routine into a habit. That's true for a lot of things. In the case of NaNoWriMo, 30 days of stress or at least of overindulgence usually goes in the opposite direction. Come December, it becomes harder to motivate myself to keep working on the project I just spent a month on.
But a writing habit (by which I mean making writing part of my routine, not that this is some sort of addiction - pft, I could quit anytime I want and I just don't want to right now) is a positive thing, and I would like to keep it in my daily routine. Just... not the way it's been through November. Writing between 9 and 10 PM is very much not cool when my usual bedtime is 8:30.
But as mentioned when we started - a balance of indulgence and exercise is hard to maintain this time of year.
So how the heck am I supposed to cope with this?
Pretty much the same way I cope any other time of year, honestly.
Schedule time in my day (say, between noon and 2PM) to dedicate to writing.
Have an accountability buddy ask me what I wrote today.
Track my progress with a list or a spreadsheet. (Sticker charts are my favorite.)
This time of year, though, with the holidays and the family time, I think it's especially important to be flexible. A daily writing habit is great, but I shouldn't be isolating myself in my room to meet a self-imposed deadline when my cousins are chatting out in the living room. If a dinner date pops up unexpectedly, take it. If a friend wants to go out for coffee, go. If my grandparents invite me to join them for a movie, do it.
Because when the day is done, it's not my wordcount I'll remember with a smile. It's the time I shared with the people I love.
How are you coping with the holidays, Inklings?