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Beating the Blue Monday Blues

Today is Blue Monday.

The third Monday of January is notoriously the most miserable day of the year. Why? Weather, debt incurred from Christmas, time until another holiday and perhaps the biggest reason of all: faltering motivation on failed New Year’s Resolutions.

Earlier this month, Kate wrote a post about how she prefers not to make individual resolutions, but rather one all-encompassing mantra to carry her throughout the year.

Despite the fact that Kate & I spend many hours joined at the figurative hip, I couldn’t be more opposite.

I fill the first page of my yearly agenda with a multitude of resolutions – both large and small. Some are related to fitness (less ‘cheat’ days a.k.a hungover days where I consume only pizza & large quantities of non-diet Coke), some are related to work (learning to unplug), and some are just related to life in general (join in on my family’s adorable, weekly Google hangout more regularly).

Now, I do realize it’s impossible to fulfill a list of 30 or so resolutions in a month’s time—or, if I somehow managed to kill it in January, to continue that momentum throughout the entire year. I’m ambitious, but also realistic. But, every month I check-in on my list. See what I’ve accomplished, see what items fell to the bottom of the priority list, and I gear up for the month ahead. It’s a good way to make every first of the month feel a little like New Year’s Eve—filled with promise and motivation.

I feel like 2015 was a crucial year in my life. I didn’t do anything monumental—no homes bought, no life-changing trips, no ring on my finger (sorry, Mom!), but slowly I began to make small, positive changes that have led to huge accomplishments. I went from on-again-off-again workouts in 2014, to getting to the gym a minimum of three times a week. I launched a business (ok fine, that’s pretty monumental). I’m eating healthier than I ever have. I drink more water in a day than I used to drink in a weekend. I drink less (mooooost of the time). I’m more punctual, more organized, more invested in my family.

I started 2016 in the best place because I worked very hard in the 365 days previous to begin becoming the best version of myself.

Here were some of the biggest lessons I learned last year:

In health ….

Create a routine. Throughout my adolescence I was always in really great shape. I danced competitively, so I was exercising anywhere from 4-7 days a week. But it wasn’t something I thought about, or dragged my heels to do. It was just my life. It took me a while in adulthood to get back to that. But I worked hard at making fitness part of my daily routine. Now I don’t even think about it. Working out is as much a part of my day as eating meals or going to work. This is not lip-service, this is actually doable. For me, for you, for anyone.

In business …

Always lift others up. I wouldn’t say I was ever a very negative or unhelpful person, but after launching my own business I realized how much I count on the generosity and encouragement of others. The best way to be deserving of that kind of help is to give help in return. Even if it’s not a direct trading of services, being a ray of positivity and encouragement will never bring you down.

In finance …

Stop being an idiot, Catherine. A bar tab in excess of $100 is never a good investment and putting off paying parking tickets is no longer acceptable. Time to grow up and pay the piper (literally pay).

In friendship …

Don’t drown for those that wouldn’t get in the water for you. This one may seem particularly harsh, but I made a vow to myself to start investing more in those that invest in me. “Good vibes only.” AmIrite?

In mind …

Time is fleeting, make the most of it. With each year that passes, time seems to go by more and more quickly. Maybe it’s having a little one in my life who changes drastically every time I see her, or maybe it’s just the busyness of adulthood, but if there was one thing I truly learned in 2015 it’s to start appreciating all the little moments and all the wonderful situations that may not always be so permanent.

All in all, I hope you take Blue Monday (and 2016) by storm. It’s never too late to make a few adjustments. And never to late to have the best year of your life.

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