Yup, this is a rant about January, about what happens on January 1, about all the ways we are encouraged to feel bad about our choices during the holidays, about all the ways we should start punishing ourselves immediately, and about how we are pressured to listen to everyone over our own voices about what we most need and want in our lives. Do you know what January 1, 2018 was? It was a Monday. It was a Monday in winter in the Northern Hemisphere. That's it. This idea that you should leap out of your house January 1 munching raw kale while wearing the trendiest workout gear as you jog down the street is completely arbitrary. It's established by our culture and it's a set-up to fail and feel bad.
Do you want to know the worst month for doing a cleanse, especially a juice cleanse? Yes, it is January. Why? Because your immune system works less efficiently when it is cold outside. Then you do a juice cleanse and starve your immune system and the result is always illness. When I taught yoga in upstate New York, I would basically cringe the whole month of January as student after student would do a cleanse because it was recommended by (insert celebrity name here or famous doctor who lives in a mild climate). The first thing that often happened is that they would get a horrible headache. Next, they'd have very little energy to do yoga due to cutting out fuel such as protein and fat. Last, and worst, their immune system would fail because they were starving it and they would get sick. Not just any kind of sick, mind you, but really bad sick such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or the flu.
I'm all for cutting out inflammatory foods, such as sugar and dairy, and I'm even for it in January if your body is asking to feel good again. I'm not for extreme diets, cleanses and detoxes which do more harm than good. So all those emails you received in the weeks leading up to January 1 urging you to join a gym or a weight loss program that are thinly veiled (or not) body shaming campaigns, you can feel free to delete those. In fact, have they ever helped you or are they clogging your inbox? If it's the latter, unsubscribe!
Let's talk about resolutions. How are those going for you? Do you feel like you successfully set and keep resolutions? If not, you are not alone. All those jokes about not keeping resolutions are proof that our culture encourages us to set resolutions and expects us to fail at keeping them. It's another set-up to fail. What are the chances that every adult in the U.S. is going to wake up on January 1 and have the inspiration and motivation to write down resolutions? I'm going with very slim. Just because the calendar says January 1, you better hope divine guidance is shining it's big ol' flashlight on you and instilling you with your goals for the whole year. Nope. No. Not happening for most of us. Again, this is completely arbitrary and allows no room for you to know and trust that when you are mentally and emotionally ready, you will be both inspired and motivated to write down some goals for the year and the steps you can take to reach those goals.
So if January 1 you were not inspired or motivated and instead stayed in your jammies and watched movies, then let's celebrate that! And if you don't want to set resolutions because you don't feel like it, then let's celebrate you standing in your power. Giving your power away looks like letting celebrities, social media influencers, and corporations tell you what to eat, what to do, how to feel, and how to live. Meh to all that!
Instead my wish this year for you and for me is that we remember over and over again that we hold the answers to our health and our happiness. Happy 2018!