I’ve come across several people this month who are on Dry January – those who are, I salute you. Having been pregnant twice, I’ve had approximately 18 dry months so I reckon I’ve done 18 years’ worth of dry Januarys.
But I do usually sit down between Christmas and New Year (known in the travel PR industry as Twixtmas. Seriously), and do two things.
Firstly, I tend to book holidays. Which usually consists of scouring the Brittany Ferries and Centerparcs websites, trying to find the cheapest ferry crossings, most practical timings, the villa nearest the swimming pool etc etc. I then add to the calendar when final balances for said holidays are due, and work out my payment plan to pay for them.
Secondly, I set out a list of “goals” for the year, which normally starts with “lose final half stone of baby” and then incremental goals to get me to that – eg lose two pounds by 31st January.
Even I am now looking back at my 2014 and 2015 selves and cringing slightly.
I remember one year, the list of goals was set out over a double page spread in my diary covering family, health, career, house (declutter! Go through kids clothes and do Ebay bundles! Clear out garage!).
Some of them I reach, others (inevitably the last half stone of baby weight) are recycled year after year. Ironically I got a stomach bug in May last year and did get down to my goal weight, but I was miserable, washed out and emaciated and it soon piled back on.
And reflecting on 2015, it strikes me that I spent a lot of time and money on things that ought to make me look and feel better. My entourage included Adam the hairdresser, Jez the personal trainer, Sarah my business coach, Will the other business coach, Tom and Frankie the cleaners, not to mention nursery staff, fitness classes, weekends away…
I crawled to the end of the year feeling exhausted, and coming to the conclusion that some of these things are only dealing with the top layer of “feeling and looking better”. I wasn’t getting to the root cause of the exhaustion.
So this year I have done…. Nothing. No holidays have been booked, no goals have been set. Apart from one basic mantra – be calm, be happy.
I want to concentrate on sleeping well, eating fairly well, spending focussed and quality time with my girls and doing the small things that make me happy. To quote the serenity prayer – I will accept the things I cannot change, and find courage to change the things I can.