In January, every year like clockwork there seems to be this ‘New Year, New Me’ machine that pumps out propaganda about needing to change what we look like and how much we weigh in order for us to be our best selves this year. I call it propaganda because, in reality, it is used to just sell us stuff from detox teas to gym memberships when we are most insecure about our post-Christmas weight gain. It’s not that I’m particularly against resolutions. New year is a wonderful instigator of change, but only when shame isn’t being used as the driving factor. Especially when these companies focus on weight as the obstacle between us and our dreams, it is really easy to forget that you can set some great goals that are way bigger and more important than what your body looks like. Here are some examples for resolutions that will make you more empowered, regardless of what you look like.

1. Say 'no' more

Are you a people pleaser? Do you say yes to things you don’t want to go to? Do you justify all your no’s with a long elaborate answer in the hope that they don’t hate you? Get used to saying no this year and, more than that, get used to saying those two letters without a justification. “I don’t want to” is a good enough reason to not do something.

2. Throw away your scales

A number cannot measure your beauty, value, worth or even your health. All owning a scale does is create a pass/fail mentality in your head and allows numbers to dictate your worth. If you want to make health-based goals, do so. The scale won’t help with this, it will only hinder it. An example is, if you make a health-based goal to work out three times a week, and you work out three times a week, you will have accomplished that goal and reaped the benefits health-wise. If you own a scale, and you work out three times a week, even if that was your goal and you achieved it, if you gain weight at the end of the week, you will perceive it as a failure.

3. Try a new activity once a month

As adults, we can get quite stuck in a rut and settle for the everyday grind of waking up, working and going to sleep but 2019 is not the year we settle! Yes, it will take some planning and some preparation but get out there and find something fun to do. This could be painting, trying a different exercise class or finally going to that museum that you know you would have gone to by now if you were a tourist.

4. Say 'yes' more

If you live in fear a lot, then this is the goal for you. Maybe you turn down a lot of events because of social anxiety? Maybe you turn them down because you are worried about turning up alone? Or maybe the area you need to start saying yes in, is your career? Saying yes can open up a whole new world and will push you out of your comfort zone to try new things, embrace the fear and do it anyway.

5. No social media for the first hour you're awake

It is such a bad habit to wake up whilst scrolling your newsfeed, especially because the first hour of your day can make such an impact on the rest of your day! Have an hour phone-free - you will be shocked how much faster you will get ready for work without the distraction and maybe even use the time to read a book or be in the moment.

Michelle Elman is the author of Am I Ugly?, out now in paperback (Head of Zeus, £8.99).

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