Banishing the January blues
(Posted on 11/01/18)
By Monday 15 January memories of the Christmas and New Year celebrations have mostly faded away, and up and down the country people have returned to work nursing the financial and physical hangovers of the festive period. With the conspiring factors of winter weather, darks nights, post-Christmas blues and self-imposed restrictions in the name of ‘New Year resolutions’, the third Monday of January (15 January this year) has been named ‘Blue Monday’. But January, and ‘Blue Monday’ in particular, don’t have to be depressing.
One of the reasons that gym car parks are full for the first few weeks of January, but are guaranteed to be emptying by the start of February is the unrealistic expectations or resolutions so many of us set ourselves at the start of each year. Resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep, but if you make your goals challenging but achievable, you are much more likely to successfully reach them – giving your confidence and personal wellbeing a boost.
Setting achievable goals and planning for the year ahead is a great way to beat the January blues. Whether it is for work or personal, setting some objectives for the year ahead will make you feel much more positive and in control. Your goals might be around your professional ambitions or your work/life balance, or even your personal development. Even if your ultimate aim is a seismic shift in your personal or professional life you can help make this achievable by breaking it down into more manageable tasks.
Maybe you want to set up your own business – in itself a huge challenge – but by breaking it down into an action plan, which includes things like develop a business plan, research your funding opportunities and identify training requirements, each item is achievable and can be ticked off the list.
And it needn’t just be about things you must stop, start or change – it can also be about celebrating what you have already achieved and deciding on your next steps. But whatever your ultimate goal, remember, the trick to any successful planning or goal setting is to make sure your goals are eminently achievable (the ‘A’ in SMART).
Let’s make 2018 a year to remember…