This is the year I...

Hands up if you’re suffering with the January blues…

I’ve got them bad. The post-holiday, not quite sure what you’re doing with your life, why can’t I spend every day eating mince pies and sitting round a fire in my pyjamas feeling.

So what to do? I’ve set my New Year’s resolutions. And it’s too early to begin breaking them. It’s the stage where everyone is hibernating in the hope that January will be over soon and we can start looking forward to the summer.

I’m lacking motivation but I’ve nothing to actually be motivated for. I’m in January nothingness.

As an expat, I find January that little bit harder. Christmas is a family time and so going back to Dubai means more cold turkey than Boxing Day.

I’m determined to get rid of the feeling. To ensure that my days feel fulfilled and purposeful and that I enter each one (yep even Mondays) with a positive attitude and a clear mindset. Here’s how:

1. Don’t break the resolution- make them smart

A sure fire way to make you fail those resolutions is by making them unachievable. Your resolution is to lose weight? Oh right. And how much weight exactly? And how will you achieve it? And by when? You’ll feel like a failure for not losing four stone in a day and you’ll quit. Try changing ‘lose weight’ to ‘drop 1% body fat within the month by attending the gym 3 times a week, changing my high sugar chai latte to an Americano and stopping my mid week evening chocolate bar’ and you’ve got yourself a goal that can be achieved and can make you feel successful. And as a result, you continue with it.

2. Do something new

Isn’t that the point of January? To venture out and start attempting crazy things in the hope that you’ll become a better person or a full time skydiver or an Olympic bungee jumper as a result? Well then why not embrace January for what it is? And don’t use it as a way of punishing yourself for not being as crazy come February, but instead a way to have fun and release some tension from the pressure that can often come with a ‘New Year New You’. So what if you never do that new thing again? At least you tried it! You might even stumble across something you really do like!

3. Give back

The best way to feel good within yourself is to make others feel good first. Join a volunteer scheme and give back to others. This year, I’m investing some time taking dogs from the shelter on long walks. It means I can get my exercise, spend some time with my favourite furry creatures and help my community at the same time! Call me selfish in my good deeds but I know I’m spreading the happiness. Ring your local children’s hospital to see if they need readers. Or put your incredible cooking skills into practice by helping the homeless. Even donating some of your cupcakes to the school bake sale. You’ll feel good and others will feel it too.

4. Keep busy

That spare 15 minutes where you want to procrastinate and you’re allowed to because you don’t really have much to do anyway- make it meaningful. Make deliberate choices rather than a scroll through meaningless social media. Try tidying your work space or filing away your resources. All clean? Why not make a list of life goals and when and how you’re going to achieve them. You’ll feel happier because you’re actually doing something positive with your time.

5. 90/10

Remember that 10% of what we feel is how we feel is based on what happens to us. The 90% is how we respond to the external factors. So choose to be happy and choose to be calm and focused and you will lead a more balanced lifestyle. Believe me, mind control over ourselves is stronger than you may think. Try telling yourself “I am happy” and you will be surprised how much it can influence your responses.

Remember to keep those Yogi Faces Happy even in January! :)

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