As if Mondays weren’t tough enough already, the third Monday in January has earned itself a notorious moniker – Blue Monday. It’s reported to be the most depressing day of the year, and if that’s not enough, its also when you’re most likely to give up on your New Years resolutions. With all the fun of Christmas well behind us, the freezing weather and yet another week until pay day, a burger and chips at the pub can seem much more appealing than keeping up with Dry January or heading to the gym. No wonder so many of us end up throwing the towel in, only to make the same well intended resolutions the following year. So to help you beat the odds and make those New Year’s resolutions stick, we’ve put together our top tips on getting through the dreaded January blues.
Think About How Far You’ve Come
Stop! Before you throw those resolutions out the window, take a minute to think about how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked for the last 3 weeks. Instead, use your progress so far as motivation and get excited about where you’ll be in another 3 weeks.
It’ll Become a Habit
For the vast majority of people, 3 weeks isn’t long enough to make a new change become a habit. Give yourself time and commit to it for at least a couple of months. You might raise your eyebrows, but power through the struggle and soon that alarm clock will feel like second nature and you’ll be prepping your meals in your sleep.
Focus on 1 change at a time
We’re all guilty of wanting to change everything at once, but really we are just making things harder for ourselves? Break down your goals into more manageable chunks and focus on one at a time. Making small gradual changes over time won’t feel like a complete lifestyle overhaul but they will soon build up and start to make a difference. Instead of transforming your life and trying to eat clean 7 days a week, start with making sure to eat a good breakfast everyday before you move on to tackle lunch!
Just because you’re trying to look after yourself doesn’t mean you have to give up being a social butterfly, and there is no reason that dry January or a new health kick has to stop you from seeing your friends. Spending time having a laugh and genuinely enjoying yourself will keep you from feeling low, unmotivated and ready to give everything up. There’s a reason that the most depressing day of the year is the same day you’re likely to throw away your latest resolutions, so spend some time having a laugh with your mates to keep yourself from feeling low and unmotivated. Give your mood a much needed boost and make plans to catch a friend for a coffee or host a healthier dinner party.
Focus on the Bigger Picture
We’ve all been there after a rough day at work: when nothing seems more important than hiding in bed under a pile of chocolate. Take a deep breath, try to rationalise your current emotions and think about the bigger picture. The pleasure of what you want in that moment is temporary, and the feeling you will get from achieving the goal you’ve been working so hard towards will be so much better. Remember why you’re doing this and how much you want to achieve it – suddenly that chocolate doesn’t seem so appealing!
Make it Something Enjoyable
There are always going to be days when you’re feeling a little low and unmotivated so it’s good to know how to tackle them when they happen. If you’re trying to improve your health this year, cheer yourself up by cooking your favourite healthy foods and doing your favourite workout. Whether that means a spin class, boxing session or just training your favourite body part, you’ll have made it something to look forward to and not something to dread. Looking after yourself in a way that you enjoy will improve your mood so much more than sulking into a takeaway.
This blog was written by Kathryn Armitage. Kathryn: the creator of lifestyle blog, A Healthy Wanderlust. Covering everything from culture and society to health and travel, check out her blog for a lot of seriously good food, opinionated rants and plans for world adventures. You can also find Kathryn on Instagram and Twitter.