According to the reliable oracle of science and history which is “The Daily Calm” meditation app, January 31st is “backwards day”. One swift Google later and turns out it’s a real thing. A day when you can do the opposite of what you think makes sense. You know – pizza for breakfast, a chocolate sandwich, agreeing with a Tory, that kind of craziness.
It’s a bit anathema in the fitness community, but I kind of feel that way about New Year’s Eve and Day. I get that culturally it’s a universal do-over date where one year clicks into the next and you get to start afresh.
But it’s never made sense to me.
One New Year’s Day, my fridge is groaning with Christmas joy that I really want to eat. I’m still not back at the routine of work. It’s still cold, dark, wet and cold (I know I said it twice but I’m getting old and I feel it more now!). And most importantly looking nervously twitching at my bank balance, it’s a five-week month.
January is the worst bloody month to expect new healthy habits to stick. So I’m going all Backwards Day on your lycra asses. Because it seems to me that February is the lowest hanging fruit of the healthy-habit-honing honchos.
Firstly, it’s short. It’s officially the best month because of this. No endless yawning into the distance for February – it’s all about quick wins. Committing to a healthy daily change in February is officially 3 days (or 10%) easier than the WORST months! Surely you can eat greens every day, spend less time scrolling through Facebook, or be more active this month because its 10% easier!
Plus, we are back at work with maybe a half term to look forward to. It’s light longer, the days are warmer, and there’s nature on the way back to life.
Take the Snowdrop here. It’s just quietly been there for months undergrown, building up to this moment, when it’s decided to ram its tenderest green and wiffly leaves through iron-frozen dirt towards the sun. And if that’s not inspiring enough it looks simply beautiful whilst it’s doing so.
So if the humble Snowdrop can use floppy tendrils to batter its way out into the sunshine just to look nice, fulled only by sunshine it ate LAST BLOODY MARCH then maybe we can all make a bit more effort to make a positive change. It’s the shortest month so you’ll probably barely notice the extra effort if you add one more rep, a little longer dancing, a daily swim or whatever habit you want to cultivate.
See you at the gym.