Happy New Year, friends! We are actually well into the first week in January now, but that suits me just fine, the first week is always a bit of a sleepy one for me. I am just starting to feel ready to take a crack at this fresh new year, you? In truth, I usually don’t feel really energised and raring to go until Spring, and I’m cool with that. I am deep into planning and dreaming mode, my favourite winter-time activities. I am also pretty deep in duvet mode, love that one too.
I have finally created a resource for the planning process my husband and I do at the start of every year which we call The January Book, so look out for this one this week. So many people have messaged me about this one!
For now, here are 10 totally cheering things to make, do and celebrate in the month ahead!
1) Choose a word for the year.
This year my sister-in-law Ray and I are running workshops in my home to help people to review, plan and find their word for the year. Yesterday was the first and it was such a moving, wonderful day! There are still 2 tickets left for the second and last workshop on 20th January, link to view and buy tickets here (scroll down to “events”). I LOVE coming up for a word for the year. It is a much gentler way to approach the year than resolutions. 2016’s word, ”Grow" was incredible for my family (I got pregnant with Auden after trying for a while) and business wise, I really upped my earnings and my styling game too. 2017’s word “nourish” was also so helpful in helping me to choose nourishing myself, my baby and my creativity over everything else. I am still holding onto it, but I am also readying myself to leap this year so my word for 2018 is “brave”. I point everyone to Susannah Conway's free resource on finding your word for the year and really recommend it as a general planning tool. Link here.
2) Say no to the January Blues
….ok, ok I know it’s not quite as simple as that, but as someone who used to suffer from SAD in winter time, I can tell you categorically that January does not have to be a depressing month, if you don't want it to be.“Magnify only what you wish to multiply” so focus on the lovely things in your life right now, the things that bring you joy. I know we have done the whole Hygge thing to DEATH and beyond, but its useful to think about all the lovely cosy things that make winter lovely. Keep the fairy lights and candles going, pile blankets everywhere. Get outside. For more, read my post “How I fell in Love with Winter and How you can Too” here.
3) Start a gratitude practice.
This was probably the single most positive thing I did last year. I am naturally a glass half full, cheesy sort of a person who err’s on the cheerful side. But committing to writing down the stuff I am grateful for as close to every day as possible helped me to navigate so much last year. I recommend this from the bottom of my heart, and will be writing more about soon.
4) Make marmalade.
Seville Oranges are in season this month and they make, in my humble opinion, the most glorious marmalade known to man. Marmalade on toast in the depths of winter is the sweetest citrussy promise of summer to come. I make it every year and always use the same recipe from BBC Good Food. Link here.
5) Love yourself.
January is traditionally the month of self loathing where marketers spend millions on making you feel shit about various aspects of your body and life in a bid to get your money. Take steps to nourish yourself if you feel you need too, but don't let it spiral into self hatred. Take a minute to observe your inner voice and what it says about you. If it is unkind or negative, sit down and start writing all the things that are brilliant about you. From head to toe, inside and out.
6) Enjoy the dark.
Sunrises, sunsets, stars and moons, at times of the day we can actually enjoy them; these are the most beautiful gifts of winter. Darkness can be incredibly beautiful, and creatively productive. Do some moon and star gazing and see what you can see. I love Virtual Astro on twitter for alerts of what to look out for.
7) Create a winter flowering bulb display in your home.
I love filling the house with White hyacinths, Paperwhites, Hellebores. Group lots of bulbs together in a single display for wow factor- a line across a mantle piece is timeless.
Now the tree and decorations are all cleared away, take the opportunity to assess what is left- do you need to get rid of some stuff to make way for Christmas gifts? Be brutal with your stuff- if it doesn't spark joy or fulfill a practical purpose- get rid. 'Guilt' is never a good reason to hold on to anything.
9) Celebrate Burns Night on Thursday 25th.
I lived in Scotland for a few years and really enjoy this excuse for a January knees up. Get the tartan out, crack out your crap Scottish accents (in my case at least) and enjoy a feast with friends.
10) Make a January wreath.
The Christmas decorations in our home were tidied away on the 1st, but the January Decorations (as I’m calling them) are still out in force. I have gathered fresh greenery in vases and put some on the mantlepieces too. I have refreshed my door wreath too, because a wreath is for life, not just for Christmas ; )
Look out for my January resource this week, and until then, go kindly with yourself....
P.S as I plan my blog content for the year, I would love to know if there is anything you would like me to write about. drop me an email or leave me a comment if so. Thank you!