This month is the worst. It’s not new information; it is widely acknowledged that January S-U-C-K-S. Even as someone whose birthday falls in January, I can easily admit that these are the worst thirty-one days in the year. It’s not just the miserable weather, the post-Christmas blues, the stretch of making December’s payslip last for what feels like an eternity. Yes, these are the practicalities of January, the inevitable tag-alongs which make us feel beaten, but I don’t think these are the real reasons January sucks…
I mean, I live in England, the weather is always miserable (and if it wasn’t, what would we talk about?). Part of me is actually relieved when the Christmas tree comes down. And making my wages last from one month to the next is always a struggle – in that respect January is really no different! I think the real January makes us all feel so damn rubbish is because WE make it that way.
We put so much pressure on ourselves. It’s all about making resolutions and plans for the year and, at first, that feels great. For the first couple days it’s awesome, you feel all refreshed and motivated, looking ahead with the sparkling possibilities of the year to come. But then it hits you. These goals are huge. They’re mammoth. They start to feel out of reach, and when reality kicks in they feel more and more out of our grasp.
Getting fit and healthy, for example, is one of my regular resolutions, something I feel determined to do every single year. And when January 1st hits, I’m always super up for it. I’m planning healthy recipes, creating daily workout routines, making notes of little everyday changes to make me healthier. But then life seems to kick me one step backwards. Then another. Then another. And before you know it, I’m back to Dominos takeaways and a large glass of the Pinot Grigio, if you please.
We put so much pressure on ourselves by filling our own heads with so many end goals all at once – “This year I’m gonna get that promotion, I’m gonna lose 10 pounds, I’m gonna learn to drive, I’m gonna take up an evening class, I’m gonna give up dairy, bla bla bla.” – that we instantly feel like we already failed. And comparing ourselves to other people who already seem to be cracking on miles ahead makes us feel even more behind, before we’ve even started!
Well, no more! I say let’s forget about all the things we’re supposed to be doing in January. Let’s be more honest with ourselves – our lives are not going to be magically transformed in one month. Our hopes and dreams aren’t suddenly about to come true just because it’s January. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and things you’d like to achieve in the year, of course. I’ve got loads! But let’s not pile all the pressure on for one month – you’ve got a whole damn year honey, you’ll figure it out.