My New Year Resolutions – and not a diet plan in sight

New Year Resolutions never sit well with me. Each year I used to religiously vow to make this “my best year ever” and then I’d do the same thing the following 31 January.

Life lessons from Facebook helped me realise it’s each day that counts, not the turn of the year. But still, the end of 2020 does seem like a momentous time and with an unknown future ahead of us, it feels right to reassess our lives and what we want.

Last year has shown us that there are no certainties – I never thought, picking up my cute V&A diary with John French fashion photos, that for nine months of the year it would be completely empty as I would have nothing to do. It also showed the fragility of life and I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows people and families hit by Covid-19.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so we have to focus on today and enjoy it. As such, my New Year Resolutions are probably the most honest I’ve been. No more self-pitying “best year ever”. If I want that best year, I have to make it myself.

So, here are my new year goals:

Look after my wellbeing

Usually, diet and exercise would be top of my list of New Year Resolutions. They’re in my mind – lockdown and Christmas means I have a few pounds to lose to get down to my happy weight – but not because of how I look. I look fine (apart from cutting my fringe after a couple of glasses of wine). Instead, this year I want to look after my diet and exercise as part of looking after myself – my health and my wellbeing.

Meeting so many experts last year means I am more aware than ever about the need to eat well and to move more. The list of benefits is huge before you even get to: “Can get back into my Victoria Beckham LBD.”

Plus, unlike other years, meditation and time for myself are on this list, together with facials and activities that make me feel happy.

It’s all about feeling good, rather than feeling virtuous

Learn to write things down

Oh boy! Menopause brain fog made last year a nightmare and I felt as if I was always running to catch up. The worst was a Zoom meeting to record a video and I was desperately putting on lippie as I logged in following a reminder from the host. (Thank God I’d put a jumper over my PJs.)

I used to have a fabulous memory and would never forget a date or appointment. Now I can’t even remember why I left the room sometimes.

It’s hard admitting you need help, especially on something you used to pride yourself on. But I had to acknowledge that menopause means my memory isn’t as sharp and to write down important events. It’s not a failing; it’s merely life at the moment.

I’ll keep the lippie close at hand, just in case.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

My biology teacher, Miss Wood, once told my mam: “Elizabeth would go a long way if she spent as much time doing her homework as she does telling me all the reasons why she can’t do it.”

Biology homework didn’t come easily to me and so I instead used my creative powers to conjure up excuses to avoid it. I was great at creativity…

Perfectionism has always been my downfall. If I can’t do something perfectly (and straightaway), then I’d rather not try and face the humiliation. It means I have often avoided something rather than make a tit of myself.

Of course, I encourage everyone else to try. “What’s the worst that can happen?” I’ll ask – and then feel a little gutted as they go on to do what I’m too scared to do.

That’s been changing since I turned 50, as age and experience gave me a new confidence in myself. Last year, I even opened up about subjects I’d never dared discuss before – my black-dog days with menopause and my OCD – and found a new strength from laying myself open.

So my New Year goal is to put myself out there more and try. After all, what’s the worst that can happen…?

Close the tabs

With no commute, my mornings have turned into a leisurely surf of social media, clicking on links to read, replying to tweets and the likes, investigating new thoughts and ideas.

But far from being relaxing, it started stressing me out as tabs sat there in my browser window, demanding my attention as I flicked from one to the other as my concentration waned. I couldn’t close them as they were far too interesting and needed my attention – someday.

And so they sat there. Multiplying every day, making me feel guilty and actually preventing me from doing something positive because I HAD TO READ THIS!

Determined not to lose anything but needing to clear my screen up (and reduce the load on my poor laptop) I loaded the OneTab app, which puts all your tabs in one tidy clickable list for you rather than being open on your browser. Now I could relax and read them at my leisure.

I currently have 67 tabs on it…

Take my knickers out of my jeans at night

Because I invariably forget they’re there the next morning and they end up scrunched up in a ball inside the leg which I only when they fall out halfway round the supermarket.

What are your New Year Resolutions? Let me know in the comments below…

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