Getting a head start in January

Jan 13, 2024

It’s a New Year and many of us have set an intention to improve our health, and in particular lose weight. But I also see many people go all in without setting themselves up properly.

We know that willpower is fickle. It deserts us when we need it the most. It is there when things are easy, but when the going gets tough it’s disappeared without a trace.

So why do so many of us rely on it?

Why do so many of us self-sabotage our January weight loss attempts?

Why do so many of us struggle to separate from the exact foods that make us ill?

Why do so many of us struggle to give away or donate those biscuit tins, the chocolates and the treats?


How often do I hear the words ‘I’ll get back on the diet once the chocolates, crisps and biscuits have finished?’  This idea of ‘I need to eat what’s in my cupboard before I can start’.

Does this apply to you?

If you detach emotion and thought from it, it doesn’t make much sense that you would intentionally eat the food that’s making you ill?


Where’s that coming from? It may well come from our parents and grandparents who lived through more food scarcity than we do now. Back then it was critical not to waste food. Especially if the biscuit tin was given as a gift. You should never throw food out. It doesn’t feel right. It makes you ungrateful. It makes you wasteful.

These beliefs have been ingrained in us.

Do these beliefs serve us in the 21st century? Are they helping or hindering us?


Decluttering at the beginning of the year is not only a great idea but also very symbolic. Because it sets an intent that this year is going to be different. This year you are serious about making changes last a lifetime.

What can you declutter this year?

Clutter isn’t about mess. It’s about creating the new you.

Get rid of expired sauces and tins. Have a look at what you like and don’t like.

And move them on. You don’t need to throw them in the bin if they’re within date. Give them to food banks, to neighbours. But get them out of your life. Make space for stuff that the new healthy you would want. What foods would nourish your body? You are creating a space for them.


Practise doing this guilt free. It might feel uncomfortable, but go with it, the more you are able to declutter the better. But always do it from the perspective of the future you.


The key here is just do something. However small it’s a step in the right direction. Start with the kitchen. But if decluttering your whole kitchen might be too much – maybe start with the biscuit cupboard, the top shelf of the fridge or somewhere that would make a big difference.


And there are health benefits that go beyond the obvious benefit of not eating sugar. Clutter bombards the brain with mental stimuli. Associations have been shown between clutter and depression, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Decluttering is linked with more energy, increased productivity and better sleep


We should never rely on willpower when it comes to resisting sweet treats. Never. It will fail you. Leaving food you know you shouldn’t eat around is a form of self-sabotage.


Make your life easy. Keep your home a sanctuary, a place that’s safe from temptations.


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