At this time of year most people are making resolutions. Many want to lose weight, or get fit, to change themselves in some way. Going on a diet and undertaking a heavy workout schedule have come to be typical for January. Many do not factor in their fitness level or dietary needs and start off far to hard.  This approach is so common and for many it is very unpleasant and difficult to maintain.

January can be a very hard month for so many reasons. The weather can be bleak and punishing… can bank balances after the Christmas season. People tend to focus on things that didn’t go well for them the year before, which is fine if they use the learning, but often people can use it as a negative force and criticise themselves.

So as an alternative to strict diets and punishing workouts and negative self talk, l am advocating a kinder, more gentler entry in 2018.

Be kind to yourself.   Be gentle with yoursef, you deserve it.   Acknowledge things you do well.

Do not engage in negative self talk.  Do not call yourselves names, whether in your own head, or to others.

Rest well.   Take your rest where you can get it.   Have a lie down for a few minutes if you need it, for example a few minutes after dinner if you can.

Sleep well.  Try going to bed that little bit earlier every night. Try switching off the phones before heading up to bed.

Eat well. Eat nourishing meals are so restorative, do not deprive yourself of good food. Try eating lots of fruit and vegetables too.  Stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle around with you and drink as much of it as you can. If you think you can manage more fill it up again.

Go gently. This has been my mantra for so so many years now. Do not overextend yourself physically or socially or with work if you are not up to it.  If it does not go to plan it may give you another reason to be disappointed with yourself.

Finally, surround yourself with good people and alternately try to remove yourself from negativity.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”.

Marcel Proust