How to stay motivated past January

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Lockdown has made it feel as though January has dragged on a lot longer than usual, and I’m sure many of us will be happy to see the back of it. However, it’d be nice to carry over some of those lofty near year goals and aspirations into the most satisfying February in history (check your calendars). Whether your aim was to go vegan for the month, make it through dry Jan or try out a new exercise regime, here are some ways to remain motivated and carry on your resolutions throughout 2021 whilst staying at home.

Set goals, but make sure they’re reasonable

For those who have gone vegan for the month but are salivating at the thought of butter and parmesan, it’s important to acknowledge that this may not be a sustainable diet to stick to. Perhaps being plant-based a few nights a week is a better idea; then you can have days where you’re more relaxed. The same applies to exercise and other goals: don’t make it something that you’re not actually going to be able to stick to, but something that should fit into your life with relative ease.

Make lists

This doesn’t mean making a gigantic list to plan out your whole entire year, but little daily ones that will ensure you keep on top of what you want to be doing. Incorporate everything that needs to get done that day or week into the checklist and it will all feel a lot more achievable. It’s also really satisfying when stuff gets completed and it can be ticked off or crossed out.

Get outside

Although the early months of the year can be utterly miserable when it’s cold and overcast, this isn’t an excuse to stay inside all day. Getting out is still great for mental health, even if it’s not particularly sunny outside. Wrap up warm, take a nice long walk or move some of your exercises outside. The fresh air will do you good and will help break up the day.

Make plans

Although this is a tricky one as it’s hard to tell when things will vaguely resemble normality, it’s important to have things to look forward to to get through the long and dark winter days. Make plans with friends, family and partners to book things once things are a bit more certain; this will offer a ray of sunshine to help survive the remainder of lockdown.

Try to stay positive

This past year has been tough for everyone and 2021 hasn’t been much easier so far. Therefore, there’s no need to make it even harder by beating yourself up about not sticking to a certain diet or succumbing to a glass of wine (or three). Celebrate the little wins, be flexible when something doesn’t go to plan – know that it’s okay to feel down – and understand that things will be better soon. Positivity will make the time pass more quickly and with ease.

Lilly Subbotin

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