Get yourself fit for a year of challenges ahead

It's hard to stay focused on internal goals, when the external world intrudes so awkwardly

Share
Related Topics

Ten days into the new year, and how's it going for you? Still not touched a drop of alcohol? Sticking to the 5:2 diet? Or have you gone all macrobiotic in the hope that you'll end up looking like Gwyneth Paltrow?

How are you finding those early-morning sessions in the gym? Detox? Green tea and psyllium husks? Or did the passing of the old year encourage you to re-assess your personal life? Have you sought to rekindle the fire in your relationships, just like Dave and Nick? The new you does take quite a commitment to maintain, particularly when the backdrop provided by what might be called real life is, depressingly, rather familiar. It's as if the world doesn't know we're now on a new page. Can you believe that it is only 16 days ago that we were looking forward to Christmas? That feeling of levity, jollity and frivolity is now but a distant memory, and in its place is something much less attractive: austerity, austerity and austerity.

While we were munching away on our eating and drinking sabbatical, even the dread fiscal cliff assumed almost mythological proportions, as if it were part of the landscape in The Hobbit, and although we may have been able to avoid the latest from the economic frontline over Christmas, we will find it less easy to sidestep its consequences as 2013 progresses.

Those who have travelled to work by train this week have already pushed closer towards their own precipice with some hefty price hikes, and the appearance of the Prime Minister and his civil partner this week to renew their vows with their talk of "economic challenges", "difficult decisions", and a "Ronseal deal" was a gloomy reminder that not only have we got to creosote that fence, but that more personal, financial pain is on the way. (By the way, on the subject of Ronseal, I would like to know what it actually said on the tin marked Coalition, given that, even according to their own audit, they have missed dozens of election pledges.)

No wonder so many people give up their new year regime before January is even out: it's hard to stay positive, and focused on internal goals, when the background noise of the external world intrudes so awkwardly. I did my first yoga class the other day, and apart from discovering that I have a quite astonishing lack of flexibility, I found the whispered exhortations to clear my mind and centre my energy rather difficult to achieve. Try as I did, I found it impossible to stop wondering about interest rates, what's going to happen to the property market, even the Leveson Inquiry. (It's not settled yet, plenty more discussions about self-regulation, and Hugh Grant on Newsnight, to come, I'm afraid.)

These are difficult times, and many experts are predicting that 2013 is the year when the global economic situation really hits home, so to speak. All the more important, therefore, that we are fit and strong to meet the challenge. So my advice is this: don't worry about things you can't control, and stick to the mung beans!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - Covent Garden, central London - £45k - £55k

£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Isis in Iraq: Even if Iraqi troops take back Saddam’s city of Tikrit they will face bombs and booby traps

Patrick Cockburn
The Royal Mint Engraver Jody Clark with his new coinage portrait, alongside the four previous incarnations  

Queen's new coin portrait: Second-rate sculpture makes her look characterless

Michael Glover
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003