January may not be one of the obvious choices for “month of the year”, but I have to admit that it’s one of my favourites.

Now, it’s not for the temperature (often one of the coldest months), nor for the hours of sunlight (although getting noticeably longer by the end of the month). What’s more, this January has probably been one of the most challenging ever due to the latest lockdown restrictions.

I like January for its modesty. Compared to the months leading up to the end of the year, which are colourful, festive and often indulgent, January is simple and modest.

 

What’s so great about January?

New Year’s Eve is always the climactic (or anti-climactic) end to the festivities and from January 1st things are clearer and more focused. Well they are for me anyway. I’m always genuinely happy when January comes around.

I’m not quite into the “New Year, New You” mentality, I’m not sure you can suddenly change into someone else overnight.

However, I do set myself New Year’s Resolutions. Furthermore, these have become a bit of a game. From around 2014, I have written these in a book and each year I have had as many goals relating to the year in question. In 2020 I had 20 goals. In 2021 I have 21 goals. I also front-load these in January, so I start the year off with some great personal successes. These help me to reset my life in areas that may have gone slightly awry (around Christmas time especially) and to give me a real confidence boost too.

Why January is one of my favourite months

 

How’s it stacked up so far?

As we’re now at the end of January, it’s time for a little stock take. So far, this year I have completed:

  • Dry January (in honesty I’ve been doing this for years, way before Dry January was a thing)
  • No regular tea or coffee – green tea / herbal teas only – to reduce caffeine and detox
  • No meat – pescatarian diet, rather than vegetarian or vegan
  • At least 7 hours sleep per night (8 of possible)
  • Ran a marathon 26.2 miles (over 7 short runs)
  • Walked over 50 miles (mostly with my family)

I’m feeling pretty proud of myself and physically, I feel good too. I’ve even shed those excess Christmas pounds without trying too hard, which is always good news.

So, these were my personal goals. I also had some work related ones, which are looking pretty good too!

It goes to show that balance across different life areas can set us up well for success more generally.

What does the rest of the year hold in store?

I’ve enjoyed these January goals so much, I’ll be maintaining good habits on all of these for the foreseeable future. I’m loving the extra sleep, and the running goal gave me a great target so I’m planning to run a marathon (in total) every month of 2021.

I also set myself some developmental goals, for example reading regular business or developmental books to keep me learning and growing. I also read a couple of French books a year, it’s a great way of keeping up a skill that enjoys less opportunities these days. This morning, I thought I may also look into some additional studying to ensure I’m continuously topping up my skills and being the best version of me that I can. Am I a glutton for punishment or what?!

Finally, having ‘lost a year’ in terms of spending time with friends and family, it will be great at some point to rekindle some of those more dormant relationships. I’ve been conscious that we’ve been lying rather low (as a family) for quite a while and we should resurrect some of those relationships while we still can.

 

Wrap-up

January may not be one of the obvious nicest months of the year, but I have to admit that it’s one of my favourites.

I like January for its modesty. Compared to the months leading up to the end of the year, which are colourful, festive and often indulgent, January is simple and modest.

January gives me the impetus I need to reset and establish positive habits for the year ahead,

I also love the signs of spring that are making themselves visible by the end of the month. These fill me we even greater hope and optimism.

 

Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.