Morning readers,

This week is apparently famous for being ‘crash and dive’ week where our plans for giving up the bad stuff for January (alcohol, smoking, sugar, stalking your daughter’s Instagram account) go pear-shaped and we are dangerously close to chucking it all in. Here are some tips for seeing it through to the bitter end… and beyond.

  • You’re half way! You’re already two weeks in – how fantastic is that! If you started when the kids returned to school, you’ve not got long to go. Praise yourself and be chuffed in the knowledge that some are faltering whilst you are gathering speed.
  • Keep your end goal in sight: Keep the carrot dangling. If you smoke(d) 30 a day and your skin was starting to show the crepe-y roughness of an amphibian, then leave cut-out pics of flawless faces in every room at home. The dewy glow of rosy young cheeks is bound to stop you puckering up for a drag. If you didn’t have goals in the first place, but have found yourself chanting “I wish…” or “I want…” one too many times, then get a clean sheet of paper and write some down but keep them realistic. If you’re a size 22, then hankering after Elle Machpherson’s torso or Cheryl Cole’s arms (pre-divorce… the second one) isn’t going to help. Take measurements, take photos, find an eating plan and a fitness regime that works for you and settle in for the duration.
  • Don’t over promise: If you’re giving up the booze and there’s a girl’s weekend in Barcelona coming up, then cut yourself some slack for two nights. But… find the resolve to get straight back on it. Be realistic and be proud of your achievements. Similarly, don’t try to eat clean, give up sugar, drink wheatgrass, train twice a day 6 times a week, finish your dissertation, be the best parent/friend/partner in the world and expect to achieve top sales person that month… all in January. Know what you are capable, confront it and write it down. Understand it and be content with it.
  • Planning is everything: Know your trigger points. If Sunday nights in front of Netflix signals the family bag of Minstrels or that special Malbec you’ve been saving, then get an alternative in place quick. Let the rest of your family indulge and rise above it. Keep thinking the high of chocolate/nicotine/wine is temporary. It is. The benefits of your own January health project are much, much more lasting.
  • Love: Keep an air of love and kindness about you. Hug those special people, surprise someone with a declaration of love (apart from the barista who makes your daily cappuccino). We need all the warm, tingly feelings we can get in cold, hair-shirty January. Shifting your attentions away from yourself onto someone else can be tremendously rewarding.
  • Treats: If after 2 weeks you are finding it much harder than you thought, then to avoid caving in, adopt a plan of non-food/drink/fag treats. Cinema trips for example (although avoid that film “Joy”… unless you fancy a good nap); a Netflix night with girlfriends where you each bring healthy food or juices; chose 3 London galleries/museums and do them all to death; borrow someone’s dog for an excuse to walk (walking is so therapeutic); sell something on eBay; buy something on eBay; do something nice for someone else – look after a child, visit an elderly person, help someone with college work. (If you sniff hard, you’ll get the faint scent of smugness… not in a I’ve-got-everything-Trudi Styler/Sting sort of way… more in a it’s-hard-but-I’m-coping kinda thing.
  • Blips: There are always going to be obstacles in your way, so as long as you expect them and deal with them, then success is all yours. Life is full of blips. How many times have I heard…” I ‘d love to do your 21 Day BLAST Plan, Annie, but I’ve got a Mum’s night out, a visit up north to the in-laws, a sales conference and Burn’s night to get through…”. There are always going to be bends and twists in the straight path. What’s so good about us humans is that we have the ability to overcome them.
  • Big up yourself: Yes! Make a fist and punch the air and declare war… nothing’s getting in the way of this baby… you’re coming out fighting… you’re going to be clean, you’re going to be lean, you’re fag and wine free, nothing’s gettin’ in your way, sister… nah… not even the gathering storm clouds of January… not even the credit card bill… you’re going to revel, nay, wallow in the deprivation that only January alone knows and you’re going to show the world that you shall not be shackled by the tight trousers and toxins of Christmas.

Under two weeks to go till February hits us. Stay cool. Stay focused. Be triumphant.

Thank you for reading. Have a great day. Annie x

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