OPTIMISM AND KICKIN' 2019 ASS
I feel sorry for January. No other month carries the burden of expectation more heavily. We expect it to swoop in like some sort of superhero, magically transforming our flabby arses, damaged livers and half-sketched dreams. Right from the get-go, we launch ourselves in to a brand new year with high hopes and short memories. We will lose those sodding last 5 kilos, we will stop buying overpriced lattes, we will refrain from wasting our lives away on the life-suckage of social media. No other month makes us feel quite so shit when 4 days in we've stopped meditating, resumed bitching about our colleagues and can be found feeding our feelings with a fat slice of cake, washed down with an extra large G&T.
In the spirit of optimism that this year can be different, here are my thoughts on how to tackle it.
ONE thing, instead of absolutely every-bloody-thing
I mean, talk about setting ourselves up for failure. The lists are too long and the pressure, too real. C'mon - are you really, all at once, going to start journalling, juicing, meditating, saving, being mindful, smoke-free, fat-free, guilt-free, carb-free, goal orientated, career driven, strong, independent AND sober? Probably not.
So why not just pick one thing instead of everything? If we really drill deep into our souls, we know that there is one change that will have the most significant impact on the 12 months that lie ahead. Most of us know that one change can often lead to lots more. You start exercising, which improves your mood, which attracts better people, which leads to more opportunities and on and on (not to mention the simple, and often best, joy of looking fiiiine in those pair of jeans.
Turn a NEGATIVE into a POSITIVE
All the giving up, stopping this, never doing that again malarkey can make the whole “new year/new me” thing sound like - and end up being - a giant drag. New year resolutions don't have to be negative. Why not be kinder to yourself and just choose something a bit more positive? Why not learn to cook? Find more opportunities to go out dancing? Grow a garden? Eat only the really fancy chocolate? Throw a monthly dinner party? Reward yourself with a monthly massage? Whatever it is the is going to float your boat - do that.
Or, if you are looking to make the shift from a bad behaviour, try to frame it a little differently. Language is a powerful thing and it only takes a small tweak to make the task sound less b-o-r-i-n-g and more e-x-c-i-t-i-n-g. You aren't giving up smoking - you are setting yourself free from the whole costly, smelly, fag breath, outside-by-the-bins, yellow stained finger nonsense. Congratulations! You aren't losing weight - you are fuelling your body with delicious healthy food that will improve your health, make shopping for clothes a joy and make your ex squirm with regret that he ever let you go.
OK - squirming is not technically a positive, but revenge can be a solid, second tier motivator for sure haha.
You don’t have to start in January
Don't go burdening poor old January with all your sony new intentions. It's cold and such a depressing, post-Christmas come down of a month and there really is no rush. February is still there waiting patiently for you and your brand-new habits. Use January to make a plan - as the foreplay so to speak. And unlike some men might believe, foreplay is equally as important. The month where intentions are explored and then slowly and mindfully set. Then, when the world has already reverted to their former selves, you can smugly stride into February with your one thing, or positive changes and can confidently smash it.