As we head into January it can feel tough to get back into our good habits after all the festive fun, let alone develop new ones. With the start of a New Year and the tradition of committing to resolutions, we can start feeling under pressure to make a change in some way, this is very often to do with our health, wellbeing and living more wholeheartedly. This shift can feel exciting and we can start making lists of what we expect of ourselves of the year ahead. However, it can also feel daunting, overwhelming and unachievable.
It is important to remember that Winter is a time to rest, restore and reflect. It is a great time to consider new ways of being, but not necessarily the time to put too much into action as we can be left feeling exhausted.
January needs to be a gradual process of getting back into routines, engaging the good habits we already had, that may have taken a back seat, and to begin creating new ones. BEGIN CREATING being the key words here – change takes time – habits only become habits when we have done them repeatedly for a long period of time.
Putting ourselves under pressure to suddenly stop drinking, omit the sugar and caffeine, go vegan, start running, join the gym, sign up to loads of classes, can feel productive and perhaps ease the guilt of all the indulgence in the short term, but is it sustainable in the long run? By the end of January, it is likely that we are already giving up on half of our list because it isn’t enjoyable.
Therefore, take it slowly. Make little tweaks each week. Small steps in the right direction create big change. Find what works for you. Don’t join the gym just because your friend is and you think you should. Do it because it makes sense for you, you enjoy it and it makes you feel good, not because you want to look better. If it feels good you will want to make it part of what you do all the time – not just for January.
Don’t expect too much too soon, otherwise the failure of not achieving big targets can knock us to the point that by the end of the year nothing has really changed. Have a vision of where you are headed, begin the steps towards it and ultimately enjoy the journey.