’s guide to the start of the year

Christmas decorations


It’s the end of the year, a time to review the tumultuous year just past and move on to 2018, whatever that may bring. So how can you ease your way into the new year? has some tips.

Make Plans

January is the time of year dedicated to making plans or strategising. This may seem difficult at a time of great uncertainty, but it is at such times that it is most important to plan for different scenarios. That may mean booking yourself onto a course, checking out jobs or your next career move, thinking about launching a business, planning the summer holidays, preparing a marketing plan or creating a business strategy for the year ahead. You may feel that your whole life is one long strategy meeting punctuated by short bursts of sleep, but January is a good time to indulge if you can in longer term planning than just how to get through the next day or week.

Stock up on Sleep

Alternatively, you might be suffering from planning fatigue after Christmas plus bouts of the norovirus or colds. In that case use the dark nights to stock up on sleep and don’t make any unrealistic new year’s resolutions. They may provide a temporary sense of control [if you can recall what control feels like since you had children], but it is fleeting. It might be better to ease yourself back in and then consider long-term changes later in the year. But be aware that it might be difficult to find time to do that so it is worth putting it on the calendar.

Small Rewards

Try to give yourself small treats, whether that means chocolate, time or something else, to get through the dark days of January. This is the time to call in favours and bag a half hour for a long soak in the bath or a walk to the shops unaccompanied. Even 10 minutes of clear headspace between work and home can work wonders for your mood. Walking home from the train, parking a bit further away or parking and walking round the block before you go through the front door could give you the time to switch smoothly from one world to another. Put some soothing music on the headphones and remember when you had time to know who was in the charts.

January is the month for recovering from the spending and planning marathon that is Christmas, even if you now don’t have the time to stop and rest. Take it easy and pace yourself through the first weeks.

Realistic Goals

If you do decide to make new year’s resolutions try to make them ones that are actually useful and achievable, like giving yourself a break from the unrealistically high expectations that are pushed at women all the time.

Remember that the return to routine is a slow business. If you manage to get the kids to sleep before midnight after New Year’s Eve and into school more or less on time, consider it a huge success.

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