January, oh January how we love your beautiful name and rainy moods, interspersing the gloom with hints of blue, clear skies tempting us with a glimpse of spring to come... Then why oh why does spring seem so far aways and whose silly idea was it to take an oath of self denial in the depths of winter?
January is surely here and besides the weather, it is the annual season for resolutions, restrictions and self denial. As many of you know, we’re enthusiastic promoters of health and celebrators of our human form but please oh please do tell us who ever thought it was a great idea to take up running in the depths of the coldest and wettest month of the year? And who decided that chocolate was completely off the menu when a whole heap of us still clearly have enough to see us through until spring?
For the vast majority of us optimistic dabblers each year, resolutions simply won’t stick and many of us will have given up days (if not weeks) ago. Why? Because it’s so often the ought to’s, should do’s and could do betters that jolly us into action. There’s no denying that a new year offers a sense of renewal, optimism and a clean slate but planning to make all those changes in January (yes it really is the coldest and wettest month) is surely more akin to self torture than the self loving, self appreciating calm that January could be. So what exactly would we suggest? Here’s our top tips for a kinder, gentler January....
1 - No resolutions, except one. Plan, plot and get excited. Write down everything you’d like to do/stop doing/do better/more often/less often (delete as appropriate) and plan to do them later in the year. Stagger them month by month and then plan baby steps each week. Allow for readjustments and take time to reward your efforts.
2 - Make time to analyse what it is that you really want to do and why, discover what’s motivating you. If you want to take up running, ask yourself why (and listen carefully to see if it really is your voice you’re hearing or whether shame and guilt have reared their mean old heads). Is it for general health, fitness or a little much needed time to yourself. Once you understand this bit, ask if that really is the best way to achieve your goals. This helps plant firm seeds of commitment and you’ll be much more likely to stick at it (yup, simple we know).
3 - Instead of a fix, look at this years resolutions as the next part in a whole life journey, you’re simply planning for this years adventure! Trying to change lots of things all at once in the depths of January is like planning to take a round-the-world trip in a week, you’d never make it and if you did, you’d have slept through most of it (and missed the good bits)
4 - Check in with yourself and your resolutions every couple of months. Life has a funny habit of taking a different route, making an unscheduled turn or taking you to places definitely not on the life-map you thought had sussed! Staying motivated and on track means taking into account the present, adjusting and readjusting and taking care to take care of the you you are, and want to be. January, with her beautiful name and changeable skies never does tell us what the year holds ....but then that’s half the fun isn’t it!
5 - Remember to remember that you get to decide. Make those choices daily that truly honour the you you are. Take shame and kick it in the rear and bin the guilt, write your story, your truth, don’t edit and don’t try to fix it. It isn’t and never was broken. Live it and love it.