January. The month sort of sneaks up on you, like a killer in a slasher flick.
"Well, gee whiz! I'm sure glad the stress of Christmas is over. Now at least we can- OH MY GOD!"
OK, the weather is awful, you're back at work, several kilos fatter, and casually wondering if it is efficient or decadent that you've already finished the Xmas chocolate.
But, on the positive side, it is a genuine chance to do something for yourself. Christmas is the spirit of giving- you buy presents for other people, and you do stuff for family and friends. Self-indulgence is generally frowned upon. You can almost see the Ghost of Christmas Present menacingly cracking his knuckles if you even think about taking five mins for yourself.
But January! The month of self-improvement and resolutions. This is the time for you.
However, January needn't be a time for masochistic repentance. Put away the hair shirt and flogger, and think about what you can do for yourself. How can you set yourself up to have a great year?
The obvious one is joining a gym. Putting aside a few hours for yourself to improve your fitness isn't just a way to shed some of the Xmas Quality Street. Think of it as dedicated time for you. Being in a specific place, devoted to working out (whatever your goals are) can be a great motivator. No social media, kids, or spouse to distract you. If you're picking a gym, focus on what you get for your money, and don't be afraid to ask for a better deal. Try not to pick one based on how cool the logo looks or how attractive the receptionist is. Think about what classes you'll want to go to, and what the facilities are like. Is it close enough? A gym just round the corner is easier to get to on a Sunday morning than the one you've got to drive 45 minutes to.
Also, remembering you're paying a fair few quid each month, and you need to get your money's worth can be a good incentive to actually turn up.
If you're a fan of ink, get another tattoo! It's something for you, and the great thing about them is they last forever. Mind you, that's also the worst thing about them… There's a lot of pressure to get something 'meaningful'. But at the risk of sounding like an old fart, you'll care far less about what other people think as you get older.
Not every picture or drawing in your house has to have deep symbolism. You can just have a picture of a wolf, because wolves are cool. The exact same logic applies to tattoos. Pick a design that makes you happy! It can be a stupid pop culture reference that will be dated in a few years, sod it, why not! If you really like Pickle Rick, you can be reminded of it every time you look at your inner thigh.
Recipe boxes are great fun. There are dozens out there, all working along a similar business model- they post you a box of stuff, plus recipe cards. You cook it, you eat it. Whether you're saving money or not is debatable- but what you are giving yourself is the gift of time. By outsourcing your meal plans, you're saving yourself a chunk of your week already. As well as getting out of the rut of cooking the same damn stuff every week. Most offer some good trial deals, so it's worth trying out a few and seeing which ones you like.
A holiday is the ultimate 'big treat' to look forward to. It also helps that the various travel agencies out there tend to slash their prices in January. Booking a couple of weeks somewhere sunny is a great way to give yourself some light at the end of the winter tunnel. There is nothing wrong with booking yourself in for somewhere you've been before and know you'll enjoy. A week in Devon, knowing damn well that you'll get some scones from that nice little pub near the bridge, can give you a big boost to get through the next couple of grim months. But, that being said, there is something about having somewhere new and exciting to look forward to as well. Decide if you want insta-worthy adventure or basically the geographical equivalent of a warm hug.
Or if you really can't decide, flip a coin.
Basically, the weather is rubbish. Get yourself something nice.