My Red January Journey

 

                                                   

 

I am sure that I’m not alone in saying that January is usually a hibernation month for me.  After the hype of Christmas is over and the dark nights are truly embedded I usually don’t have much energy after the working day for much activity.

The Red January challenge was presented to the team before the end of the year as a positive way to improve mental and physical health and we decided to get involved.

I decided to start out small, the one thing I didn’t want to do is set unrealistic goals that would not be achievable around my work and home life.  I started by setting goals for myself.  What did I want to achieve from this challenge?

  • Increase my daily step count
  • Introduce at least one family sporting activity per weekend
  • Become a better role model for my children

 

At the start I wasn’t sure what sporting activity I wanted to focus my attention on so I decided to mix it up with kettlebells, yoga, family bike rides and mountain walking.  There were days at the start of the challenge when I really struggled to commit to a traditional sporting activity every day, but now when I look back I had been increasing the activity level that I usually would have done.

In the second week, I wanted to set myself a goal, so I signed up to a 10K for the end of February to keep me focused on my fitness journey.  I am now running at least 3 times a week and loving it.  I feel that I have been really present and focused on the changing season and it has helped with seasonal affects to my mental health.  I have a new appreciation for the nights becoming lighter, lambs appearing in the fields and the cooling running conditions.

The biggest change that I have made through this initiative is to make time for myself.  This act that I once would have thought was selfish, has improved energy levels, motivation and my mental health. I really feel that the challenge has set new behaviours not only for my fitness, but also my mental health.