There is a phenomenon that happens at the birth of every New Year. It has nearly every man, woman and child in a flurry. It is self inflicted and often symptoms are fleeting. Mood swings are guaranteed. We are now well and truly in the swing of January, the season of fitness freak-outs and sales swarms like you’ve never seen before. THIS is the Season of Folly.

January Joggers & Random Stoppers

Something serious had to be done once we heard suspicious rumours about colleagues having a ‘dry-January’. Control is great, sobriety even has its perks, but is this is what it has come to? We are expected to spend 11 months of the year casually eating, sipping and splurging on what we want, practically guilt-free, but in a couple of weeks we’re supposed to totally flip that on its head?

Only days before we were consuming thrice our bodyweight in cheese, crackers, sweets, wine, beer, dips and outrageous amounts of meat (or nut roast). Now we’re boycotting that freedom? That is crazy talk. More significantly, is it acceptable to be rustling a Toffee Crisp wrapper in the office and suddenly realise everyone is staring, wide-eyed and jealous, at your apparent “failure” to get fit this month.

Balls to that.

Even more balls to the hundreds of high-vis kitted-up joggers that now share the pavement. We know 100% that we will not see you in February. The local gyms are now feeding off the sudden surge in clientele and working their hardest to undo December… before it all happens again, next year.

And if we’re not all sweating it out or doing a total mind, body, soul detox this month, we’re probably shopping. Look to your local high street for a glimpse at the pulsating, gingerbread latte-fuelled madness that should have curbed after Christmas. Surely we got all we could possibly want off Santa, right? Wrong. There’s still so much more out there, and it’s all better than HALF PRICE!!!

But there’s a way out of this January whirlpool. Here’s how to come out the other side in a smart way.

ALL THE SMALL THINGS

Make your resolutions throughout the entire year, not just January when you have 12 months ahead and everything seems possible. Be realistic. Call your resolutions ‘goals’ and don’t think that their deadline is 31st December. You need to map out vaguely where you want your year to head, and make small positive changes throughout. One of the most effective New Year ‘goals’ that we have found is to apply the ‘try to do one thing new every day’ rule to your life. Jot down each day. You’ll be amazed at where the unknown can take you. It can be as simple as trying a funny looking food you have never tasted, or as grand as setting foot in a country you have never explored.

SAY CHEESE!

We would suggest strongly against boycotting cheese. We know, there was just SO much cheese floating around at every festive meal, family dinner, friendly get together and at the Christmas AND New Years spread… but, much like boycotting alcohol for the month, going completely without is only going to make those urges stronger. If you want a cheeseboard – have a cheeseboard. Just go for a jog the next day, (great rule not just for January!). We would also recommend having a good squiz over some of your favourite photos of the year that just passed. This gives a great feeling of closure and also gives you direction in where you want to take that beautiful face of yours in the year ahead. New hair colour maybe? Smile more? Smile less?! Never!

RANDOM STOPPERS

We use the term ‘Random Stoppers’ to describe those aggravating moments when January Sales Shoppers suddenly STOP moving and pause on a busy walkway. Much like Will Smith’s Agent J has just erased their memory with that flashy red sticky thing. It can also be used to describe something that you want to avoid in your own January. Don’t let your buzz from the sudden haul back into the workforce or study be dimmed. Don’t let people bring you down with their over-zealous eating plans, new hairdos, unbearably awesome Christmas presents or strangely unsociable behaviour now that they are going dry in January. This is a month when only the strong will survive and continue their health kicks and refreshed outlook throughout the entire year. Don’t let there be any random stoppers in your January that distract you from those goals you set yourself.

So please, please PLEASE, from the bottom of Average Jane’s heart, ensure that YOU have your thinking hat strapped on real tight this month and do what is best for YOU, and not just what everyone else is doing…


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