wellness

"2021 is two days away. And January is my least favourite month of the year."

2021 is two days away. Let that sink it for a sec. In two days we will finally be able to close the door on the train wreck of a year that has been 2020 and dive head first, “New Year, New Me” into 2021. 

It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? That the start of a new year brings with it endless opportunities for self-improvement, a clean slate and more motivation than ever to get that promotion or lose a few kilos.

The concept of ‘New Year, New Me’ implies that there’s something wrong with you, like you haven’t just spent the last twelve months surviving a pandemic and what was arguably the most difficult year in many of our lives. You, my friend, deserve a medal, not a do-over.

Watch: Need some laughs? We all do. Here's the year that was 2020 - all summed up in a Zoom video call. Post continued below.


Video via Mamamia

The pressure to magically transform into a new, more accomplished person at the stroke of midnight on the 31st of December is anxiety-inducing and often lasts all of January.

I, for one, am done with that type of negative energy in my life.

If 'New Year, New Me' were a friend, I'd ghost them. You’re worth more.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Good for you. I’m a goal-oriented person and I too need goals to strive towards. Personal growth and learning are fantastic, but it's important to recognise that some resolutions are just adding to the pressure you're already feeling and are really just setting you up to fail. 

That churning feeling you feel around NYE is a mix of shame from not accomplishing this year's resolutions and anxiety from strewing over, trying to set meaningful targets for next year. Spoiler: You’re human. You don’t need to set KPI's for yourself.

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In the long run, it’s not you who benefits from the 'New Year, New Me', hype in January, it’s big business. It’s consumerism. 

Matt Haig said it better than I ever could: "Consumerism wants you to feel guilty. That’s how it makes money. A new year won't mean a new you. You are not an iPhone. You don’t need replacing every year.”  

And he’s right. You don’t need an upgrade, a holiday definitely, but you as a person, right now, are perfect. You don’t need to hit reset, you just need to keep living.

Diet culture.

How many times have you stood in front of the mirror on new year's day and promised yourself that this is going to be the year you shift that 10kg? 

So you ate your weight in cheese and wine in iso. Me too. Does that make you any less of an amazing human? No. Do you need to spend the next twelve months torturing yourself to return to your 'pre-iso body'? No. Let’s be real, your drive would only last until January 30, anyway - and it doesn’t matter because you're amazing as you are. 

Listen: Wanna take a scroll down memory lane and remember the year that was? What a time. Here's everything that happened in 2020. Post continues below.

Society doesn’t make it easy to remember that your body is fine just the way it is, especially in January when I basically avoid all free-to-air TV, so I can skip the weight loss and aggressive gym membership ads. 

I'm already amazing, I don’t need your four-week shred.

While we are on the topic, can we please stop blowing our money on gym memberships that we are never going to use? 

You know you won’t use it. You sign up to a new gym every year and go for a week or two and then pretend not to see the membership fees disappearing every month for the rest of your contract. 

Just stop. Go buy yourself that Mimco handbag you want, instead. 

Work-life balance.

If I hear one more person promise themselves that this year is going to be 'their year' I might spontaneously combust.

You are already someone, and your worth is not tied to career progression or job title. 2020 has taught us a lot, including things don't always go to plan. So, yes - work hard, strive to achieve great things, but recognise that you are more than a name on a desk, and you should enjoy the life you're working so hard to succeed in. 

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No one ever gets to the end of their lives and are happy they worked hundred hour weeks and skipped all the fun stuff. Embrace the fun stuff!

As a person who runs on 110 percent all the time, this is a hard one for me - so, I made a goal for 2020 to go to more festivals and live events. Up until March that was going really well (thanks, Rona) and this goal will come forward with me into 2021, because I’m making memories and having a blast.

"This year I’m going to watch less TV, be less stressed and change the world." One of my friends said this to me on NYE last year. How did she go? She called me mid-lockdown 2.0 (we're in Melbourne) and was an anxious mess because she’d watched all of Netflix and didn’t have the mental energy to recycle let alone change the world. 

The take-home message? 

Have realistic expectations, set achievable goals and never, EVER, break up with your TV - because you never know when you're going to need it. For example, if you’re ever locked in your apartment alone for seven months needing the predictability that is re-watching Gossip Girl the 12th time to soothe your anxiety.  

No matter who you are, you are a completely different person than the person who entered 2020. 

Your cells have changed, your life has changed, and the world has changed. You survived. 

In a year where so many didn’t, now is the time to be grateful and to enjoy your life rather than succumbing to someone else's idea of what success looks like.

What if you’re leaving 2020 as a better version of yourself? What if the whole 'New Year, New Me' trope is just toxic propaganda? What if we just loved January for what it is: some much needed downtime, blazing hot days and more opportunities to day drink in the sun? 

It's time to throw away the 'New Year, New Me' concept, and all the pressure that goes with it, in the recycling bin on new year's day with last night's empty Prosecco bottles.

Goodbye 2020. Hello 2021.

For more from Lacey-Jade, check out her Instagram

Feature image: @laceyjadechristie

What do you struggle with most coming into a new year? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.