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Medieval fortified city of Carcassonne, France

Image source: Thinkstock

Every year around this time, the flood gates open and we are besieged with unimaginable amounts of sweets and treats. They pour in by the bucketful, washing over our carefully built fortress walls, leaving our well practiced self-control completely obliterated.

It’s not just one little Halloween infraction we are compelled to endure, we can blame that one on the kids! No, no!! We are now in full holiday mode! The decorations are up, ample holiday foods, wine and irresistible delights are there for the tasting everywhere we go.

Hey, I’ve been practicing, I can control my impulses… now where did I put my resolve? Willpower sounds easy, just hold on, be firm. In truth, willpower is great tool if you have learned skills the to make it work for you. Kind of like a car. It can take you places if you have the keys and know how to drive it! Willing yourself through those holiday parties can become exhausting so having a few “go-to” skills could mean the difference between maintaining a healthy restraint and hunting for your resolve – around the cheese tray, or the dessert table.

Here are six strategies when you face situations that could test your resolve:

  1. Know your “triggers.”
  2. Stay clear of danger areas like tables set with foods you know are a problem.
  3. Focus on socializing with friends around the periphery of the room.
  4. Enjoy mineral water or a diet soda with a twist – no one will know or care, it’s not about them anyway.
  5. If you are having dinner, plan ahead.
  6. Ask about the menu, offer to bring a healthy side dish, maintain control of your portion sizes.

The message here is choose your path. Having a plan that you put into action gives you the opportunity to control your personal environment, both physical and emotional. When approaching a challenge, it’s all about your perspective. Keeping it positive and mindful allows you the power to make and look after the choices that are most important to you. Let that tidal wave flow over you, your mighty fortress is safe!