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January 31st Resolutions

Here’s an idea we can’t claim for ourselves but overhead in a conversation: instead of New Year’s Resolutions, how about January 31st resolutions.
It sounds like a wacky idea, but there’s some logic. Firstly, in northern Europe or northern USA, January can be a grim month. It’s cold, dark and long. It contains so-called ‘Blue Monday’, allegedly the most depressing day of the year (although the basis for this concept is somewhat spurious), and many people are financially squeezed after Christmas. If you’ve set a fitness goal for an event in the summer it’s most likely too far away to generate any sense of panic or urgency. Your regular routine has been disrupted by the holidays and over-indulgence.
New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep, but is it any wonder given all the other pressures we’re under at this time of year? Even if you’re in the southern hemisphere you’d probably rather be relaxing on a summer holiday than taking on a new challenge. On the radio the other day it was claimed that one in five men lie at this time of year that they’re keeping their keeping their New Year’s Resolutions.
We’re therefore voting for January 31st resolutions. In February the days are already getting longer. The first snowdrops are emerging, reminding us that spring is not too far away. It’s still cold but there’s a chance of a mild sunny day. In six to eight weeks water temperatures in lakes in southern England could be approaching 10-12 degrees, enough to perhaps tempt those of us who aren’t hardened winter swimmers back outside. This may just spur enough optimism to make sticking to those resolutions a little easier.
So, if you didn’t manage to stick to what you aimed for in January, don’t despair. Try again in February, and if you’re stuck for ideas, here’s what we suggested back then.