I usually hate January, and most people I speak to say the same thing. It’s cold, it’s dark, and summer seems an age away. This year, though, I decided to make a concerted effort to turn January in to a really good month. I wanted to start the year as I mean to go on, instead of just counting down the days until February. Don’t get me wrong, this month has been cold (in fact more than cold, it’s felt like the Arctic at times), dark, and summer does still feel like an age away. BUT, thanks to a few little things, I’m finishing January feeling really good about 2017 so far, and excited for the rest of the year.
- Thanks to a timetable change I now finish at 1pm instead of a 4pm on a Friday. So, I’ve decided to give myself a break from uni work on Friday afternoons. Instead, I have started using this time to explore London, or to meet up with friends. So far I have had coffee with one of my besties, been shopping on Oxford Street, and visited Spitalfields Market (if you love good food and cute, quirky shops then I seriously recommend here). Doing this gives my brain a rest from studying, and also makes me feel like I am actually making the most of my time living in London.
- I’ve read lots of books. This was one of my new year’s resolutions, and so far I’ve stuck to it pretty well. Really well, in fact- I’ve managed to read 4 books this year already. This has made me feel more positive for all sorts of reasons, but mainly because a) they’ve all been really, really good books, and b) if I’m reading books, I’m spending less time on my phone. And spending less time on my phone genuinely makes me feel more productive, and helps to clear my head. I feel as though I’m actually doing something worthwhile with my time, instead of just rereading pointless social media posts.
- I’ve started writing things down. For Christmas, I was given a calendar which has a different quote for every day of the year. Every day (well most days), I’ve written something about my day on the back of the quote. My aim is to keep it up for the whole year, which probably won’t happen, but for the moment I’m enjoying it. It forces me to reflect on what I’ve actually done with my time. It’s so easy just to let life pass you by, but I find that doing this makes me appreciate each day a little bit more.
- I’m watching more TV. This sounds ridiculous, especially as I usually don’t watch TV at all. But, this month there have been some really good shows on, and I have really enjoyed getting home from uni when it’s freezing cold and watching good TV. In a month where there’s not much to look forward to, knowing you have good TV to catch up on really does make me a happier person.
- I’ve been using all of my new cookery books to cook some really good, healthy meals while I’m at uni. I’ve made turkey chilli, homemade meatballs in tomato sauce (both recipes I kind of made up). I’ve also done a fish dish, as well as home made chicken kievs from Jamie Oliver’s Superfood for Families book. All of them have been really nice (or so I’ve been told), and I am determined to keep cooking all year. I find it relaxing, and I genuinely love doing it.
I cannot believe that January is nearly over- this year is flying by already. Whilst I wouldn’t say I am sad to see this month go (I’m excited for warmer weather already), I am going in to February having already made a really good start to the year. I’m putting myself first, making time for things that I love doing (reading, cooking, exercising), and trying to live in the moment. Because of this I can genuinely say that, January, you’ve been great.