I personally think that planning to start New Year Resolutions or goals on January 1st is a little pointless! It is in my family anyway! Let me explain.... we have another Christmas dinner on New Year's Day, as we don't all get to celebrate together on the day itself, due to extended families etc. Therefore, there are desserts, drinks, chocolates etc etc. I rarely drink, but if you do, chances are New Year's Eve will be a big night out and waking up worse for wear will mean that a green smoothie or porridge might not fulfil your cravings. Also, my husband is generally off work until the second Monday in January, and we spend a lot of the first week with family/friends etc, so the second week is when we do what we want, therefore we tend to kickstart the healthy (or healthier!) eating at that point (well actually, my Dad's birthday in mid-Jan, which we always say is the last hurrah of the season!). There is so much pressure to make changes on January 1st that it almost feels like you're doomed to fail (by society) if you don't start that day....... nonsense! You don't have to make any changes at all, in fact I like to take the time to think about my goals, so it's usually a few weeks into the month before they're made because December is such a busy month. That said, I am usually sick of chocolate and all of the treats at this stage (or my body and skin are), so I like to do a gentle reset.....
January is a long month and with the dark mornings and evenings, cold weather (unless you're in the Southern hemisphere!) and all the prettiness of the Christmas decorations gone, it can be difficult for some people to feel motivated. For others, they hit the ground running - that's fine, you can be in either category and not feel bad about it, despite what the media and society say. I don't think that it's a month to punish myself, so I don't set myself strict rules with regards banning certain foods, as I believe in nourishment rather than punishment. I make sure to start each day with full fat natural yoghurt, which helps my digestive system and I find that if I start the day well, I'm more inclined to eat well for the rest of the day. I love fruit and water, so including those in my diet isn't an issue. Instead of banning chocolate (my weakness), I will reduce how much I eat and not leave it lying around where I will see it and I make sure that the fruit bowl os more prominent. I take my prescribed supplements daily all year round, so that doesn't have to change. I've also written a meal plan, with some new recipes to try - although that's gone to pot with self-isolation!
Sleep is one of the best things for my body, mood and motivation, so I try to get my pattern back on track after a few weeks of later starts and later nights than I'm used to as quickly as possible. It can be difficult at first, but I find that using a pillow spray, having a bath in the evening and some reading helps me to feel drowsy. It gradually re-sets, even though the mornings can feel a little difficult at first.
The next thing that I like to do is think about my goals for the year. I love to use a planner and have done since I was a child. We usually book a summer holiday in January (which I've done this week while in isolation!), because it's good to have something to look forward to, and then we'll try to get other breaks in throughout the year - it doesn't have to be holidays, it can be a dinner date or a catch up with a friend - just pencil in a few things to look forward to. I also set personal goals with regards health and finances (and possibly a handbag that I have my eye on, plus some personal goals). Of course 2020 showed us that life can throw us a curveball and when things like that, our goals can be re-adjusted - just staying positive and sane during the lockdowns was a goal in itself. My point being that we can re-assess and adjust our goals throughout the year. I like to check in quarterly to check my progress, but also check if the goals are still a priority for me. I don't think that there is a need to put pressure on yourself at this time of year with making 20 goals, as it's difficult to achieve everything and give your priorities your full focus when you have too many. I think it's best to look at your life, then see what would really make your life better on a daily basis - what would reduce stress, make life easier and give you more quality time, and make those your goals and priorities. Of course, you need to give each goal a deadline even if it isn't something that can be achieved this year, but clarify what progress you can make towards that goal this year. This will keep you motivated and accountable.
It's a cliché, but a good declutter is great for the mind and soul and I find this time of year a good time to do it. I particularly like the bedroom to be an oasis of calm, with not many products on display. Everything has its place and I also like to stock up on candles on essential oils for my diffuser pod, which make a change from my festive fragrances! This is a good time to do it because I also like to find places for any Christmas gifts, which may have been sitting in a pile for a few weeks (is it only me?!). I've also decluttered my social media accounts as some people haven't posted in over 2 years and there were other accounts that just weren't my cup of tea anymore. Now I might actually be able to see the accounts that I want to see and like to follow on my feed! I've also decluttered my emails and unsubscribed from any sites that I'm no longer interested in - this is so good for the brain because it can be so overwhelming when you open your inbox and see a pile of emails, but then it turns out that a lot are irrelevant. It's time consuming, but worth doing.
So that's my re-set - it's gentle but effective. I respect those who go gung-ho on January 1st, it really is a case of each to their own, and it's important to remember that we'll all have days where we veer off track but the important thing is to get back on track - you can have a bad day or week, but don't write all of your plans off just because of those.
Do you do a cleanse or any goal-setting in January and are you a January1st person, or do you take a more flexible approach like I do? I'd love to hear!
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