Well, 2020 has been a MOOD, hasn’t it?! One minute we cheered in the New Year with the promises it can bring, and it’s already close to Christmas and 2021 is creeping up without a care in the world. Social media is already packed full of New Year resolutions and slimming club advertisements, and we could all see it coming. It doesn’t matter what corner of the world you live in, social media is going to ram health down your throat, and not all of the advice has your best interests in mind. The juice cleanses that don’t cleanse, the “detoxes” that are really just cucumber water and are fake (hello, liver and kidneys!), and all of the weight loss trackers are popping up. “New Year, New You” they shout from the rooftops – and everyone jumps in with both feet.
The thing is, the reality is that almost everyone has – in some way or another – had a really tough year. Whether they’ve lost jobs, loved ones, homes or their health has failed, it’s been a hard year. We’ve ALL packed on some lockdown pounds somewhere, but does that mean that jumping into the latest fad diet is a good idea? Absolutely not. The way that you have lived this year has been nothing less than survival. If you’ve had three kids in the house with you and you’ve had to stay at home and homeschool, a few extra pounds of chocolate on your body is better than drowning your stress in wine. You don’t have to change your body if you don’t want to just because of a change in the calendar. In fact, if you want to occupy the same space and not change a thing, you should do it unapologetically. Girl, you do not have to make excuses for the space you take in this world and we’re all just out here doing our best.
The New Year slogan this time should be: New Year, Same You. You are still just as much a beautiful person as you were when you entered this year. The difference? You might have new goals for the year – and there is nothing wrong with a goal. If you want to go back to school and study, do it for YOU and not someone else’s expectations of you. If you want to use a BMR calculator and figure out your healthy weight, do it for YOU and not because of the pressure of a New Year. The only thing that should change about you is the reason behind your goals. Instead of losing weight to please the ridiculous beauty standards, get rid of the lockdown weight gain because you feel comfortable in your skin when you do. Everything that you do this year should be about making yourself happy and healthy, and it’s for this reason we’ve put together some of the goals we think will suit 2021.
Stress can have a huge impact on our happiness, and it’s likely that you have felt more stress this year than most others. No one is experienced in how to handle a pandemic, and stressing even further about whether we’ve gained a few pounds just adds to poor mental health. Instead, you need to use the New Year to find some peace with all of it. If your body is stressing you out, be gentle with yourself. You are allowed to feel sad; your feelings are valid, but find a way to honor your body. Practice Yoga or other gentle activities that bring you peace. Lose yourself in the peace of swimming lengths and feel strong because of it. Focus on eating food that makes you feel wonderful – even if that includes ice cream. You need to let go of any expectations from Instagram and learn what to expect from yourself. If you know that you feel good in your clothes, then there’s no need to change your whole self because the world told you to.
Goal 1: Boost Your Confidence
Confidence is something that is so difficult for women. You can pick up any magazine, and the front page of it will tell you celebrity weight loss secrets, celebrity body woes, why you should lose 10 pounds with a juice diet, an article on how to love yourself more and then a recipe to make a nice cake. It’s all mixed messages designed to make you feel less confident, to compare your body to other people, and when you’re done with those things, here – have a cake and binge eat. It’s time you took 2021 to a new level and boost your confidence simply by accepting yourself for who you are. If you want to feel good on the inside, you have to let go of the weight of other people’s opinions and listen to your own opinion of yourself. This is the hardest thing: to know what you think about yourself. Once you do this, you can stop basing your actions on anything other people think of you.
Goal 2: Feel Comfortable
The body you have right now – how do you feel in it? Putting aside the societal expectations of beauty, do you wax your legs because others expect you to? Or do you do it because you enjoy the feeling? Do you want to lose some weight because your body feels heavy, or is it because others expect you to look a certain way? It’s very difficult to unravel these things, so you need to do some serious self-reflection. If you know that your goal for this year is going to be to feel more comfortable, work out what that means for you. Some people realize that certain foods make them feel sluggish, so they work on swapping those foods to feel less sluggish and happier on the inside. Whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable, do that!
Goal 3: Learn Something New
If you are a person who craves knowledge and wants to learn more, then this is the year to do it. Many courses are being run online right now, which means that you can get onto one that has interested you for ages and do it in your own time. I suppose one of the biggest benefits about 2020 has been that most of the world has moved to a remote way of working. We can work from home online, so why not study that way? You can still be the interested, kind and ambitious you – and you can do it in your own time without losing any income, which makes a big difference. Use the year to learn something new, even if that something new is about yourself.
Goal 4: Work Out Your Stress
2020 has been absolutely filled with stress and worry, so use the next year to let it out and figure out what your stress trigger is. Some people are triggered by scary news articles, others are stressed by their job. You do not have to continue to do anything that contributes to your stress. If your job is pushing you to your limit and you’re not sleeping, find a job that allows you some rest. If you feel like you can’t cope with your current debts, get on top of them and be brave enough to contact your creditors. The idea here is to figure out the stressors in your life and eliminate them all. It’s the year to focus on feeling good.
Goal 5: Saving Some Cash
This is something that most people want to do but with the way the world is, it’s a smart idea to work on saving some money. If you had planned to go away this year and couldn’t, put money away in a pot for the trips you can finally take. Work on a strategy to save some money and start putting it into place as early as possible in the year. The more you save, the more things you’ll be able to do when the world finally does open up a little more. The money you save will make you feel wonderful, and you can do so much more in 2021 when you have the cash aside to manage!
Goal 6: Keep Being Excellent
This is a New Year, and while you don’t need to find a “New You” to go with it, you need to keep being as excellent as possible. You are a good person, and you can continue to work on that goodness. The more good you put out into the world, the better year you will have. It’s time to think about how you can do more great things and just keep being the awesome person you are. You are the best version of who you are right now, and it’s time to remember that you can embrace excellence just the way you are.
New Year, New You? Nah. New Year, same you, better goals and dreams to put out into the world. Go out and grab onto that New Year – you deserve it.
How are you going to bring in the New Year? Let me know in the comments below!
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