Turn Blue Monday into a Blue Sky Day
As this blog is coming out on the 17th of January it seems only fitting that we talk about the two awareness days that coincide with this date. At first, I was only going to cover ‘Blue Monday’ but then I happened across another wonderfully uninspiring title on the same date called ‘Ditch those New Year’s Resolutions Day’ and couldn’t resist fighting back against the gloom!
Originally, back in the early noughties, ‘Blue Monday’ was conceived as a PR exercise by a TV station to promote travel. The connection to travel petered out but the name stuck, though it’s since been adopted as the day most people are likely to give up on their New Year’s Resolutions. There’s not much science to back up that theory but bearing in mind that for many of us, not only is January a bit of a comedown after the festive season, but also, we often find that motivation is starting to flag. Why now? Perhaps the reality of the return to a normal routine has sunk in, coupled with the fact that although Christmas seems a long time ago, we’re still only halfway through this month of short, bleak and cold days. Put like that, it’s as good a day as any to notice that the willpower is starting to peter out. And if we piggyback ‘Ditch those New Year’s Resolutions Day’ on to ‘Blue Monday,’ we have a thoroughly depressing take on a day we could use to inspire us instead.
How do you fancy flipping it to become a day for taking stock and reassessing what we really want instead?
Remember that Hogmanay moment of shovelling in yet more fat laden party food and washing it down with a supersize glass of wine or beer? That moment of declaring that, ‘next year things are going to be different’ and the new health regime starts on the 3rd (but only after spending the weekend eating more enormous meals, refusing to bin the leftovers, and also polishing off most of the crisps, biscuits and other junk, of course).
You know what it’s like, the health kick starts with all the zeal of a convert to a cult. Those first 2 weeks of feeling motivated, meal prep and daily gym visits are going so well, until that day when the boss is a total nightmare, or the kids play up or a friend wants to meet up for a drink. One day a gym session is dropped, then another day there isn’t time to prep all the calorie-controlled meals and before long the doubts and negative self-talk creeps in and before you know it the regime has collapsed.
Ok, so that was an extreme and condensed scenario, but you get the idea… when real life gets in the way, good intentions can start to topple like dominoes.
So, what can you do to hang on to your resolutions and make this so-called blue day of January the 17th become a day to boost your efforts?
There are lots of ways to improve your chances of making your resolutions bulletproof, here are just 5 tips to get you started:
1. Re-examine your resolution
Have you completely defined the resolution? Looked at it as it fits into your life?
What do you want your resolution to do for you? Does it fit with your intention? If it doesn’t, what do you need to tweak?
Ask yourself if what you’re doing is what you definitely want to do, or if it’s something you feel you ought to be doing - or even if it’s someone else’s idea of what you ought to be doing. Remember that it’s your resolution.
2. Do a pros and cons list
If you still feel resistance to your resolution, you can write a simple list to pinpoint what it’s giving you and what it’s taking away. The more you drill down, the more clarity you’ll gain.
3. Adapt your resolution to fit your life
If you’re on the right track but you’re still not managing it, make the resolution smaller in general or break it down into specific areas and prioritise. If that’s still unmanageable, keep splitting it until you can find elements that you are comfortable to incorporate into your day.
4. Change the self-talk
When things start to go a bit pear-shaped with a resolution, if you hear yourself saying things like, “I’m useless,” you might want to change that to, “I haven’t figured this out, yet.” Using ‘yet’ opens your mind to possibility.
If you find you use the word ‘should’ when you speak to yourself, you can swap it to ‘could’ and find that it defuses the judgement in what you’re saying. Add in the “I haven’t figured this out yet,” statement and you are again into the realms of possibility.
5. Is it a journey or destination?
When we have a resolution that has an end point or destination, e.g., being able to run 10k or being 12lbs lighter, there is often an underlying sense that once the goal has been achieved, there’s nothing else left to do. This can create a loss of purpose and cause backsliding. Change the mindset to the resolution being a journey and it’s a game changer. Let yourself let it become just something you do. It becomes even easier to do by incorporating this mindset into the points above.
Now that you have some techniques to help you keep moving forward, get ready to feel back in control on this day (and any other day you have a wee wobble) as you work towards your goals. Enjoy your not-so-blue Monday knowing you can see that blue sky instead of a blue mood when you have the right tools. Happy days!
One last thing before you go, I just want to let you know how excited I am to launch this new blog here in January 2022!
I’ve been thinking about doing this for ages because I have a whole list of ideas and though I haven’t decided yet how often I’ll be posting a blog, I’m thinking of fortnightly. This one has taken ages to write and add to my site - I’m sure that as I get into the swing of it, I’ll get quicker and better at writing them over time!
We’ll be looking at all sorts of subject areas that relate to my work as a hypnotherapist and am looking forward to seeing where this will take us. All I want from this blog is for you to be able to take away some useful information that interests you and tools and techniques you can use along the way.
I’d love to have your feedback and if there’s any subject you want me to cover, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org