Poor old January gets a bad rep. A month associated with tightening the belt (in more ways than one), trying to kick ‘bad’ habits and stick to ‘good’ ones, all whilst battling against short days and dark nights. Is it any wonder we call our kids May, June and April but you never meet anyone called January? But everyone deserves second chances, January included. Here’s how to move away from the self-punishment, shame and insecurity which January has become synonymous with and instead choose to embrace loving kindness and tap into your childish sense of adventure.
Since when was January all about self punishment? Why shouldn’t it be a time of play instead!? Rather than giving up chocolate cake or alcohol, why not take up juggling the apples in your fruit bowl. Rather than basing our goals for the year on feelings of guilt, failure or ‘faults’ we think we ought to fix, we can simply choose to do more of the things that feel easy, the things we’re good at, the things that make us feel good. January’s hard enough without being hard on ourselves.
It’s as if we’ve forgotten that New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be diets or strict regimes or daily meditation; they can be crazy, silly, irrelevant, wacky, weird, random, useless, delicious, childish – in short, they can be fun. And a resolution doesn’t have to be something you relentlessly implement every day or week or month – it could be a one-off – like going on that road trip you’ve been daydreaming about for years, or booking that sky-dive you’ve always promised your best friend. Forget ‘self-improvement’ or trying to become the ‘best’ version of yourself – the best version of yourself is the one that’s having the most fun.
Here are some questions to ponder. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to try but have never made room for? (In this case, we’ve given you a head start and made the room for you…) If you were eight years old again, what kind of new years resolution would you make? To play with your friends more? To try as many new flavours of ice cream as possible? To learn how to braid your hair? We’ve come up with a few of our own quests that are more play than punishment, to help spark your own inner child and find something that excites you for 2024…
- Have a nap every day
- Don’t finish a book if you’re not enjoying it
- Try Reformer Pilates for the first time!
- Take yourself on a date every month (to the cinema/park/gallery/theatre/gym/spa)
- Keep a dream journal for a week
- Complete a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle
- Jump in a puddle every time it rains
- Tell your friends you love them when you see them
- Try walking down different streets and new routes on your daily walk to school/work
- Find a new coffee shop each week (and change up your order?!)
- Smile at strangers more
- Get out of the city and spend time in nature
- Eat as many different shapes of pasta as possible
- Learn a new kind of phobia every Wednesday (Do you suffer from Omphalophobia?)
- Play a new board game with your family
- Go to a gig/concert/festival
- Book the friend group holiday that never made it out of the group chat
- Donate the clothes you don’t wear anymore
- Buy/grow/pick yourself flowers if you’re having a bad day
- Imagine the face of your enemies on the punchbag when you Boxx
- Go and see the Northern Lights (2024 is the year for it!)
Let us know in the comments below what wild or wonderful adventure quest you’re setting for yourself this January…