#happyYOUyear: ‘I’m challenging myself to self-love instead of New Year’s resolutions this year’

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  • Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot goes from 64 New Year's resolutions in 2019 to zero in 2020...

    I have always loved New Year’s resolutions, taking great delight every January 1st in committing to a long to-do list for the year ahead.

    Over the years however, my proposed resolutions have got bigger and my self-discipline has become more stern, resulting now in a hell of a lot of stress.

    Last January, I set myself 64 New Year’s resolutions – something that undoubtedly contributed to my 27th year being my worst so far.

    From getting to my dream (and unobtainable) weight to pushing for a huge promotion and starting a side-hustle business, my aims were no easy feat – they were mega goals – and I wouldn’t rest until they were achieved.

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    2019 was hard from month one, and from medical emergencies and relationships ending to a five-month infestation, a close shave with sepsis and an eviction to top it all off, it was relentless.

    What could I have done with this past year more than anything? Self-love.

    I should have allowed myself to stop occasionally, let myself sleep in on the weekends and treated myself to a big slice of chocolate cake after a hard day. But instead, with 64 resolutions to tick off and a freakishly strict self-discipline, I cracked the whip.

    While caring for my mum post emergency brain surgery, I was churning out articles to (in my head) secure my future in journalism. While fighting off a blood infection, I was reluctant to eat extra calories to boost my immune system, hoping to tick ‘hit dream weight’ off my list, even if I just saw it on the scales for a second.

    I had completely missed the point and unsurprisingly burnt myself out entirely.

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    We make New Year’s resolutions to ‘better’ ourselves, but I had become so obsessed with my aims and a need to tick them off that I actually became my worst self.

    I ticked off 45 of my 64 New Year’s resolutions in 2019 – and from ‘become an editor’ to ‘explore seven new countries’, they were all real achievements. The fact that I still have 19 outstanding however makes this year’s efforts feel like a failure. What is the point?

    This year, I’m making zero New Year’s resolutions and focusing instead on being happy. Out with self-improvement and in with self-love.

    To kick off 2020, Marie Claire is launching #HappyYOUYear, a campaign to start the year right. Every day this week we will be publishing opinion pieces, round-ups and inspirational features about self-love and acceptance.

    The event of a New Year focuses too much on changing yourself. We say, focus on you, and love yourself without the pressure to make big changes within a 365 day time limit.

    You’re enough as you are – and that’s what I will be celebrating this year.

    Happy YOU Year!

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