It’s dead easy to feel quite meh in January.
The weather is totally disgusting, you’ve got no money and you’re back to the gross daily grind of work. Plus, you’re probably still feeling like a total pig after gorging yourself on cheese and Harvey’s Bristol Cream (anyone else LOVE a good sherry?) for two weeks straight over Christmas.
And whilst all of those things apply to me, this January, I’ve actually felt quite a renewed sense of purpose. A new year brings loads of new opportunities for you to change things up, even if it’s just a little bit, and crack on with those things you’ve been promising yourself forever you’d do.
Now, this post is in no way meant to be patronising. I’m not the Queen of Motivation. And we’re only two weeks into the year, so I’ve got another 50 or so for all this to go out the window, but whilst I’m feeling fired up for all the possibility of 2017, I thought I’d share with you how I’m staying motivated (for now, anyway!)
- WRITE IT DOWN
I wrote about my dreams for 2017 here. This was just meant to be a bit of fun content for the blog, but actually, writing things down has really helped me keep focused. And I already feel like I’ve made some headway with some of my goals.
I promised myself I’d focus on getting our house done and already we’ve ticked a couple of things off our list, including a gorgeous lick of paint on the hall walls (as you can see above!) and some new flooring laid in our spare room. It’s so satisfying. And having something productive to channel my money into is helpful too. Whilst the January sales have been tempting, there’s nothing like a roll of £75 wallpaper you’ve got your eye on to stop you dead in your bargain-hungry tracks!
Just make a note of a few things you’d like to achieve this year, maybe in the note section of your phone if necessary. Or pop a monthly reminder of some goals in your calendar. You can make them as vague or as targeted as you like. Maybe you want to learn a new skill or lift a certain weight in the gym. Maybe you want to save money for something special or reconnect with an old friend. It doesn’t really matter. Write it down and when you get there and reach that goal, it’ll be sooo satisfying to tick it off the list.
2. INVEST IN SOME DECENT WORK OUR GEAR
Now my gym gear is usually decided by answering two questions. One, is it so disgusting that it can’t really be seen in public, like, out and about? And two, is it still a few months off being downgraded to wearing it to bed? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then it becomes my gym kit! I’ve been known to cut the crusty, deodrant-stained arms off a tshirt to turn it into a vest to get a couple more months out of it, that’s how reluctant I am to buy new kit.
These new leggings, the matching crop top and vest from Ivy Park at Topshop made me feel like a rock star in the gym. I just felt a little shot of confidence that I didn’t look like a bag lady and it helped me to push a little harder, lift a little more and run a little faster. That’s not an excuse to go an spend every penny you own on new gym kit in the hope you’ll look like Beyonce when you wear it (no amount of money or gym time is going to make a dent in that goal, sorry!) but a new top or pair of leggings for the new year might just give you that little inspiration you need to go to that class.
3. PUT THINGS IN YOUR DIARY
I’m a proper organiser and I love socialising, eating out, the theatre, all sorts of things. And its usually me that get these things together. And I’m more than happy to play that role, but it can get a bit tiresome. It is lovely to be invited round to someone else’s every now and again or not be the person who has to pay the deposit because you’re the organiser, but at the same time, ain’t nobody going to organise my social life for me. If there’s a restaurant I want to try or a show I want to go and see, I can’t be bothered sitting around in a mood waiting for someone else to do the organising, I’ll just do it myself! And if you want to stay motivated, having loads of fun events to look forward to is really important.
I’ve got drinks at the end of the month, a trip to the theatre in London and a weekend in Brussels all planned. A cheeky cheese, wine a game night at ours is bubbling under so that’s another weekend to look forward to.
Even if it’s just a date night with your other half, a breezy dog walk or a 2 4 1 deal on that film you really want to see, having something to look forward to in the week will make the tougher days fly by.
4. GET OUT YOUR COOK BOOKS
My favourite food in the world is a spaghetti carbonara from an Italian restaurant in Birkenhead, I’d happily sit eating cheese and crackers as a main meal and toast isn’t toast unless the butter is so thick it doesn’t melt properly. In other words, I’m not a naturally healthy eater. I’m not very good at food prep and you won’t see me putting healthy meals on Instagram (sorry, but no one needs that kind of negativity in their lunch hour when you’re scrolling through your feed, trying to eat your Maccies in peace).
But I really enjoy discovering new recipes and find this inspire me in January to curb the eating I’ve indulged in in December, without my diet becoming a total drag.
I enjoy all Joe Wicks’ books (despite the fact he’s become the most over-hyped fitness guru of 2016! A bit over exposed I think now!) and I got Jamie’s Everyday Superfood for Christmas which is full of the most gorgeous photos and recipes. I’ve also been enjoying Fern Cotton’s recipe book and the Deliciously Ella app which my brother recommended to me.
Even if you’re not much of a cook, it’s a great way to feel inspired and try something different in the new year. I’ve been roasting cauliflower, eating my oats with water instead of milk (honestly tastes the same!) and smashing the frozen spinach. Mixing up your diet is a great way to feel like you’re forging ahead in 2017.
I’d love to hear how you’re staying motivated in this grey month of January. I may need to continue to get some inspiration as the going gets tough. Please do comment below to let me know your top tips.
*Today’s post is dedicated to a very special little girl who was born this weekend and her wonderful family. She, along with her big brother, are two of the biggest January motivators you can ever ask for. Even though it was raining outside, the sun was shining in a bright blue sky when she came into the world, that’s the happiness she brings.*