It begins as early as Halloween. Every article, blog post, and advertisement is telling you how NOT to gain weight during the holidays. Telling you...

How NOT to eat all that Halloween candy,

How NOT to binge on your Thanksgiving meal, and

How NOT to eat every Christmas cookie in your office.

You see them all over the place, and they are an effort to help you NOT be completely derailed by this joyous season.

But to be 100% honest with you, I'm kind of sick of seeing these. I guess I just don't want to assume people are completely helpless during this time of year and would rather encourage you to know you have the ability to choose health, no matter what "season" we're in.

Here's the other thing.

Are the holidays really that different from any other time of the year?

I mean, I don't know about you, but between the number of birthday parties we're invited to, the summer travel, the church potluck dinners, and the bake sales that seem to be every few weeks, is there ever really a shortage of opportunities for us to be derailed from our health efforts?

The answer is simply NO. Every day, every week, and every month there will be a reason (or dare I say excuse) for us to NOT follow our healthy eating plans.

But you and I choose different. I know you do because you're reading this right now and, well, you and I are in this together.

So what can we do during the month of December instead of focusing on all the things NOT to do?

I propose that instead of focusing on how NOT to gain weight during the holidays, we all choose one health goal to commit to during the month of December to continue moving us forward on our health journeys.

I have outlined all the steps below using my own goal so all you need to do is answer each question for yourself and you'll have your own personal December Health Challenge.

***Remember, the example below is my goal, so you don't have to pick this one. Choose one that is realistic for you and applies to your life.

What is one small goal I can commit to this month to help me move forward with being healthier each and every day?

I can commit to sleeping 7+ hours every night in the month of December. No excuses!

Why do I want to achieve this goal?

I want to achieve this goal because I know, without a doubt, that when I sleep the required 7 hours each day, I feel incredibly more focused and energetic throughout the day. When I sleep less, it becomes very difficult for me to focus on my priorities throughout the day. I also notice that I am more susceptible to snapping at my kids and even my husband when I'm sleep deprived.

What will this goal look like daily in my life?

In order to get 7 hours of sleep, I have to be asleep by 9:30pm. In order to do that, we must be sitting down for dinner at 6:00pm and cleaning up by 7:00pm. I also need to begin my "getting ready for bed" routine by 8:00pm.

(Note: Working backwards from the time you want to do something is extremely helpful so you know exactly how you will accomplish your goal. You can do the same thing if you want to get to the gym at a certain time or get to work earlier.)

What am I willing to give up to achieve this goal?

I am willing to give up going on Facebook at night or texting my sister in the evening so I do not stay up late just because I am pounding away on my cell phone. I will let my sister know that I'm not ignoring her, I'm just trying to get to bed earlier.

How will I keep myself accountable to this goal?

I am going to keep a calendar next to my bed and I can put an X on the date only if I am in bed before 9:30pm. If, at the end of the month, I've missed 3 or less, I will treat myself to a massage. I am going to take a picture of my calendar and periodically show my progress on my Instagram stories. (If you don't already, follow me on Instagram!)

Now it's your turn! You can use the same question for any goal you may choose for December.

Whatever you choose as your goal, remember that you have the power to make December one of your best health months while everyone else is waiting for January to make any changes.

How awesome will it be to get to January 1st and say, "Wow! I feel pretty incredible right now. I can't wait to pick my next goal this month."

If you're ready to live a better, healthier life, look no further than the New Life Promise plan!

Yes, I'm ready to join the New Life Promise Family and eat delicious food while transforming my health! -> Click HERE to start on your health journey today