By Sonya Callan

The Christmas tree is gone, no more Jingle Bells on the radio and all you hear and see are ads and articles about getting thinner, healthier, and achieving outrageous goals in 2022.  As if January isn’t tough enough after all the fun and bright lights of December you are now expected to become a whole new person too!  That’s a lot of pressure and giving in to this need to totally recreate yourself can only lead to disappointment for some if those goals aren’t met.

Yes, the new year is the perfect time to take stock and reassess your career, home life, physical and mental wellbeing but done in the right way this review can be a very positive step.  Our top tip from the Planit team is “start small”.

Treat yourself to a new diary or planner

There are so many different options now and diaries and planners have come a long way from the boring black covered A5 versions.  Why not treat yourself to a planner that reflects your personality, something that you will enjoy writing in those thoughts and plans. There’s a lot to be said for writing things down, it helps to turn those thoughts into actions.  

Keep your goals simple and time specific

By far the most talked about goal for every New Year is getting fitter and losing lots of weight.  After the excesses of the Christmas season we all need to move more but setting ourselves unachievable goals will only backfire.  Going from zero exercise to 7 days a week is not sustainable and will lead to disappointment. Instead, why not start with some of the online challenges such as the ‘100 days of walking’. This challenge is achievable for everyone, costs nothing, will focus on your health and mental wellbeing and bring you nicely into the springtime.

Declutter – make some space

For most of us January is a quiet time, with little socialising and in particular this year a lot of events and nights out are again cancelled. Why not use this time to look at the space around you, be it at home or in work.  Sort through that sock drawer, clear out the dark depths of the ‘under-the-stairs’, get to the bottom of that shredding pile or finally file that paperwork that built up over the past year.  These are goals that are very easy to complete and will give you a sense of achievement that will contribute to a more positive mental outlook.

Do a financial review

Christmas is the most expensive time of the year for a lot of us so January is a good time to sit down and review your finances.  Don’t put it off, yes you may get a shock when you see the December bills but facing it head on will get it out of the way for the rest of the year.  One of your goals for the year may be to save more money, why not set up a standing order to your local credit union to begin in February, don’t overextend yourself though, putting away a smaller amount each month will mean you will maintain the saving habit.

Yes, the new year is the perfect time to take stock and reassess your career, home life, physical and mental wellbeing but done in the right way this review can be a very positive step.  Our top tip from the Planit team is “start small”.

Plan some breaks

We all need something to look forward to during the long dark days of January and nothing is better than a break away.  You don’t need to commit to a round the world trip, a short 2-day break in the spring time will tick all the boxes and mean you won’t need to wait too long to get away.  Most venues will allow you to book without paying up front so you don’t need to find the cash straightaway either.

Social Media – reduce the interruptions

Not usually on New Year resolution lists but a good intention to have at any time of the year. We have all been guilty of endlessly scrolling through newsfeeds and losing hours of our days without realising how much time has gone by.  Whilst there may be some interesting articles and content online there is also a lot of useless information that only distract from daily life and getting things done. The thoughts of doing a complete social media detox scares most people so again we advise to start small. 

Actively set up blocks on distracting apps and notifications
You can choose one-hour, two-hour, or longer blocking sessions and you will find that you have more headspace as you are not worrying about missing notifications.

Need 100% focus – set your phone on airplane mode
When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on airplane mode so that nobody can disturb you.

The New Year can be looked at in two ways, a fresh start with new possibilities or another year of not achieving your goals. With our tips above and keeping the mantra of ‘start small’ as your mindset you should arrive in February calm and focussed and ready for whatever comes your way in 2022.