Yomi Adegoke: Dont worry if you havent kept your promises this month: theres always the rest of the year to feel the expectation to make yourself better
At the start of every year, my friends and I discuss new year resolutions: comparing and contrasting them, keeping each other on course and consoling each other when weve all caved come February. But a number of them were uncharacteristically unbothered about the chance to set goals at the start of the new decade. New year resolutions simply are not as relevant to them as they once were, now they are in perpetual pursuit of improvement.
The rise of wellness and the encroaching culture of public goal-setting means our resolutions start anew not annually but every few days. Healing crystals, luxury water bottles and meditation apps are not the preserve of dippy LA hipsters but the paraphernalia of your average millennial woman. Self-improvement is now integral to our every day; whats a new year resolution when every other month is a Dry January, a Veganuary or a Stoptober?
Even my most laissez-faire friends spend a good part of the year living in athleisure and fiddling with fitbits, spurred on by Instagram influencers with expertly hidden high metabolisms.
Sure, wellness is targeted at everyone, but its always women who can afford to be a bit better; whatever the time of year. And while self-improvement is ultimately mostly positive, social media has a way of making things that are innately fine into a whos-got-the-most-toned-arms race. Gains made and miles run by others are a constant reminder we can always push harder, celebrity gym selfies proof there is always further to go in the pursuit of perfection. Growth and learning should never stop, but it can feel as if we are in a constant state of yearning instead. The end point is often dictated by pressure, rather than our satisfaction.
Sitting at the intersection of self-care and self-help, wellness is a vague enough concept to encompass everything. Betterment means taking better care of yourself, but it also means being a girl boss who hustles to have it all. It means we must do more but also less: run a bubble bath, run a marathon, run a startup. It means an unspoken competition to see who can be the most frequently thrilled to announce a new achievement on Twitter (or the more coy, female-friendly alternative announcement: So, I did a thing ). It means burning the (scented) candle at both ends to be your best self, undoing any of the good from your clean-eating stint.
New year resolutions seem less pressing when every 30 days resets to a new workout plan. If you have already broken yours, dont sweat it chances are, you are more than making up for it the rest of the year.