Say No to the January Blues!

January.  A grim month with the aftermath of the Festive Season upon us, sitting around dreaming of a tropical getaway (unless you’re already somewhere hot of course). Still, it’s a month of contemplation, resolutions and a will to do something different, whether it’s to lose weight, change jobs, be better organised or just to eat healthier and do more exercise.  Whatever it is, ‘be better than you were today’ – that’s if you want to…

I spent last year procrastinating over a very dear personal project of mine.  I was full of enthusiasm at the beginning of the year (not dissimilar to right now, in fact) with fresh ideas, a willingness to make it happen and to ‘be better than you were today’.

What happened?

I started it, it came to a standstill and then I tucked it away, thinking about it from time-to-time but never actually revisiting it and finishing it off.  Why did I do this? Because I made excuses for myself, to myself. I think it’s fair to say that it was only me, stopping me.

So what to do?

For a start, say NO to the January blues.  Next, work out a plan. As I’m a marketer by trade, we use the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) but it can apply to you for personal projects too. It normally comes in the form of a grid:


The SWOT grid, taken from The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus & Roman Tschäppeler

Apply SWOT to something you want to do this year.  Plan how you should do it, look at milestones and some goals.  Yes, it all sounds very organised and boring but it should help you keep track.  My problem last year was that my plan stopped in April…and that’s exactly when it stopped!! [cue: head in hands moment].

So, if your goal is to be a better runner, look at ways in which you can do this.  Say, your Strength is that you are physically healthy and can run a mile with ease, capitalise on this and the Opportunity here could be to run five miles with ease perhaps? Could you put a milestone marker here by signing up for a local run?

What are your Weaknesses? It may be that you don’t have the time to train? Are you able to free up time from something else? Could you run to and from work instead of taking the car or bus? Is it childcare issues? Could you speak to your partner, friends or family to help you with this while you train? Maybe you weaken when you reach two miles, so why not address how you could be a stronger and fitter runner? Do you need more strength training so joining a gym could be the solution or should you utilise a personal trainer?

What are the Threats? Maybe that’s YOU? Are you stopping yourself doing something you’ve always wanted to do?

So, I didn’t really want this post to become too much of a self-help guide and of course these are merely examples and I’m not a life coach. However, as it’s the New Year, it’s great to self-evaluate and to reach some goals – whether personal, professional or otherwise.

Happy planning and here’s to a fruitful and exciting 2017!