Mad goals: Media execs share their January detox progress

It’s that time again! After a solid month of festive food chomping and booze guzzling, many in media land have returned focus to their quivering livers (and stomachs) for some much-needed detox plans, and perhaps a Spirulina or three. For January at least.

There are, of course, more than a few Jan detox holdouts who responded with horror when asked for their fasting or abstinence plans in what’s already the longest (and for many bleakest) period of the month. “For me, life is about sustainable moderation. I have three dry days a week all year. January is too bleak to forgo one of the few salvations!” said Twitter’s Europe chief, Bruce Daisley.

But there are equally as many who have kicked off some brutal regimes. We’ve picked out some of the best:

Wil Harris, group digital director, Condé Nast
willharrisJanuary means getting back into my “Warrior Workout” fitness regime at Evolve Fitness. I’ve been training with these guys for the last few months, and they have helped get me into the best shape of my life. Well, at least until December turned my circuit training into the inevitable media circuit of Christmas parties with great drinks and lunches.

The Jan regime is pretty brutal but effective. Zero booze, zero carbs. Protein shakes for breakfast, multiple small meals every day of lean protein and green veg. Plenty of sleep, plenty of water.

Oh, and four 7 a.m. workout sessions each week with a trainer, for an hour, being beasted with tractor tyre flips, weight machines that look like they’ve come from the Spanish Inquisition, and a serious collection of free weights.

Having gone from 28 percent body fat to 19 percent body fat in the second half of 2016, I’m starting 2017 on 21 percent, and my goal is to get to 15 percent by the end of the year — assuming I can make it through January in one piece.

Stuart Flint, managing director, AOL UK
stuartflintAs I’m getting older, keeping fit, healthy and generally well seems much harder. I sit like an old bear on the edge of the bed in the morning groaning about my aching bones and muscles. Still, my dad told me as long as you can still put your socks on standing up, you should be OK!

Experience has taught me that January is a lot easier if you already have a pretty stable regime throughout the year. It does, however, feel like January is a brilliant excuse to set some clear (but realistic) goals for the year ahead. I personally set myself a mad goal every year, so that I have a clear ambition (50-mile run in 2015; boxing match 2016; 2017 is still unclear) and a drive to raise money for charity. My boxing coach keeps telling me that “summer bodies are made in the winter,” so I try and stick to some clear rules for January and extend them for another 11 months, which is easier if you have a mad goal!

It depends on your body and what works well for you. Here are my rules (for me) for Jan:

  • 7 hours sleep a night
  • Plenty of water during the day (add lemon when that gets tedious)
  • Dig out an hour a day to exercise (everyone can find an hour — anything else is just an excuse)
  • Cut out bread and significantly reduce sugar intake, including booze — for Jan anyway :)
  • Be sensible. Moderation is the key, and don’t deny yourself a treat/day off from eating well once a week

Jon Mew, (newly appointed) IAB U.K. CEO
jonmewMy aim this January is to do my own version of “Dry January” and give up alcohol. (A favorite of mine at the moment is Tarquin’s gin, and I’ve never been one to turn down a glass of red.)

Probably the most telling thing is how proud I was of getting through the first few days without giving up. Unlike most noble folk who embark on this mission, I won’t be doing it for charity. I couldn’t face the pressure in case I folded, so had planned to keep it under wraps … until this.

I’ve been for one run too, but I don’t think that really counts as much of an effort. I haven’t given up eating scotch eggs though — which I plan to enjoy with a bottle of non-alcoholic beer for the next few weeks. Roll on February!

Farewell, Ferrero Rocher

Katie Graham, managing partner, Deep Focus
Having been on five Ferrero Rochers a day for two weeks solid, I have decided to join my cat Snarf on a January diet. I mainly plan on killing myself spinning at Pscyclelondon at a casual £20 a class.

And, of course, I’m trying all the usual boring stuff like no sugar in my tea or coffee, no carbs unless they are brown carby things that I can’t spell like quinoa, bulgur wheat, couscous and lentils. (Just joking, I’d never actually eat lentils.)

Hattie Whiting, managing director, Kitcatt Nohr
As usual, December went by in a heady combination of stress, fun and excess. After a series of days of lunch, dinner and drinks out followed by a relaxing but indulgent family Christmas, I had a few days off in which to mull over what I’d like to do differently in 2017.

I feel strongly that New Year’s resolutions should be additive, not reductive, so I always set myself 12 goals for the next year which will encourage me to start new, healthier habits. Importantly, they also have to be SMART — very geeky, but you get what you measure! One of mine for this year is to make sure that I exercise on 130 days out of the 365, which I hope will get me out and running in the mornings. You never know.

Jerry Daykin has a Snow Bites addiction.

Jerry Daykin, global digital partner, Carat
Having overdosed on Cadbury Snow Bites over the last few weeks, I’m very happy to be detoxing on those. Though the arrival of Mini Eggs on the scene is an entirely unrelated matter and not covered by this at all. How long is it until Easter again?

Amir Malik, programmatic chief, Trinity Mirror
After an onslaught of takeaways and food over the festive break and a subsequent habit of “falling asleep everywhere,” I have kicked off my new-year regime with rigor. So far that consists of not allowing myself to book an Uber for the entire month of January, and cycling wherever I can. As for takeaways, they’re only allowed strictly after 6 p.m., so in reality that means weekend only. Got to start somewhere.

More in Marketing

How Snapchat, Meta, Pinterest and Google are eyeing up TikTok ad dollars

Timing is everything when it comes to these moves, and the underlying messages are certainly not lost on advertisers.

The header image features an illustration with a dollar bill that has the Snapchat logo in the center.

Snap eyes growth as TikTok faces uncertain future in the U.S. 

TikTok’s uncertain future in the U.S. could be a win for Snap, especially as the TikTok ban calls into question the billions of dollars currently driving the short-form video app’s ad business.