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As I continue my commitment to blogging about “stuff” through the remainder of 2011, I’m going to turn my thoughts today to Thanksgiving stuff.

As in stuff-ing.

As in the traditional start of the holidays where we begin to stuff our faces through the end of the year only to dread the consequences as we resolve to shed it all away in the New Year.

How do we break that cycle? No, I still want everyone to enjoy themselves throughout the holidays. But, I will make a simple suggestion. Go ahead and get started with your 2012 exercise plan right now. Keeping moving through those months when we tend to overindulge a bit might not solve the problem, but it will be much easier to lose those extra 10 pounds come January if you’ve avoided making it an extra 20 by getting some healthy habits in place in advance.

This Thursday, November 3rd, is National Start Eating Healthy Day. It’s likely no coincidence that it falls just three weeks before Thanksgiving. Three weeks is just enough time to develop good habits and make a meaningful, productive change. Pick something you can do over these next 21 days to really make a difference to your health. It’ll make that stuffing taste that much better come November 24th.

My commitment to starting off the season right will be to participate in the first annual Thanksgiving Day Race in downtown Cincinnati. Ok, so it’s their 102nd annual, but it’s my first. The 10k run (or walk if you’re so inclined) will be a great way to start off the day and stave off most, if not all, of the guilt to come later that evening. If you’re in town, get the family together and come join the fun!

Even if that’s not quite your speed, the message still applies. In a world where health care costs become more and more a focus in financial planning, the more preventative action we can take by staying as healthy as possible, the lower our exposure will be in an area of our lives where costs are growing faster than any other.

Chip Workman, CFP®