Beyond resolutions: Does change actually start with a new year?

As I rolled out my blue Manduka mat for the first time in over 6 weeks, I noticed how much had changed since before the holidays. A couple extra pounds, a new car, a stunning diamond ring on *that* finger… And of course, a stiffer body that didn’t feel like my own.

Between hosting guests at home, going out almost every day, and saying yes to too many social gatherings, I realised it had been a while since I had had time to myself. I decided it was time to get moving again (plus I was home alone with nothing to do) so I switched The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for Yoga With Adriene.

The practice was far from relaxing. My mind was racing, my back was hurting, and sitting with my legs crossed suddenly wasn’t as comfy as it used to be. But I showed up. Frustration and all.

I stopped believing in that ‘new year, new me’ BS a long time ago, because a new calendar doesn’t magically change your life. However, after seeing my Instagram feed plastered with vision boards, resolutions, intentions, and detox smoothies, I started to doubt myself. Am I setting myself up for failure? Was it a bad idea to do nothing on the first three days of the year? Should I be making chickpea salad or starting a journal?

Then I went back to just a few minutes ago when Adriene asked her millions of subscribers to set an intention for the practice. As soon as I closed my eyes, the words came to me quicker than ever before: Be kind to myself. Honour myself. Love myself.

I don’t know about you, but comparing myself to strangers on social media and blaming myself for taking it easy after a busy holiday season isn’t what I would call ‘self care’. So instead, my next steps are to ease back into my routine, set new intentions as I go, and forget about the fact that it’s a new year – because again, that doesn’t change anything.

Change starts with you, not with the calendar. A slow, lonely, or sad start to the year doesn’t mean you’ve ruined 2024, it means you’re human and you’re living the whole experience. 

May this serve as a reminder to get back on track from a place of self love instead of external pressure – and to following more inspirational accounts this year instead of stuck-up strangers that decorate reality.

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