Winter is Coming: Join the Holiday Watch and Defend the Realm

Game of Thrones

Winter is coming.

Today, in households and offices all across Westeros the world, unstoppable forces are planning to wreak havoc on waistlines and stop momentum dead in its track.

We have been fighting hard to level up our lives all year long, dutifully exercising regularly, walking further and getting stronger, making healthier food choices, and building great habits. But the most important 6 weeks of the year are now upon is.

Winter is coming, and it is bringing with it an army that will attack us on many fronts:

A holiday designed around overeating, with a culture to encourage you to keep going until you pass out. A long weekend! Leftovers! Netflix!

A shopping sale made from black magic that will delude you into buying shit you don’t really need: Black Friday and Cyber Monday! That thing you’ll never use! That other thing that will break in two days!  I imagine this plays out like this South Park Episode.

Office parties and home parties where you will drink far too much and eat junk food, or face the wrath of co-workers and friends telling you to “live a little.”

The week of the dead: The days around Thanksgiving when nothing is going on other than football and video games. Lots of time to sit on the couch and eat junk food.

Enabling friends and family: People who let themselves go and beg you to do the same with them (“it’s the holidays!”).

Winter, literally: Snow, rain, drastically lower temperatures that will have you dying to stay inside on your couch watching Netflix rather than braving the elements any more than you have to.

As we stand here, bracing ourselves for the holiday season, we are just like the Night’s Watch as they are stood on the Wall watching giants, mammoths, Wildlings, and freaking White Walkers approach the Wall.

If you’ve seen the most recent season (5) of Game of Thrones, you’ll be familiar with this fan-favorite scene involving a giant. (if you haven’t seen it yet… you’re missing out!).

This is what’s at stake over the week, and why I am laying down a challenge. 

While the rest of the world willingly eats, drinks, buys, and sloths themselves into a momentum-paralyzing funk, you are going to defend The Wall, and hit January 1st with a full head of steam.

Your Holiday Watch begins now.

Why The Next 6 Weeks Are So Damn Important


For anybody on a quest to live a leveled-up life, these next six weeks are the most important six weeks of the year. Are you going to let your healthy habits slowly die, forcing you to once again make a declaration to get back on track, starting January 1?

Or are you going to take control of your fate?

Society encourages us to eat like crap and sit on our asses during this time of year. And if the Wildlings can knock us down during Thanksgiving break, the White Walkers have their opportunity to deliver the final blow (the month of December). So, fight back!

Sure, it might be SOCIALLY WEIRD to not mindlessly overeat. It might be weird to exercise the morning of Thanksgiving. In fact, you might even feel… like a Rebel.

This week, and this Winter, I challenge you to join me in defending the Wall – stand among the brave souls defending a realm against a threat it doesn’t even believe in: White Walkers.  An unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle that leads to an early grave (Ahh, there we go).

Think of the next week (Thanksgiving) like the skirmish with Wildlings before the big attack from the White Walkers. Take the pledge, learn how to defend the Wall, and brace yourself for what’s coming.

Here are the 4 rules to follow (starting today):

  • At least three workouts a week during the break, and one healthy meal per day. For Thanksgiving break specifically, try to fit in two activities that get you moving. I’m not expecting you to be perfect (lord knows the members of the Night’s Watch aren’t), but I do expect you to do some exercise over your break.
  • Never miss two in a row. If you are scheduled to work out on a particular day and you miss it due to travel or whatever reason, you WILL exercise the next day. Every unhealthy meal WILL be followed by a healthy one. No excuses, play like a champion.
  • The day after a major holiday is flawless. If you do opt to kick back and eat a little more than usual, the day after must be flawless execution in the eating department.
  • Weather cannot be used as an excuse. It’s cold on top of the Wall, and it’s getting cold this time of year. But remember – you made this pledge. You can’t say, “it’s too cold” or “there’s snow on the ground” or “I’m hungover.”

Now, I want you to repeat the following after me. Seriously, stand up and say it out loud (weirwood tree not required):

Holidays gather, and now my watch begins.

It shall not end until my goal is met. I shall take no weeks off, miss no workouts, justify no overeating. I shall wear no stretchy pants and win no glory. I shall live and die by my commitment to myself. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the Watcher of my body. I am the fire that burns against the cold days, the light that brings my momentum, the horn that wakes my emotions, the shield that guards the realms of my health.

I pledge my life and honor to the Holiday Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

You can sign up for the Holiday Watch by making a “pledge” in the comments below: “I pledge my life and honor to the Holiday Watch.”

Remember, this short break is the skirmish before the war, so to get you moving into the holiday season with momentum, I’m going to give away free stuff.

We’ll pick two random Rebels who leave a comment pledging their loyalty by Sunday, November 29th, and send them a copy of my upcoming hardcover book, Level Up Your LifeI’m so freakin’ excited about this book and can’t wait for hit to hit bookshelves in January.

And if we pick you as a winner, I’m going make sure you’ve upheld your end of the bargain. I’ll be watching…

Winter is coming. Good luck.


P.S. – In case you haven’t seen it: Jon Snow!?


photo: Brian Rinker: Game of Thrones

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    290 thoughts on “Winter is Coming: Join the Holiday Watch and Defend the Realm

    1. I pledge my life and honor to the Holiday Watch!

      Going woodcutting and Christmas tree hunting just up the mountain from my house with an axe and chainsaw in hand. Ents beware!!

    2. I pledge my life and honor to the Holiday Watch.

      I feel I need to point out a few parallels between the Night Watch and my own story. My middle name is Stark. I’m a night guard at the local plant. My partners name is Walker… and he’s white. And I’ll be working tonight (Thanksgiving) and both Christmas Eve and Day. I feel like Jon Snow now.

    3. I pledge my life and honor to the holiday watch.

      I keep gloves, running shoes, umbrella, and knitted head bank in my overhead drawer at work. Making it easy as possible to go for a walk and lunch and zero room for “it’s cold, its raining…..” type excuses.

    4. I pledge my life and honor to the Holiday Watch. Already ordered the book and I am looking forward to reading it when I get it!!!

    5. I pledge my life and honor to the holiday watch and renew my commitment/oath to always be a fitness nerd!!!!

    6. Luckily the mild weather has made this time of year more bearable. With unseasonably warm temperatures I am not as compelled to sit around and eat my face off…..btw the co-workers telling you to live a little really pisses me off…I am living a little, by refusing to eat things that will give me a heart attack.

    7. I pledge my honor to the holiday watch. I have made a commitment to myself to work out everyday and I will not miss a day. My bike is my refuge. I am the watcher of my body. I will treat it with grace.

    8. I pledge my life and honor to the Holiday Watch!

      This is the funnest holidays health/fitness motivational post I’ve ever read!

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