The time has arrived. We're in the thick of the holiday season — when parties abound, food and drink flow freely, and the dulcet tones of Michael Bublé seem inescapable. However, in the lead up to a new year, it's easy to default to "I'll deal with that next year" mode.
That said, it's a good idea to start planting some seeds now in advance of the cold, sobering month of January. Then, rather than a stacked list of "to-dos," you've already got things on the go for 2018.
This advice of course applies to many areas of life, but it is particularly relevant for health.
Is there a doctor's appointment you've been meaning to book? Call them now! Is there a practice you'd like to put into place in 2018, such as daily walks or stretches? Put it into place now!
It'll be that much easier to get things going again after the festive season if you've already sown the seeds for them beforehand.
I asked the curious crew of Medical News Today editors what they're doing now to set themselves up for a good start to the year, and some of their responses included training for a 10-kilometer run to raise money for charity, doing more creative writing, and submitting work more systematically (with self-imposed deadlines already set).
Others wanted to eat less meat and more beans and pulses, do lots of laundry, and spend at least 1 hour each week doing something that they're interested in, such as reading a cookbook or an interesting science article.
Writing in a "happiness diary," writing new riffs for their band before rehearsals start in January, finishing their novel's final draft before the end of the year, and avoiding the profligacy of their passion for cheese and beer were also among their answers.
My favorite response, however, was:
"I'm currently working with session musicians to finish a rap album. I've also started swimming and doing pilates to try and rid myself of back pain — and also become immensely muscly and attractive for 2018. I will definitely finish the rap album."
Based on some of our most popular articles from this past month, it looks as though our readers are also starting to think ahead about the impact of the festive season.
Our News team reported on a study that suggested that clogged arteries may be down to bacteria, not diet, and you were quite interested in that finding. Likewise, a study that listed 33 foods proven to relieve rheumatoid arthritis was popular on our site.
Our resident scientist investigated the link between sugar and cancer, asking whether it is a surprise connection or a 50-year cover-up.
Whatever your holiday season entails, we hope it is joyful and healthful. Just don't forget to plant a few seeds for yourself along the way.