The January blues. I don’t believe in them, personally, but it’s hard to deny that this first month fo the year can be hard for people. Not just because we’ve all just spent a fortune over the Christmas period either. The mornings are dark, the evenings are dark, we’re all broke; it can be hard to find reasons to love January.
So in this post, I’m bringing you some of mine. I am a bit biased on this front, given that my birthday is in January, but I still think there are lots of positives to find in amongst the cold, dark poverty of month one.
Not really selling this, am I? Ok, bear with me on this one!
If you’re feeling in a bit of a seasonal slump then read on for my definitive list of reasons to love January. As always, feel free to drop your own thoughts in the comment below.
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Are there any reasons to love January?
Yes. Plenty. I know it seems like the month that never ends, but take it as a blank canvas to start the year afresh. That’s the main reason I really love January; it gives you a chance to reinvent and look at things from a fresh perspective. So where should you start?
My first port of call in the early days of the new year is my bullet journal. I made a bit of a dent in it during 2019 but inevitably began to fall out of the habit of using it. As I tend to do. That’s not a huge problem though, because it means I can reinvigorate it for 2020! Here’s my five-point plan for falling back in love with January, with the help of your journal.
- Get a double-page spread and clear your mind; view this as the roadmap for the whole of the coming year. You’re going to use this as your plan for the next twelve months, so take your time with it.
- Write the year on one side (2020 in this case) and then on the opposite side, write ‘The Year Of (whatever you decide it will be) in large letters. Use nice pens, it helps make it feel more real.
- Around the outside of the first page, the numerical year, write some keywords of the things you want to achieve or that you plan to do. I use tarot cards to help me work mine out because I’m indecisive and don’t always know what my aims are in January. This year I do, but that’s beside the point.
- On the opposite page, around ‘The Year Of…’ statement, write down some intentional phrases that you will aim to set in place this year. I start all of mine with ‘I will…’ to make sure that there are no half-arsed aims. These are things that you want to refer back to throughout the year and that will become your mindset for the next twelve months.
- Don’t make it like a to-do list. Just some simple statements and key themes for the year, and then make sure you refer back to it at the end of each month!
How can you love a month of being strapped for cash?
Sometimes, a purge after the excess of Christmas is exactly what we need. I get sick of eating chocolate and other assorted crap pretty quickly, if I’m honest. More than that, the materialism of December weighs on me. One of the main reasons I love January is because it gives me a chance to break free from all that.
Financially speaking, January is hard, there’s no question of that. However, just like the setting of intentions in the journal, January is the best time to set your financial intentions for the year too. There’s no better time to start getting your cash in order when you feel like you have none! Review your monthly outgoings, check out what you’re spending on your groceries and your services, and see where you can make some adjustments.
If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, there’s no better time of year to review and revitalise your financial goals. Get that tax return paid off and start again!
The first few weeks of January are an ideal time to revise your price lists, plan new products or services and most importantly, forecast your spending for the year ahead. With a roadmap for finance to stick to, you’ll be in a much better position this time next year.
Get outside again
One of the best reasons to love January is that you can get outside in the fresh air once more and it’s not actually as freezing as it used to be (thanks, global warming). You don’t have to join a gym to get fit at the beginning of the year, although many people do. Just getting outdoors once or twice a day can do wonders for your health and wellbeing.
January is a time for planning activities as well; outdoor time should definitely be included within them. You can use January to grab your calendar and set plenty of me-time or family time. Plan in some little weekend trips here and there, and then when they roll around you’ll have a nice surprise getaway already on the cards!
Everything is reduced
January sales are my favourite thing ever. You can make some huge savings on the things you wanted to buy last year but couldn’t afford to. Ok yes, most people are struggling for money throughout January, but you can often pick up some crazy bargains in terms of end-of-line clothes, games, Christmas accessories (to put away for next December), gift sets and other items.
Larger purchases such as furniture and holidays are also usually on offer during January, so while it might feel like the worst time of the year to be spending money, January is actually probably one of the best!
As always, make sure you make use of cashback sites when making purchases online. This is especially important during savings months like this one. You can claw back a lot of your spending and it really does add up quickly when you do.
January doesn’t have to be blue
A lot of people struggle with their mood during January, and it’s understandable, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overcome. Consider this the month of the fresh start and set your mind to that.
When you commit yourself to think differently, it requires effort and perseverance. It can be hard, but it’ll be worth it once the spring starts to kick in a bit more and you realise you have actually stuck to your goals.
Make use of the daylight hours and also make sure you take your vitamins to compensate for the lack of sunlight. Get plenty of sleep where possible and set your body clock into a routine as soon as you can. Sleep hygiene is always important, but January can be a great time to reevaluate your sleeping pattern after the chaotic festive period.
What Are Your Reasons To Love January?
I’d love to hear from you if you have some of your own! Are you someone who hates January or can you see the positives as I do? Let me know in the comments below or over on Twitter.
If you’re setting goals for 2020 I’d love to hear what they are, so let me know and remember to make the most of this month!