It’s almost everyone’s anticipated (or least anticipated) time of year again, the new year! As we say goodbye to 2016, we look forward to the promise and potential 2017 brings with it. Let’s be honest, 2016 was a crappy year in general. Many beloved stars passed away, there were beyond numerous terrorist attacks around the world, natural disasters ravaged countries, and Donald Trump was elected President. So, it would be natural to look at 2017 as a year of new beginnings and fresh starts (even though America still has to deal with its celebrity president).
As the new year inches closer and closer, people tend to feel motivated to change their lives around at the start of the new year. However, that’s the main problem… many of us only keep up our New Years goals for a few weeks before forgetting all about them as we fall deep beneath the stress of our own individual lives. When this happens, it can lead to what is known as the January Blues. According to selfgrowth.com, this form of depression can come from lack of money after the holidays, and then “it’s back to work, back to routine, back to the long cold nights.”
Here are some other commonalities of falling into the January Blues:
-Cold and depressing weather. It is freezing outside, it is windy, rainy, and snowy. Although a winter wonderland may be paradise to some, it is a pain in the butt to others. Or, if you live in a desert state like Arizona, you have all the cold and rainy weather in the valley, without any of the fun of having snow. It can be depressing and unmotivating at times.
–Body out of shape. Lots of food during the holidays can lead to not eating right, which then leads to weight gain. (That’s what I’m currently going through myself.)
–Feeling nostalgic. After family celebration ends, it’s hard to not feel melancholy and nostalgic after the holidays. You are alone again and have to get back to reality.
–Our plates become full again. Speaking of getting back to reality, we have to go back to work or school. We have responsibilities, new and old, that are piled high on our plates. Once the holidays are over, its back to them in full force.
-Unrealistic expectations. Last, but certainly not least, is the harshness of unrealistic expectations crashing down in flames. It is an American, even an international, tradition to set goals for the new year. It is wonderful to challenge yourself and want to better yourself in the upcoming months… however, to set unrealistic goals is self sabotage. Set goals that will challenge you, but also will be reached. Otherwise, you may quickly find yourself experiencing the January Blues too.
How to combat the January Blues with your New Year’s Resolutions:
-Set realistic goals. If you are a 300 pound man or woman, and your goal is to lose 200 pounds by the end of the month… well… that just isn’t a realistic goal (unless you go through some crazy surgery). Or if you want to buy a brand new car right off the lot but you have a nonexistent credit score, it’s not happening. Things like that will only lead you to a dead end. Know yourself, and set goals that will push you to your limit, but that will be attainable in the life you live.
-Create short and long-term goals. These differentiations in goals can be amazing, and really push you to where you want to be. Let’s use the examples above. If you did want to lose 200 pounds, your short-term goal would be to drop 20 to 30 pounds by the end of the month, and maybe the full 200 by the end of the year. If you wanted to buy a new car, you could build your credit score the next few months, have a decent score and then set a long-term goal to have the car of your dreams by next Christmas.
-Set deadlines to keep yourself on track. Deadlines are the greatest thing because they help keep you on track to achieve your short-term and long-term goals. An example of this can be shared from my personal life. My best friend and I are planning a trip to Cancun for spring break this year. We set multiple deadlines already to make sure our trip is attainable. We booked our tickets and hotel yesterday, have decided to have our itinerary set by January 30th, are expected to learn enough Spanish to communicate by Valentines Day, have our goal beach bodies by February 28th, and set our day to pack our bags two days before our departure in March. With these goals, our New Years goal to travel out of the country together should be quite attainable.
These methods of combating the January Blues may seem obvious to you, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t follow them. Those that don’t set realistic goals, don’t create long and short-term goals, and that don’t set deadlines are the people who fall prey to depression in the first few months of the year. Know yourself, challenge yourself appropriately, and those January Blues won’t be able to touch you!