New Year’s resolutions

Hello, January.

Your arrival must mean it’s time to put a stop to all the festive fun we’ve had! Despite feeling freezing, skint and, (in my case) usually full of cold, we’ll now attempt to make ourselves feel even <more > miserable by giving up the stuff we love best.

Why oh why do we do this to ourselves every year and then beat ourselves up when we predictably fail by week two?

Over the past few Januaries I’ve attempted to give up the following:

  • Chocolate (lasted all of a day)
  • Messing with my phone (lasted all of an hour)
  • My credit card (see chocolate)
  • Shouting at the kids (see phone)

Then, just to make sure I feel thoroughly miserable, I’ve given myself a list of stuff I <should> be doing: French lessons, piano lessons, pilates, and ten-a-day vegetable-eating. (All of which lasted about as long as the chocolate abstinence).

In a 2015 survey, 63% of respondents who had tried to stick to New Year’s resolutions had given up within a month. But how does it make us feel when we label ourselves as ‘failures’ before the year has even got started? I know from experience that it does my self-esteem no good at all.

Fortunately, the tide seems to be turning and refreshingly, it’s mums who are starting the backlash. ✊ ? On social media, mums like Sammi-jo have had enough, saying in a recent post (accompanied by a real-life pic of her with no make-up and sporting a cold sore). “I’m not going on any New Year mission to fail and I ask you to do the same. Don’t ever apologise for being you.”

Journalist and blogger, Alison Perry from Not Another Mummy Blog, says in her reflection of the past year, “In 2017, thanks to conversations I had with other women on social media, I actually started to reshape the way I think about my body – rather than trying to reshape my body.”

And if you still want to get out and make some changes, make them about celebrating how amazing you already are, rather than what you feel you should be.

  • Instead of thinking about losing weight, think about how amazing your body is right now. If you want to get fitter, check out the #redjanuary campaign, launched to get us running every day of Jan to keep the blues at bay. As Instagrammer and journalist, Vickie from @inpolife says, “I’m running every day for ME. Rather than being on the New Year New Me treadmill of doom and punishing myself for not losing weight quickly enough.” Well said!
  • Instead of resolutions, try and think more about reflections. Write down what worked, what didn’t work and what made you feel great. It’s a much kinder way to speak to yourself rather than waking up at the beginning of January with a list full of ‘shall and shall-nots.’
  • And if you still want to make ‘resolutions’ how about calling them ‘intentions’ instead? Much less bossy and, if they don’t make you feel happier and make life significantly easier and more joyous, forget ’em!

If you agree with us here, and you haven’t already, you’ll want to check out the hashtag #Solidaritea on social media. We’re all in this together – and we can make a difference to the things that don’t serve us.

Jennifer Gledhill is co-owner of Love Boo, a natural skincare brand for mum’s and babies.