In less than a fortnight, we’ll be saying farewell to the year that wasn’t. And with New Years Eve (and a whole new year) just round the corner, it’s tempting to make grand resolutions. “New year, new me,” or however the cliché goes.
Last year, Finder found that 79% of Australians committed to New Year’s resolutions. More than half wanted to lose weight or ramp up their fitness. 46% vowed to improve their diet.
It’s tempting to make the same resolutions this year. Two-fifths of us have reported gaining weight during 2020 – I’m one of them. 60% of people have reported a negative shift in their overall satisfaction with life. We’re snacking more, and eating more junk food.
The thing is… resolutions fail. Well, the large majority of them do. According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution meet their goal. Fitness platform Strava found that January 19 is the day most people quit their New Year’s resolutions – 18 days longer than my best effort.
That’s why, this New Years Eve, the only resolution you should be making is to be kinder to your body. And this is one that you should carry throughout all of 2021. We’re talking about the body that got you through — and is still getting you through — a global pandemic. The one that has helped you adjust to a life working from home, that has lived through lockdowns.
On Tiktok, there’s a trend of people celebrating their “pandemic body“, showing a picture of themselves in January and then again in December. As one user said, “Choosing to appreciate the body that supported me during a global pandemic”. Judging from the millions of likes and thousands of comments, these users aren’t alone.
You may not want to show off your body to strangers on TikTok — but there are other ways to celebrate your body, and show it some much-needed kindness.
Make small, daily goals towards showing your body kindness. It can be telling yourself body positive affirmations every morning in the mirror, or printing out quotes and scattering them around the house as a little reminder.
It can be celebrating what it’s capable of — running a length you hadn’t before, lifting a new weight. It can be relishing in tightness in your abs from when you’re laughing too hard at a friend’s joke.
See food as a source of nourishment…and deliciousness. We’ve been trained for years that food is the enemy, but it’s literally what keeps us alive. Try out new recipes, master a difficult meal, and then eat it after.
Get to know your body. Whether it’s through physical touch — showering, moisturising, masturbation — or from standing in front of a mirror stark naked, looking and admiring it at all angles.
Wear clothes because you want to, not because someone else has prescribed them as “flattering”. Curate a wardrobe full of beautiful colours, patterns and textures.
It’s hard to predict what we’ll be doing for New Year’s Eve, let alone predict what 2021 may bring. But this simple resolution — to be kinder to your body — is one thing to commit to.