THE BLOG

New Beginnings and New Approaches for a Happier January and Always

19/01/2016 09:46 GMT | Updated 18/01/2017 10:12 GMT

I woke up this morning to rain streaking across my bedroom window and the realisation that I'd slept through my 7:30am alarm which in turn meant missing my 7:45am jog. Today was to signal the beginning of my new year workout regimen. I figured there is simply too much pressure and hype surrounding January 1st so I cleverly thought I'd wait until that frenzied craze had passed before I would commence my physical overhaul. A quick glance at my phone seconds later alerted me to the fact that today is Blue Monday - supposedly the most depressing day of the year due to weather conditions and personal financial situations. This was all I needed to have me leap out of bed, don my runners and pound the puddle-filled lanes in a bid to get my blood pumping a little harder and restore the fresh-faced glow of pre-festivity excesses. What better day to put into action a get-fit plan and mini-personal revamp indeed, even if I was a little later in doing so.

The whole entire notion of Dry January seems a little daft to me. Sure the sheer indulgences of Christmas and New Year tend to leave the average reveller more than a little bloated and bank accounts sickeningly lean but we venture into the joy of the festivities fully aware of such consequences. So why then the utter shock and trembling terror once the decorations have been shoved back into the attic and the last of the coffee cream chocolates devoured? We embrace the Christmas plethora with songs sung a little louder, copious amounts of cash flashed and treats ardently consumed confident in the knowledge that it can't and won't last forever so enjoy it while we can. Similar to the law of physics however of what goes up must come down, what's sure to follow the party season is that of the inevitable downtime. As appealing as it sounds we can't live life in the fast lane permanently, you can try but it's a surefire track to burnout, mental obscurity and a niggling sense of unease.

Of course the weeks following the jolly holidays can be long and the grey skies and howling winds often feel like they are sucking you dry of the energy life force you manage to conjure up but there's respite in knowing that the longest day is behind us, summer fashions are beginning to hit the shops and it's time to get thinking about planting that spring garden. Don't let go of that sense of renewal and the possibilities of fresh starts and clean slates wrought about by the new year. January demands that dogged persistence required to see those resolutions through, the little day-to-day activities we promised ourselves we would carry out for even 10 minutes everyday that would be sure to improve our overall well-being - that morning run; keeping a daily journal; meditating; listening to a podcast; finally reading that Penguin classic; strumming a guitar; stretching; juicing; skyping a friend overseas...the list could on.

It is very easy to find ourselves stuck, to end up in a funk where we continue in a spiral downward slump of no return. To which I say STOP, you have what it takes to turn it all around and it starts with your mindset and outlook on your approach to life. Choose to take those baby steps to achieving what you actually want to see come to fruition in 2016. Be clear about it and stride confidently ahead, knowing that with each passing day you're taking your own life into your hands and taking from it what you will. The idea of Dry January and Blue Monday are shrewd concepts which play on our fragile post-festive insecurities, that we somehow need to punish ourselves for enjoying the holidays. Not drinking for January is great and no doubt improves both health and money issues for some but please don't guilt-trip those who are responsible and realistic about their drinking habits in the first place. As for Blue Monday, let's not forget that it was first publicised in a press release by Sky Travel which screams to me clever advertising, not so subtly telling us that we need/deserve a holiday to escape our otherwise drab lives, finances permitting or not.

Don't be a sucker, take control of your own life. Set that alarm and should you oversleep, don't antagonise yourself - get up, go bigger, go harder. Happy January.