ARE you approaching the second torturous week of trying to change all the things you’ve listed as unacceptable since the calendar shifted from 2019 to 2020?

Statistically by today we’ve given up and will now spend the rest of the month or year feeling like complete failures. I’m all about goal setting and growth, but I can’t wrap my head around the idea that just because it’s the start of a new year we need to torture ourselves with unachievable resolutions. I promise that the you of 2019 doesn’t need changed as much as you think you do.

No-one can avoid the bombardment of messaging from every capitalist out there telling us that we need their magic formula to shed the pounds, burn the fat, discover the motivation or change the habits that we’ve nurtured and succumbed to for years.

Do we really want to change these things about ourselves, or have we just been told it so many times by so many different adverts, posters and organisations that we think we do?

So far this year the subway has tried to convince me that 2020 is the year to drink probiotics every morning; the bus has tried to fat shame me into joining a slimming group; television has tried dupe me into thinking that an entire wardrobe of fast-fashion is necessary for the new year; and social media would have me believe that I can rid myself of the January blues by renovating my entire house.

Whilst self-improvement is certainly critical, our habitual annual resolutions are often far from kind and balanced. We fail to appreciate how good we already are, what we’ve already achieved and how far we have come in the years prior to that which we are resolutely challenging ourselves in.

Rather than reflecting on the achievements of the year just passed and mindfully plotting the next few months; we often make comparisons between ourselves and those we only know of through the tiny, filtered social media windows offering a glimpse into their lives. We must stop comparing our lives or our own selves against people, homes, activities that we know far too little about for it to ever be safe or kind.

The bum or waist of the latest socialite to be plastered all over our screens was not achieved simply by the means in which we are being told it was. And if by some miracle you manage to achieve something close to it, you will most likely also come to the realisation that it does not bring you the happiness that you thought it would.

Only someone who enjoyed a life (or eight days as statistics suggest!) of misery would choose to do this in the most miserable month of the year; when it’s getting dark at 3pm, it’s cold and wet and whilst in Glasgow this certainly isn’t limited to just January, it doesn’t help anyone’s motivation.

We’re exhausted from the chaos of the holidays, skint from the extravagance of them and most likely in need of hibernation rather than 6am jogs round the park and new hobbies.

So this year I plan on looking at January as my free trial month for the year ahead and I think you should too.

Give yourself the space to recover and reflect on the year just passed and cut yourself some slack from the pressure to transform.

January is the month to cocoon and February, or maybe even March, is a far more realistic month to butterfly into.

By all means enjoy the symbolism of a clean slate and manifest the things you want but make sure that you are doing it with kindness at it’s core.

Do not let diet culture entrap you, do not neglect your mind and let it make unhealthly comparisons to others; remind yourself daily that there is absolutely no resolution or goal that will make you more valuable than you already are.