***A quick note to let you know that my Life Book January Chapter e-course (my January Book) closes for enrolment on Monday morning, so there are just a couple of days left to join me to create your own Life Book and make some January goals based on love, that actually stick. It’s only £45 (and won’t be this price again) and you can book here****
Hello and joyous 2019 greetings to you! How are you? How are you feeling about this new year? My Sunday Supplement took a little unintended break in December but is back for 2019 with some lovely things to make, do and celebrate this month.
January can get a pretty bad rep; month of self punishment, debt, cold. But I really love this first month of months, and the new possibilities that come with it. In truth, I usually don’t feel really energised and raring to go until Spring, but I do love this month for the inside-ness of it, both figuratively and literally. The inner planning and dreaming. The darkness, the quiet and the cosy indoors ness of it. I am deep into planning and dreaming mode, my favourite winter-time activity.
We had a really lovely quiet family Christmas after a very very busy few months for me. We did even less than we planned to do on account of sickness, but the enforced rest was welcome. We didn’t travel and bought few gifts. We ate good food, watched telly, and went on some lovely walks. Dave and I spent New Years Eve in, by the fire, with our January Book, looking back over 2018 and ahead to this one. The whole thing was low key and man, did we need it.
10 wonderful things to make, do and celebrate in January!
1. Love your home
There are lots of words for it now, but i’m embracing good old ‘cosiness’. Think about all the lovely cosy things that make winter lovely. Keep the fairy lights and candles going, pile blankets everywhere. I love filling the house with winter flowering bulbs: White hyacinths, Paper-whites, Narcissi, Hellebores. Available from garden centres and supermarkets if you don’t have any growing.
2. 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 your body and your life if it feels good to do so, but do it from a place of love, don't do it because you feel you should.
3. Start a journal practice
I have been writing a lot about journalling recently, for magazines and on instagram, and of course for my e-course, which is a New Year form of journalling. I am indebted to this practice for so many things in my life. It’s revealing and motivating and cheaper than therapy! I wrote about it in the January issue of In The Moment magazine if you want some tips, and have blogged about it here.
4. Enjoy the January Supermoon on the 20/21st.
One of my favourite parts about winter are the sunrises, sunsets, stars and moons, all beautiful celestial events, happening at times of the day we can enjoy them easily. Darkness can be incredibly beautiful, and creatively productive. I love Virtual Astro on twitter who has also written a blog post about the night sky in January. The best lunar eclipse of the year is going to happen this month during a full supermen. Oooooh!
5. Go to see the murmurations.
December and January are the peak times to view Murmurations of starlings, the great swooping clouds of birds in the skies. It is one of the most breathtaking views, and they gather in both cities and the countryside. Click here to find a roost near you.
6. Book a winter mini-break
If you’re feeling the need for a break after the festive season, book a last minute winter break. Now is the cheapest time of year to go away. Go alone or with friends or family. If you are watching your pennies, look into a house swap.
7. Declutter one area of your home.
We have been in our house for one year now, and we both have noticed that we have not used some of the things in the cupboards. Now the tree and decorations are all cleared away, we’re assessing what is left, and are going to set aside a weekend in January to do some clearing out. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with one drawer!
8. Celebrate Burns Night on Friday 25th
I lived in Scotland for a few years and really enjoy this excuse for a January knees up. Get the tartan out, crack our your crap Scottish accents (in my case at least) and enjoy a feast with friends. Aaannd you can buy Vegan Haggis from most supermarkets which makes me immensely happy.
9. Try some vegan meals
Have you heard about the perhaps slightly jarringly named ‘Veganuary?!’ Maybe you’re starting the year wanting to reduce your meat and dairy intake (the research on this being key in slowing climate change is fairly compelling) or maybe you’re ready to try some vegan meals, or give the vegan thing a try, its not too late to start. I heartily recommend Anna Jones for your delicious veggie/vegan meal needs. The BBC Good Food website has more vegan recipe’s all the time. The ‘SkintAFVegan’ facebook page is another great source for recipes. My friend Hannah shares delicious Vegan recipes for a family of 4 and her weekly shop (often £35) - she debunks the myth that vegan food is expensive
10 Review and plan.
If you’re in a thinkerly mood, you can download a free pdf of the structure of the January Book process here, and this year, in response to lots of questions, I have designed and written an e-course which allows students to create their own Life Book totally unique to them. This closes on Monday morning! Read more here.
January love to you. May it be a hopeful month for you.