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Winter, Darkness and New Year’s Resolutions

by Dr. Jason Barker January 02, 2018

Winter, Darkness and New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Here’s to the start of another year, and to all the promise it brings.

And while this time of year is typically one that we’ve been ‘programmed’ to start over and begin anew, I’m going to tell you not to do that, at least right now. Here’s why.

January is cold and dark, and the days are short. Does that make you feel motivated to do anything? I know I sure as heck don’t want to get up and go for an early morning run in that!

Let’s face it, getting outside and exercising is way easier in the summer months. Even if you’re a fan of the winter, (and there is much to be said about the beauty of a cold, snowy winter landscape) there just seems to be an extra layer (pun intended) of effort one needs to get out there and get it done.

And even if we forget about the weather, the psychological hurdles seem a lot bigger too. The primordial cravings for carbs and sweets is in full gear, making it tough to execute lasting dietary changes.  If you’re like many people, perhaps you’ve taken certain liberties with your diet over the last few weeks.  

And if you’ve done that, it may be safe to say your workouts have suffered a bit too. All of which makes getting back on track with diet and fitness all the tougher.

Additionally, being on the tail end of the holiday season can be really rough. There’s such a rapid build up to all the fun, excitement and joy, and then it suddenly stops. It’s hard to not feel that and it can be an additional mental wall we need to break through.  We're even approaching Blue Monday, or what's half-jokingly been called the " most depressing day of the year".   Mood Support Formula or 5-HTP can be really helpful for those of us suffering from lack of sunlight (and motivation!) this time of year. 

But don’t get me wrong. I’m all for setting goals. I just think right now is the wrong time of year! It’s been said the average time a person sticks with their New Year’s resolutions is only about 3-4 weeks. I do think the reason many are unsuccessful is due in large part to the reasons I mention.

Instead, consider setting your goals in the springtime. Think about it – it’s a time for rebirth of all living things. The days are longer, the temperature is warmer and life seems to be moving and expressing again. As living beings, humans are just as ‘in sync’ with the seasons as the rest of mother nature, whether we’re aware of it or not.

Why not use the energy from this time of year to help propel you forward on your new goals and regimens? If you’re a person who’s struggled with sticking to New Year’s resolutions, try setting your goals in the springtime. I’ll bet you’ll notice a difference in how successful you are!

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker


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