7 steps to help you start 2015 right

January can suck there, we said it. Yes, we know we're meant to be super enthusiastic about the fact it's a new year and we're starting afresh, but with the festive hangover still fresh in our memories and dreams of summer holidays still a long way off, January can feel pretty miserable.

Obviously the one thing that's meant to get us grinning from ear-to-ear is investing in an ill-advised gym membership to get us in shape for the beach come July, but to be honest, that just feels like a really bad plan.

Sorry about that incredibly glum introduction, must be the grey skies bringing us down. Thankfully it's not all misery and greyness, a sunny day in January will put a spring in your step and starting the year afresh does fill us with hope. So, in an attempt to cheer you up, we've come up with this list of alternative things to do to put a smile on your face this January.

What makes you smile during winter? Tweet @DiamondForGirls or post on our Facebook page to let us know.

1. Girls' night in

girls' night in

In at number one it's the good ol' fashioned girls' night in. We've said it before and we'll say it again, it really is tough to have a better time with your mates than you do at a sleepover. When we were kids, sleepovers were a weekly occurrence, but the older we get the harder it becomes to find a date that works for everybody. Well, make time ladies, get your PJs on, order a takeaway and catch-up on the festive goss with your besties. Check out our guide to the perfect night in.

2. Date nights

Date night

You probably indulged in Christmas parties aplenty throughout December nights out with your work colleagues, get togethers with the girls, family meals, the list goes on-and-on but did you get to make time for the love in your life? If you're anything like us, it was probably blink and you'll have missed them types of moments. Make up for lost time in January, whether it's a romantic night in or dinner for two, do something that's just for you two.

3. Cook

cooking

Chances are you'll have been spoiled rotten with lots of lovely food over the past few weeks and, as a result, you've probably forgotten how the oven works. Lovely as it is to be cooked for and waited on, there really is something quite therapeutic about cooking a meal from scratch. Dig out the recipe books and head back into the kitchen, we guarantee eating something you've worked hard to create will feel very satisfying.

4. Get outside

Winter walk

There's a lot to be said for a bracing winter walk. We know it's cold out, but after weeks of hibernating on the sofa in front of Christmas films, it's time to hang up the onesie and get outside. Fresh air will help blow away that stuffy nose and get a bit of colour in your cheeks. If you need more of an incentive than rosy cheeks, then plot out a route through a park with a little coffee hut so you can stop off for a hot drink on your journey.

5. Look back

Thinking back over 2014

January is a great time to look back over the year just gone and pick out your highs and lows. Was there something bothering you in 2014? Something or someone you just don't need in your life anymore? When you think about the things that got you down last year, is there a recurring theme? If so, then maybe it's time to think about what you can do to change things. Don't just look at the lows though, pick out some of the things that put a smile on your face too. Write down your 2014 highlights and think about what you can do to replicate them or even top them.

6. Make a plan

Plan the year ahead

So, if you looked back and thought, 'yes, there are definitely a few things I need to change', then get a plan in place. If your job is the thing that's getting you down write down the reasons why. If it's because you really want to be doing something else then start looking for something new or research the skills you'll need to do your dream job. If it's because you feel undervalued in your current job, talk to your boss about it in a professional way (basically, don't start ranting about being underpaid) write down your concerns and discuss them with him or her.

7. Do something new

Bungee jumping

No, we don't mean join the gym like all the miserable folks who've over indulged in the chocolate this Christmas. We mean do something you've always wanted to do. Even something as simple as watching a film you've always wanted to see or going for lunch in a restaurant you've always wanted to go to is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Shake off that grey, miserable feeling and do something which puts a cheery spring in your step.

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