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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cowey

My January Goals (ha, sike!)

Happy 2021 guys! It's simply going swimmingly isn't it? I mean, lockdown has given us that wonderful gift of time, Donald Trump has been permanently suspended from Twitter, and it's snowing across the country! Snow! I mean, I couldn't be happier.

Jokes aside, I am finding it difficult to stay positive at the moment, as I think most of us are. But, me being me I will never give up on finding things to keep my spirits up:

  1. I have loads of cosy jumpers to wear for the colder weather;

  2. There is plenty to watch on TV and I've just got 6 months free of Disney Plus (Soul is great if you haven't seen it already);

  3. I've just downloaded TikTok and it's hilarious;

  4. Cuddles with my cat;

  5. Donald Trump is nearly gone;

  6. And, the vaccine is being rolled out and I am 4th in line for it!

Six things I am grateful for this month. Can you let me know one thing you're grateful for? Put it in the comment section, or just keep it to yourself, whatever you fancy.

January is a hard enough month, let alone in lockdown. I am someone who does not cope well in the cold months, I completely lack motivation, eat way more chocolate than usual, and just want to cuddle up and sleep most of the time. Unfortunately, doing nothing and eating lots of chocolate does not do wonders for your mood (surprise!). So, somehow, somewhere, I need to find that motivation to look after myself - it's just so hard.

I am not one for January goals. Fad dieting that doesn't last, exercise regimes that aren't sustainable - it's not for me. Last year I partook in Dry January in order to raise funds for Sarcoma UK, but even that this year didn't enthuse me too much. I'm not drinking that much at the moment anyway, so giving up the odd gin and tonic just doesn't seem worth it. For most people, January is the perfect time to pick up new habits, but did you know that only 8% of people keep their new year resolutions? They are simply never that achievable. I am more in support of achievable goals, spread throughout the year. I don't think there is any need for us all to be encouraging each other to suddenly become a whole new person in the new year. You are always going to be you - unfortunately that's something you can't change (sorry).

This year is the same for me - I've not made any new years resolutions. If the last year taught us anything, it's that you cannot plan for anything, it is much wiser to live in the moment rather than making meticulous plans. I do believe that setting achievable goals is a great way of feeling fulfilled, and that we should be constantly working on ourselves, but no good will come of hating yourself so much to the point that you continually set yourself impossible targets. You will never be satisfied, and never reach that sense of contentment with yourself you so crave if you keep pinning your happiness on these impossibilities.

Cancer has taught me the same. Live life to the fullest whilst you can, but there's no point working yourself to the point of burn out, because it could all be taken away from you in a moment. It can be tempting to keep on achieving and keep on doing - modern society tells us this is the only way to be successful. I am completely a victim to this, constantly beating myself up for not doing enough with my day, not being productive enough, not being good enough. I am currently working on job applications and every day I swerve from feeling perfect for a job one minute, to feeling inadequate the next. They can't both be true!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, we all need to be easier on ourselves. Now more than ever. At the moment, surviving through this pandemic, mentally as well as physically, is a job in itself. Some people working full-time jobs, as well as having to act as full-time school teachers, and full-time stay-at-home parents - man, who can blame them for not eating the healthiest, and not exercising 3 times a week? Are you really going to blame them for enjoying a glass of wine of an evening? Lest we forget the doctors and nurses working 16 hour shifts back-to-back, trying to find spare patient beds that don't exist, and having to choose whose life is a priority.

Thinking about how much worse off we could be is not always helpful, though. I find as a cancer patient, even I feel guilty if I feel sorry for myself, because at least I'm not dying! At least it's not spread to my brain or liver or something. But of course it is okay to feel annoyed or sad about a situation you're in. We are all living in the same pandemic, and we are all facing our own troubles as a result. However, it is definitely important to be grateful for what you do have - if you are still employed, if your family are still all alive and healthy, you still have a roof over your head. It is important to strike that balance between allowing yourself to feel down if that is how you're feeling, and trying to recognise even the smallest positive in your life.

Let's also not forget that people really do suffer from SAD in these winter months, and mental health isn't something to be brushed under the carpet. We're going through one of the hardest winters in history, the news is disheartening, and many of us are worried about our health and the health of our loved ones. We need to be taking even more care of ourselves and the people we care about. So, my January goals? Just get through it, and come out the other side still smiling. I'll be proud enough of myself if I manage that.

Sending my love out to anyone struggling this month, whatever it looks like for you. *Virtual hugs* *Virtual monkey piggy back*. If you're not reaching your new year goals, maybe reconsider them and set yourself more realistic goals. Be kinder to yourself.

Am I an agony aunt yet?

In my next blog, I'll be celebrating being 5-years cancer free, so in order not to miss out on that make sure you subscribe to my blog.

Thanks for reading, until next time,

M x

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