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Learning to embrace January - Three tips to help you overcome a negative narrative

If you spoke to me 5 years ago I would have told you how much I hate January. With a passion. I used to spend the first day of the new year in tears because Christmas was over and I’d have to wait another year to enjoy the festive season again. I’d be sad because the sparkle of Christmas was gone, all the decorations were down and all there was to look forward to was a very long, cold, dark month ahead. I kept replaying this narrative and telling myself I hate January, I can’t wait for it to be over. But fast forward to 2023 and I’m a different person.

In this blog post, I’ll take you on my journey and share how my life has pivoted over the past couple of years and why I’m now loving January! I hope my thoughts will inspire you to revisit those recurring narratives in your life and give you some tips on how you might overcome them.

I wanted to start by reflecting on three solutions that I believe have really made a difference. Let's dive straight in.

Don’t get sucked into believing a narrative that tries to pull you down.

In 2021 I decided to try and challenge a belief I’d held on to for pretty much my whole entire adult life. I was fed up with feeling so down at the beginning of the year and knew it was in my power to change how I felt about January. I’d been encouraged to join a Power of You challenge which I thought would be a good place to start. There was so much positivity in embracing January from others it was definitely a good move. I was also given a copy of The Secret which after reading made me think about things in a different way. The word ‘reframe’ kept coming up and I was encouraged to try and see the positives in every situation. Slowly these things started to chip away at my one-sided idea that January was always a month of doom and gloom.

Embrace the things that are already making an impact

From past experience regular journaling, reading inspirational books, practising daily gratitude and engaging in my own self-development have all helped to change my outlook. So this January I made a conscious effort to focus on these things and do more, which hugely helped.

Challenge those preconceptions you’ve formed in your own mind.

I was blessed and truly grateful to be able to go on a spa retreat at the beginning of this year. But at first, I felt a little bit guilty…how can I be starting the year off like this (especially as I’ve just had 2 weeks away from the business), don’t you need to feel like you’ve earned something to be able to justify a treat like this? Like I need to have booked in 2 new copywriting clients, and worked my socks off…but actually, the reality was what an incredible way to start the new year. I came back feeling refreshed and invigorated for the year ahead. It also gave me the space to ponder new content ideas and build on what I’d learnt in 2022.

So why does January bring me so much joy now?

I see it as a new fresh start, a month of opportunity and the excitement of a year to come. One of my favourite things to do in January is to get the calendar out and start marking out exciting things that we have planned for the year. (Does anyone else always go to the month of their birthday to see what the image is?! Or is that just me?)

I treasure the memories made during the festive season and am comforted by the fact that Christmas comes every year and I get to do it all again in 12 months' time. I hold onto that instead of being sad that it’s come to an end.

I use it as a month to listen to my body, recuperate and reflect (and drink lots of tea and coffee). It's what our bodies are designed to do in the winter months, isn't it?

Rather than developing traditional January resolutions, I’ve come up with my own mantras, confidence notes and affirmations which I read to myself every day. They remind me of how I want my life to be and help me visualise my desired outcomes.

By embracing all these changes I’ve had the best January yet. I completed some copywriting work for a new client, I got some retainer work from an existing website copy client, and I met some amazing people that I know are going to make an impact in my life somewhere, somehow. I remembered to listen to my body and kept my happiness buckets full by doing the things that make me happy.

It’s also given me my blog mojo back! And proved to me that I don’t need to feel guilty about not blogging for 6 months because I’ve been concentrating on other areas of my content.

And it’s not just me who’s noticed. A very close friend said to me this year how much I’ve changed and how amazing it is to see me so happy at this time of year.

I know January is done and dusted but maybe there’s another area of your life you want to change the narrative for. Here are three tips I’ve found super helpful that you might like to consider:

  1. Can you reframe (I know it’s that word again) how you’re currently feeling about whatever it is that’s getting you down? So for me instead of being sad about all the decorations coming down, I looked at it like it was a fresh start. Hooray for a clutter-free house!

  2. Is it time to move away from those preconceived ideas of how you should be showing up? Maybe it’s time to stop comparing yourself to others and start challenging those ideas you’ve held onto for a long time. When I started telling myself January is a wonderful month that will be full of joy and opportunities it started to happen right before my eyes.

  3. Is it time to try something new? Maybe doing something out of your comfort zone can broaden your mind. When I signed up for the Power of You challenge it gave me something else to focus on, opened my network up to like-minded people and made me accountable.

I hope these reflections will inspire you, or at least get you thinking. I'd love to hear your thoughts so please comment below or get in touch.

I’m a wellness copywriter by trade but I’ve come to learn how unique my gifts are in connecting with people and talking about my own wellness experiences. So if this blog post has resonated with you and we haven’t had a coffee call yet let’s get something in the diary.

You can change the narrative, you hold the key to your happiness. What one thing can you do right now to make a positive difference in your life?

Here's to feeling invincible in January and beyond!

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