Project January

It’s January! Yay! Not for me usually. Perhaps a more accurate word is “meh.”

January, AKA Misery Month : Christmas is a distant memory, the credit card bills are looming, I have eaten and drank too much throughout December, and my clothes seem to have all simultaneously shrunk in the wash.


Every year, I wake up on 1st January feeling miserable  and dreading the next few months until spring. Being a Christmas loon, it’s hard to come down after the festive highs. Once all the decorations are down and put away, I usually get a real sense of emptiness and start to wallow in January misery. I’ve done this for years. Probably as long as I can remember. It’s dark. It’s cold, the weather is miserable, holidays are months away and there is no hope of any spare money to treat myself. Result: World class wallowing on my part.

But not this year. This year, I was determined something was going to change. January was going to be different. I was going to view January in a different light, (pun fully intended.)

This year I have embarked on …. (drum roll please)….Project January! 

Project January is something I have come up with for myself. A project to make me feel better. It gives me something to aim for, something to concentrate on and something I can achieve. And what happens when we achieve? YES! We feel fabulous! Exactly what I need! I have already made my resolutions so the project was not about trying to keep year-long promises to myself. Project January is more about a short term project/ challenge in aid of my mental health/wellbeing/self esteem/winter happiness. Of course you can choose whatever ‘project’ you like, but mine is in 3 parts.

Go Vegetarian for January

Alcohol Free (Dry January)

30 Day Yoga Practice 

Firstly, going veggie for January: Both my (grown up) children are vegetarians, so I am surprised that I have not   had a go at this before. I’ve dabbled certainly, but never committed for a period of time, but I got Jamie Oliver’s new book Veg for Christmas, decided to try out a few recipes and really surprised myself! And I started to think that I could actually try giving up meat completely for a month or so. Now, you may think ‘Well, that doesn’t sound too difficult,” but for a dedicated carnivore like me, it’s a big deal. But I am absolutely loving it! Food has never been such fun, both preparing and eating!

Here are a couple of pictures of vegetarian meals that I have produced this week. The first one is Allotment Cottage Pie from Jamie’s book. The second is an Ainsley Harriot receipt called Mighty Mexican Tortilla Cheese Cake. Both gorgeous!


D4CC0C5E-8A44-4BBB-9F13-88B9A88B1122Secondly, Dry January. Yes I know, everyone does it. Except me usually. I’m the one in the corner scowling at the non drinkers, gamely downing even more alcohol than usual to try and get me through ‘misery month’. The problem is I drink too much generally. I can’t help it! I love it! I don’t usually over indulge, but the problem is I regularly indulge. I LOVE red wine. It is one of the great loves of my life. I dread to think how many units I drink in a week and this creeping worry that I’m drinking too much for the good of my health has finally shaken me into doing something about it. I don’t want to stop drinking completely… but I would like to re-set my drinking habits (and ‘habit’ is the key word), so that a drink is a treat at the weekend, not an everyday occurrence as I’m making the dinner.  I’m nine days “dry” now and feel pretty great about it. I wobbled a bit on Saturday night when I saw someone drinking red wine, but Andy gave me a quick pep talk and I held on! Every morning I wake up feeling pleased with myself that I have done another day. It’s a great feeling! And noticeably NOT my usual January morning feeling. I have even downloaded the Dry January app and joined the Facebook Dry January Community page!


Finally yoga. I have never done any yoga, well except the one time when I was about 10, I went to mums yoga class with her as she couldn’t get a babysitter. I remember feeling rather smug as the teacher pointed out how flexible I was. Roll on 43 years and not quite so flexible. But I’m quite fit and yoga is one of those things that you can take up at any age. I didn’t fancy a class, so emailed a few local yoga teachers to see if anyone did 1-1 lessons so I could try some individual tuition to start with. I couldn’t  find anyone and I’m glad now, as someone suggested that I search YouTube instead. And that was when I found Adriene Mishler. She is fabulous! I feel like I’m having an individual class with her. After just one session I felt absolutely incredible. I’m doing Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Practice. It’s wonderful, making me stretch muscles I never knew I had, and providing some much needed meditation and spirituality to boot. I only wish I had done this years ago!

So there it is! My ‘Project January’! It’s a long way to go yet, but I’m feeling pretty confident that I can continue these new practices until the end of January.. and who knows? Perhaps even beyond… ❤️

The first month of the year,
A perfect time to start all over again,
Changing energies and deserting old moods,
New beginnings, new attitudes”
Charmaine J Forde

42 replies »

  1. That’s a fabulous Project January, I will take a lot of lessons from your play-book.
    This January is the dawn of a new life for me.
    Thank you 🌹❤🌹

  2. Well, this all sounds great, but I can’t do it. I enjoy white wine too much for one thing. For another, if I told myself I’d only eat vegetarian, my brain would rebel and I’d start craving meat, even though I eat little in the first place. And yoga? It does not agree with me. So yes, I admire people who have will power, or self control, and can set rules, but it’s not for me. Happy 2020!

  3. I really like your idea of Project January as a way to give yourself something to focus on and avoid the post-holiday blues. I saw “Veg” in the bookstore the other day. I may have to go back and pick it up. Wishing you much success with Project January and all the best for 2020.

    • Thank you Terri! Yes that’s the idea, flipping my thinking so it’s something exciting to get my teeth into (no pun intended!) … and I thoroughly recommend ‘Veg’😬

  4. If I got all contorted like you are in your pic I’d end up in the hospital once again. 2020 is supposed to be a hospital free year for me.

  5. I virtually stopped drinking alcohol about 4 years ago. I still sometimes have the odd glass of wine with a dinner or socially but it averages out to about 2 drinks a month over a year. So I’m not teetotal but I’m in control not the other way around. I used to be someone who drank wine whilst making dinner most nights. I loved that first taste and the warm relaxed feeling that came with it. What I didn’t like was the foggy brain and the dehydration and the feeling that all your energy had been sapped. I feel great now, no brain fog and my skin is clear. There is no bloat, no puffiness and I have far more energy. I highly recommend reducing alcohol intake or giving up altogether.

    • Wow that’s very inspiring! I would love to be able to
      say that! I’m doing well on day ten and no wobbles so far… but it’s small steps ❤️

  6. What a great idea. I hope you do well this month, looking forward to more posts! Glad to have come across your blog, I love your humor!

  7. Hi, I am also doing a January reset, reading your blogpost was like dejavu!
    I’m doing Veganuary, dry January, and Adrienne’s new 30 days yoga called HOME.
    12 days in and my mood has stabilised, I’ve lost a little weight, and there have been no hangovers!!!
    Wishing you all the best for the rest of the month!

  8. I did go vegetarian for a week or so some years back – but if I’m honest that was due more to bad planning than any sort of dleiberate design. Never been able to bring myself to do Dry January as I’d find it too painful to try to justify the error of my ways to the friendly local bar staff. 🙂 As ever though, really enjoyed the post!

    • Thank you! I’m still going strong 18 days in! The veggie part is easy… giving up red wine is a tad harder! 😬

  9. For years I have also felt the January blues but I have noticed since I have been taking care of myself more and eating healthier I haven’t felt the blue’s less spare money yes lol but I must say I feel good this month. except for being down with a cold virus at the moment. I love the food . I do not eat much meat . I think I could do this . I am going to look this cookbook of yours up.

    • January and February are always tough for me and this year I have definitely felt more positive getting up every day. Yes do try Veg, we have enjoyed some lovely recipes from there!

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