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Say No to January

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Hands up those of you giving up booze for January? Now those planning a detox New Year diet? Wow, I feel slightly depressed already. How on Earth are you going to get through the dark evenings and dreary mornings?

Have you ever noticed how many New Year resolutions are all about giving things up? During the most depressing month of the year, instead of indulging in the things that make us happy, we ban the good bits and suck all the fun out of life.

With this in mind, this January at HuffPost UK, we've decided to twist things on their head and instead of saying no to all the things we love, we're saying yes to everything life affirming instead.

So it's out with abstinence and in with empowerment, rejuvenation and renewal.

In a nutshell, we're saying you don't have to subtract from yourself this month, or beat yourself up about all the things you haven't accomplished, instead we're trying to inject a more positive, healthy attitude into how we approach the coming year.

For those of you who fancy joining in, there will be plenty of ideas in our Say No To January section right here, but there are also a few suggestions to kick things off below.

For starters, instead of giving up chocolate, why not learn to make raw chocolate instead? I've persuaded my raw foodie sister to divulge her recipe, which I can personally vouch for and is entirely to blame for my new-found chocolate snobbery. I assure you, once you've tasted it, Twirl bars just don't cut it anymore.

If you were planning on giving up alcohol, maybe sign up for a wine tasting course instead? That's exactly what our executive editor, Steve Hull, is doing.

He's not the only one practicing what we preach. Lifestyle ed, Poorna, is going to learn to weight train properly.

"I've had loads of people trying to put me off, saying it'll be bad for my back or I'll bulk up like Arnie, but the experts say it is a brilliant way to look strong, and most importantly feel strong." she says. "I couldn't think of a better way to start the year."

Elsewhere on our lifestyle team, Brogan Driscoll is taking up mindfulness, no doubt aided by Mark Williams' book on the topic, which has been a must-read in the HuffPost office for the past six months.

As for me, I'm taking myself on holiday. Screw hoarding all those annual leave days until the end of the year when I'm too busy to take them. Come the second week of Jan, I'll be practicing yoga on the beach in Morocco, while my brother-in-law hits the surf and my sister and I take it in turns to hold their baby.

Family, sun and a few downward dogs... sounds like a pretty good way to say no to January, don't you think?

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