january

I’m writing this on 16 January, 2020, so I guess it goes without saying. But life in January does seem to follow some specific themes. Although there are positives, many of these are quite disheartening.

I think if I asked most people in the UK if this is their favourite time of year, not many would punch the air and say yes.

One or two might punch me instead.

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In my mind, there are three times of year when the time always feels particularly ripe for new beginnings.

If I ask any person, when they most start thinking about changing their lives or developing new habits, they’re bound to say ‘New Year’: Well yes, of course – resolutions. It’s become a bit of a cliche but just knowing it’s the first day of the year suggests the possibility of change.

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Picture this:  You are walking down a local street one warm sunny day and you see this person coming towards you. They are getting on in life, probably around 80 years old. Surprisingly hale and healthy for that age, this person waves and smiles at you and flags you down. They clearly know you very well, and there is something familiar about them now you come to think of it, but you can’t quite place them.

Then you realise, with a shock, who this is.

It’s you. It’s exactly what you would like to think you would look like when you get to that age. Some weird, time-travel experiment has put you face-to-face with the you that you will become in the future when you are eighty years old.Read more »

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Ghost of Christmas PastI know, I know – you’ve probably seen a dozen New Year blogs, New Year products and other activities based around the idea that now is the time to change yourself.

Thing is, it is true. Now is not the only time when you can take hold of your life and really get to grips with the changes, but in many ways it is the best time. Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a delightful tale that can be seen as one man’s epiphany through the lessons of the three ghosts. It’s a bit of a stretch but I’ve used these three ghosts to show why, even though it is a cliche, this is certainly the best time to make those big changes in your life.

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By now most people will have had at least a fleeting thought about a New Year resolution. Even if it is only to firmly commit to not bothering to make one this year.

Maybe New Year resolutions should be relabelled January resolutions, since the first month is often how long they last. (That’s actually not such a bad idea!)

My take on New Year resolutions, which I explore fully in my book ‘Making your New Year resolution work for you‘ [£4.99 on Amazon), is that behind every New Year resolution there is a bigger picture goal that drives it. Unfortunately we don’t tend to make that conscious connection between say, giving up chocolate (small picture resolution), and becoming fit and healthy (big picture goal). When we say we are going to stop smoking and use the money to save (small picture resolution) we are not necessarily fully connected to becoming financially independent (big picture goal).Read more »

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