Here we are, another new year starting, and where are we?  Are we doing any better than last year?  Are we happier?  Healthier?  Better off financially?

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

New Year’s resolutions are not something I’ve ever been able to commit to, nor are they something I’ve ever bothered putting too much effort into. Sure, I’ve set goals like “I want to lose 20 pounds” and then told myself I’d hit the gym harder.  And eat less and more healthfully.

But what happens?  Well, I get annoyed that there are SO many new people at the gym in January.  It bothers me that someone is now at ‘my’ spot in the changeroom, where the best hair dryer is (and, even worse, they aren’t even using that hair dryer – ugh!).  I end up muttering angry comments under my breath, totally to myself, about the poor gym etiquette of some people and then start my day pissed off.

My meals are totally all planned out, only to become the most carb-heavy (unhealthy) options I can dream of by Thursday each week.  I mean, I’m tired, it’s dark outside, I’m cold…I do NOT want salad for dinner!  I want pasta!  I want stews!  I want Chinese food!

So, needless to say, January isn’t exactly the most optimal time for me to set up new goals or start some big new health journey.  In fact, January has kind of become that time of year where I say “screw it – I’m eating what I want!”  And this isn’t great, I realize it, but it helps.

You know why?  Because, by NOT imposing a bunch of rules on myself during that 1 time of year that I’m prone to depression and exhaustion (the darkness, I’m telling you), I actually feel a sense of freedom.  Freedom to eat what I want without guilt or shame.  And who needs guilt or shame in the darkest, coldest month of the year???  

Certainly NOT me!

So, here’s to January, the month where you should be allowed to do, eat, think, say, whatever you want.  Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy life as much as you can.  Because there is no sense starting out the year feeling like a failure because you can’t achieve your goals.  Right?

If I want to feel successful in reaching a goal, I start in February.  Because I see the light at the end of the tunnel (or, rather, the end of a long, dark winter).  Because I, once again, feel that twinge of excitement, knowing that new life, new warmth, longer days, and happier moods are soon to be within reach.  

On this day 1 of 2019, let’s NOT impose the impossible on ourselves. Let’s just go forth, be happy and enjoy our lives a little bit more.  Allow yourself freedom to enjoy favorite foods, even favorite comfort foods. For me, this freedom usually amounts to only a few days per week where I indulge.  I place no restrictions on my diet nor do I force myself to exercise every single day.  In fact, this actually helps me WANT to eat healthier and be more active.  Because it’s natural for me, it’s not a guilt-trip, there is no shame behind NOT doing everything perfectly.

I don’t feel as though I’m being punished unjustly for something that I don’t quite understand…

willhibernate this month.  

I will spend way too many hours laying on the couch, watching Netflix.  I will sleep in on the weekends and get up only to relocate my lazy ass to the couch, where I’ll sip my coffee quietly while enjoying my latest library book.  I will take baths more often (because I’m always SO cold).  I will cook delectable chilis, stews, tagines and other favorites to keep me warm and my taste buds happy.  

Screw the New Year’s resolutions this year!  

This isn’t permission to turn into a bum, neglect your health altogether, or just eat all the carbs.  This is simply stating the fact that January is a really hard (and bad) time of year to start anything new.  Give yourself just 1 more month to try to do it on your own…and then, come February, if you still need help, that’s when you set the goals and put your nose to the grindstone!

Are you with me???  

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