Can you believe it? It’s here. We’re officially heading into one of the busiest (and my favorite) times of the year!

Before the holidays get here … let’s take some time to get prepared NOW.

Today’s Success Principle:
Failing to plan is planning to fail.

A little bit of effort now will help you cruise through the holidays without the stress.

It all starts with taking care of YOU.

When life gets hectic, one of the first things to drop off our to-do lists is us. Which is ironic, since taking care of ourselves each day will help us do everything else better.

But I get it, life is hectic. So let’s get and stay ahead of the game with these four tips:

1. Make a simple meal plan each week during the holidays, so you can avoid too many on-the-go meals. Holiday treats are notoriously high in salt, fat, and sugar, which will just leave you feeling bloated and blah.

But more importantly, eating sugary foods affects the good bacteria in your gut (that helps you fight off cold and flu viruses), which obviously can have a negative impact on your immune system.

What are some easy meals you can throw together at the last minute? My go-to’s are turkey burgers and veggies, salmon and spinach, pre-roasted veggies with some grilled chicken.

Pro tip: Search “sheet pan recipes” on Google if you want to find some quick and easy meals that won’t take a lot of time!

2. Don’t compromise on your exercise time.  Keep your immune system happy and get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like a 265 workout or a brisk walk) most days of the week.

One study found that women who walked for a half-hour every day for a year had 50% fewer colds than those who didn’t. That’s because regular walking appears to lead to having more infection-fighting white blood cells.

Not only that, but exercise can help you fight stress. When you work out, your body releases more feel-good, mood-boosting hormones.

3. Make a list (or two!). If you have a hectic holiday schedule, start planning NOW so you can do as much ahead of time as possible. Running around at the last minute trying to get everything done is the absolute worst!

Put together a checklist of everything you have to do, and then do it (even better, delegate it!).

4. Relax. Make time for family and friends, and enjoying old traditions or making new ones.

Let go of expectations of how you think things “should” go, and enjoy them as they are! It’s often the things that happen out of the ordinary that we look back on with a smile.

If you’re going to be alone or working over the holidays, make time to mark the occasion! Watch a movie, eat a special meal, or treat yourself to a spa session.

The holidays don’t have to be stressful! Now that you have a game plan all that you have to do is execute.