It's just January... another month, another year and here you are feeling disappointed in yourself and fed up again...
The months almost over, you didn't achieve all that you set yourself in January, but you know what thats okay!
You're still alive and breathing right?
With all these expectations we put on ourselves in this first month of the year... no wonder everyone feels exhausted come the end of January and ready for a holiday!
A new year, a new start... a NEW YOU', does that ring a bell? I hate to burst everyones January bubble, but it is just another month, day, year and personally I think this whole January hype is unhealthy.
I don't launch 'January Challenges' or have any expectations of the lovely yogi's that attend my classes, because I know everyone has probably over committed, likely to have set themselves too many goals and have already high expectations of what January and the start of this new year will bring them.
Instead I create a welcoming space with 'no expectations', we stretch, breath, enjoy some yoga and mindfulness and I let everyone adjust.
There's enough on our plates come January like returning to routines, work and the holiday blues, as well as the exhaustion after the build up to Christmas and busyness of December itself.
My philosophy or approach to January is let the waters settle, 'be gentle' and I set myself 'no expectations'. So no goals or intensions, instead I just enjoy the transition from the previous year and the intensity of December ease and calm down. I focus on what I would like to achieve this year (not in a month) and I take time to plan out when I am going to focus on these goals (over the year).
I let the first week just 'happen', the second week start finding my routine again, while continuing to eat all the left over chocolates from the holiday season ("shock", "horror" ...and I drink wine!), then I plan a nice little treat for the 3rd week of January, because its my birthday!
So quite frankly no chocolate and wine in January would just ruin my birthday altogether... ha ha ha!
Step by step, I move into the new year and the month of January with an open mind and take time to think about how I would like this year to look, what I would like to achieve and I don't get the 'January Blues' as a result!
How has January felt for you?
Exhausting, no different, not what you expected (or hoped for), depressing, just like last year ...a disappointment maybe?
Did you set unrealistic expectations to change the world and become a 'new you' in a month'? While also having the same responsibilities, commitments, job ...and all made worse by no chocolate? ;0)
Are you suddenly cramming in all those work out's, changes or healthy meals into this last week to prove you are committed?? ...and not enjoying it at all.
The thought alone is draining. I know because I have been there and done it myself.
Instead lets do some yoga ...much more healthy for you and relaxing ;0)
So here's some suggestions for you:
Let go of this January expectations and give yourself a break!
Treat yourself to something nice (it's my birthday so you're allowed!;0) to beat the January blues
Start in February (I do! and guilt free)
One thing at a time, rather than everything all at once (otherwise you WILL be setting yourself up to fail)
Go slow(er) this year and not overcommit and try cramming everything into 1 month, 2 or even 3!
Drop something to create space/time for all these new things you want to do
Be realistic - It takes 21days to create a new habit - that's A NEW HABIT not 20!
Do things in stages - a little a day, even a few minutes, rather than trying to find a whole hour of your day that you most likely will then be compromising your sleep and getting up earlier to 'fit it in'
Ask for help/support in achieving goals - let people know so they give you the time or even do it with you!
Be proud and focus on what you have achieved and. not 'what you havent'
These are just some things you can adopt to take a more realistic approach to making changes, achieving goals successfully and creating new habits.
We forget sometimes how long we have had habits and maybe not even aware of our own patterns. This is something yoga is great for bringing awareness to. Awareness is the first step to breaking any habit and making positive changes.
I love the saying "where attention goes, energy flows..."
Things will change and shift, so go with the flow and you might find things take you in a different direction.
Get more sleep! The benefits of sleep and actually whats happens in our body when we sleep is amazing... trust me, the more and better 'quality' sleep you get will change your life. It will improve your energy levels, decision making and even help depression, anxiety and weight loss - for more information on 'sleep' and the benefits of relaxation techniques for sleep, you can join me on my Sleep Well Course I host online a couple of times a year. Also read my other blogs on a good nights sleep or Do You Need to Unplug and you'll find more links in these with FREE breathing exercises to calm the mind and reduce anxiety and lots more interesting stuff (...well I think so anyway ;0)
Also be clever about how you do things, to fit around your schedule - like online yoga, work outs, challenges, or experiences and learning. If travel time to/from somewhere is the difference between you doing something or not, then look at online alternatives. While I am advocate for reducing screen time, a whole world opened up for me during this pandemic, that I would have not otherwise had time to do if in person.
One positive thing that has come out of this pandemic is the amazing opportunities to be able to connect and do amazing things online.
Use it or loose it I say!
It's also saved some small businesses and supported business through the pandemic, that probably supported you through the many a lock down. They still exist... but only as long as the demand and support is there.
I have even found some of my local students that could walk to my studio, say they prefer the convenience of online classes because it gives them time to commit to more time for them and attend more classes a week, because they can fit yoga in before work, still cook dinner before class and put the kids to bed after a class.
A win win, I say!
Let me just clarify, that I am not saying January isn't a good time to start, I'm just saying be realistic!
Maybe you've smashed your goals this January and achieved all you aimed to achieve and well done you, if you have... amazing.
It's just some food for thought.
We live in a world where so much is expected of us and the more we lean into this idea or keep trying to achieve it all, the 'more' that will be expected us. The point I am trying to make is, we all have the same 24hrs and how we choose to use it is up to us. The reality is, we can't do it all... your exhausted and something has got to give (change).
So why not try!?
Let February be your new January and don't be disappointed in yourself if you haven't achieved what you set out to do... or try to cram it all into February instead!!
Focus on what you have achieved.
Life isn't getting any less busy, but YOU can make the steps towards making realistic changes to benefiting your health and wellbeing by being kind to you, taking time for you (and to do more of what makes you happy). In turn creating a fulfilling life - let me know how you get on!
Thanks for reading
P.S. If you fancy a little 'pause', to rest and restore... I am running my popular 'Yin & Restore' on Thursday 27th January at 7pm - perfect way to reset and let go of some of that tension - Book HERE
Can't make tonight, I am running them for the next 4 Thursdays at 7pm - come enjoy a little pocket of rest!