New year, new you?

A new year is upon us.

The gyms are getting busier, the Christmas decorations are going down and Michael Buble’s Christmas album disappears for another 11 months. Social media is littered with posts about weight loss, January sales and people who have already failed their resolutions.

Isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year?

However, amongst the clutter of messages telling me I need to change, one post shone a light in the darkness.

“Know that you are already good enough this year”.

How profound.

In previous years, my resolutions have consisted along similar lines: lose weight, get a boyfriend. Both of these resolutions are just a way of saying I’m not whole as I currently am (or too whole in the first case).

I should say, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to better yourself, with challenging yourself to be a stronger, kinder, wiser person, but it shouldn’t be done to the detriment of your self-value.

So today, rather than encouraging you in all the ways you can make yourself more attractive, appealing or employable, here’s a few ideas for doing this January differently and living your best single life doing you:

1) Embrace your singleness. How many times are we told as single people to “stop looking” and that’s when someone will appear? Well this year, I’m not trying to “stop looking” but I’m trying to embrace this time I have on my own. I’m starting to speak up for singleness, go places and do things I was waiting to do with a partner, and start to see myself as a whole person.

2) Don’t go on a fad diet. For me, this is a really challenging one! I’m surrounded by adverts about dieting and exercising and I feel the need to join the band wagon. Yes, I probably ate a few too many mince pies and chocolates over Christmas (our cupboard is chock full of shortbread too) but there’s no need to overcompensate. Fad diets generally make us unhappy because we have to cut out the foods we enjoy. Instead, I’m just adding extra fruit and veg, buying no more junk food until I’ve eaten the left overs and taking a few longer walks with my dog.

3) Give yourself a manageable goal. The great thing about resolutions is that it makes us think about what we want, our hopes and dreams. This January I encourage you to think about what you want for yourself and then make a manageable goal. You want to be in a relationship? Aim for one date. You want a different job? Fill out one application a week. You want to travel the world? Choose one UK destination you’ve not yet explored. Small steps.

When I turned 22, I made a long bucket list for my 23rd year. It included dancing on tables, finding love, travelling to Scotland… So far, I’m 25 and I’ve been to Aberdeen.

But what would your bucket list be for your single life?

Are there adventures you’re putting off until you have someone to spend them with?

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