January is viewed as the month of new beginnings. It’s a new year, 365 new days to write a new story. Four whole seasons to get more out of life.  A new year with new goals and a brand new you.  Well, that’s an awful lot of pressure if you ask me.

We forget that January can be a pretty difficult month, especially if you live in the colder regions. The tough weather can easily put a damper on those “new year, new you” resolutions.  January is said by experts to be the most challenging month of the year due to the holiday weight gain, the bank account deficit and the uncomfortable cold. Seasonal depression also is at its highest peak in January.  According to the experts at PsychCentral.com, January 24th is on record as the most depressing day of the year.

If you are not motivated to get out to the gym or step outside for that 30 minute walk, know that you are not alone.   You may be beating yourself up about it, feeling like you already screwed up your resolutions.  I say cut yourself some slack.  “New Year, New You” (or as I prefer, New year, Better you) can start in February, or any day for that matter.  We get a clean slate every single second.

If you are stuck in the winter blues, unmotivated and wanting to hibernate until spring, my first recommendation is don’t be hard on yourself. Beating yourself up emotionally will never help you, will never get you motivated and will more than likely hurt you.  The way we talk to ourselves has a significant impact on our wellbeing.  So step one to surviving January is to be gentle with yourself.

The holidays are full of joy and celebrations, so when they are over, the decorations come down and the parties come to an end – it can feel almost like a disappointment.  Thanksgiving through New Years day is a constant high with all the hustle and bustle involved.  Then, January begins and punches you in the face.  Your Holiday bills begin coming in the mail, the bright lights and decorations are stripped down and it gets colder. To make January more of a patheic month, you feel almost obligated to have all these “new year, new me” resolutions , then implement them immediately.  I think it’s quite ridiculous to put so much pressure on yourself.

BUT —I am also here to say don’t give up on those resolutions, those goals.  You made them for good reasons, they came from a good place and more than likely they will enhance the quality of your life. Write them down.  Give them a “due-by” date.  If you find yourself jammed up in January, start with small changes.  Don’t let the goals you set for yourself fall away.  If you can’t find yourself motivated to go to the gym in 20 degree weather, then make sure you are making better meal choices at home.  If you can not bring yourself to start the project you promised you would in January, don’t beat yourself up, but don’t give up either.  Make a new plan with a new time to start – BABY STEPS are perfectly acceptable.  January will be over soon.  Just because you don’t slay in January doesn’t mean you fail.  It is simply a small setback.  Things will turn around, keep your head up, keep your goals in front of you, push through!  Tomorrow  is a new day.  Do not give up on yourself.

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