Around New Year’s Eve, Bake-Off extraordinaire Nadiya Hussain posted an inspiring IGTV captioned ‘New Year, Same Us!’. In the video, she said, “We can be who we are, and love who we are now. We don’t need to always aim to be somebody else.” This really got me thinking and has helped me start 2021 with no resolutions and no expectations.
The whole New Year, New Me mantra works for some people and we are all on a journey to be better people and improve our own confidence. However, this mantra can can be very toxic. We are all stuck in a constant cycle of wanting to change to become a new version of ourselves. Many people go into the New Year setting unrealistic goals. By trying to create these new versions of ourselves, we end up feeling disappointed if we don’t make the progress we think we should be making. We still feel too fat, or too skinny. We still worry all our curves are in the wrong places. We’re still told we’re too sensitive, or too bossy. Whatever we do, we will always find something to criticise about ourselves. The ‘too’ word or the ‘over’ words need to be ditched. You are not ‘too’ this or ‘over’ that, you’re just right as you are. The New Me cliché does nothing but undermine body positivity and self-love.
This isn’t to say it’s a bad thing to work on your own health, to reflect and adapt, or to set goals. But it’s also not a bad thing to take things a bit easier on yourself. I think most of us could benefit from adopting a New Year, Same Me motto. Same old boring us. Be proud of your wobbly bits, be proud to be in touch with your feelings… be proud to be you – just the way you are. In this lockdown especially, we shouldn’t punish ourselves if we have a day (or ten) where the world feels just a bit too much to do anything other than binge-watch Netflix.
The past year has taught us that we cannot predict anything. At the moment, it seems most of us are just living one day at a time. Therefore, we need to not punish ourselves if we haven’t made a certain amount of progress on that one essay, if we haven’t ticked off every single thing on our to-do list by 10am, or if we eat a whole packet of biscuits instead of cooking a 3-course meal. We all need to stop putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect the whole time. At the end of the day, we’re human and we’re perfectly imperfect.
Note: author must take own advice and stop looking at her extra tummy roll with disgust.
Image courtesy of Tim Mossholder.