New Year, SAME Me

Why I’m refusing to let my 2020 get bogged down with resolutions

It’s that time of the year again! Misty mornings, lazy days, that beautiful waiting game between Christmas and New Year where all we eat is leftovers and junk food. But it’s OK: we’re not bound by our resolutions, yet.

How many New Year’s resolutions have you made?

It’s a game we’re taught from a young age: pick something to give up in the New Year. We play it again in the run up to Easter, but at least that time it’s Biblical – at least it has some sort of justification or founding. New Year’s resolutions are a capitalist craze encouraging us to pick ourselves apart and to buy new things (like gym memberships, haircuts or smoothie makers) in order to do so.

  • I’m going to lose weight (by subscribing to a weight loss company)
  • I’m going to get clearer skin (by buying expensive skincare products)
  • I’m going to get fit (by buying a gym membership)
  • I’m going to reinvent my style (by buying new clothes)
  • I’m going to stop biting my nails (…this one is OK I guess)

2020 is an exciting one, because it’s the start of a whole new decade, not just a new year. It promises not just the turn of a page, not even a new chapter, but a whole new book. We’ve closed the cover on what has been, frankly, a chaotic decade: the rise of social media, influencers, YouTube, fast fashion; the fall of the environment, ethics, sociability, literature.

The times really have changed since 2010 and there’s a lot of things I’d like to leave behind. The promise of a new decade gives me leave to do that. However, I refuse to make these New Year’s resolutions about me anymore – and when I say ‘me,’ I mean my body, my face, my physicality, my isolated existence.

It’s taken me a while to get comfortable in this body that I call home. I hated it for so long, recoiled from it in the mirror, and compared it to other peoples, so much so that I began to lose a sense of self. I would forget what I looked like out of sheer determination to disappear.

My New Year’s resolution is to maintain the recent relationship I have created with myself and my body. I am incredible, and I really don’t need to change anything about myself at all. In fact, I would hate to change who I am on such a whim as it being the New Year – it’s just another day!

Here’s something I wrote earlier this year:

Summers have always been periods of regeneration for me: It’s when I start having skin routines again, find a new style, and write endless lists of goals in journals. That is an example of modern self-care ‒ the self-care I’ve always bought into. But it’s damaging to perpetuate the idea that finding new ways to change yourself is equivalent to loving yourself. This summer, I realised that I’d run out of boxes I wanted to squeeze myself in. How could I be caring for or loving myself if the whole act of ‘self-care’ involved changing who I had just been for a year? Instead, my self-care has finally morphed into something more constructive: listening to what my mind is telling me, and finding healthier ways to care for myself that didn’t somehow involve simultaneously tearing myself down. I wanted to focus on true ‘self-care’ and building a sense of self-worth to go with it. 

When self-care becomes self-sabotage

If there are things I truly want to change, I do it there and then. Life is too short to make excuses to wait until the New Year, or new month, or even vowing to start a diet on a Monday. We don’t need these time spans or waiting games for the things that we really want and need. If you really need to do something, just do it.

I understand how great the New Year can be for motivation. But I want to stop being so controlled by things as arbitrary as time. I am myself, and I love myself, and if I start engaging in unhealthy behaviours, I’ll change them whenever the hell I feel like it.

You are enough, all year round.

Published by Liv

My name’s Liv, I’m 20 years old, and I’m currently studying English at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. I'm a journalist alongside this blog. Visit my home page or for more.

6 thoughts on “New Year, SAME Me

  1. I look forward to following you on your new blog, Liv, and I’m delighted that you have obtained a place at Cambridge. I do intend to publish a collection of my humorus verses this year which could, I guess be construed as a new year’s resolution. However, as I made this decision prior to Big Ben striking for 2020, I suspect that its not, in fact a new year’s resolution at all. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the good wishes with my collection, Liv.

        If you would like a free copy of my “Selected Poems”, which I published in August 2019, please drop me an email and I’ll be delighted to send you one. I’m not expecting a book review, so I’m just happy to send you the book for your enjoyment.


        Liked by 1 person

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