New year, newish you: live your best life without making drastic changes

Don’t stress if you haven’t made it to the gym yet; there are fun and easy things you can do to promote your wellbeing in 2019

06 January 2019 - 00:00
Let's stop saying: “Let ’s do lunch” — knowing full well we will never do lunch. Either don't say it, or actually set a date.
Let's stop saying: “Let ’s do lunch” — knowing full well we will never do lunch. Either don't say it, or actually set a date.
Image: 123RF/stockbroker

Actress and presenter Pearl Thusi shared a video on her social media where she called BS on the phrase "new year, new me", and while some people weren't impressed, she did make a valid point.

As she points out in the minute-long clip, it's silly to pretend you can ditch all of your bad habits and unbecoming behaviour just because the clock struck midnight: this isn't some fairytale.

In real life many things - especially something as drastic as changing your behaviour - require a lot of work. And honestly, most of us aren't willing to put in the effort required to be that "new person" we (perhaps only temporarily) desire being.

After the clock reads 00:00 and another year has flown past (or dragged along), most of us will return to the same home we lived in before, sleep on the same side of the bed, go back to the same job, take the same route to work, sit at the same desk and follow the same routines we did the year before.

Rinse. Repeat.

And let's be honest, that two-week holiday between an old year and a new one isn't rejuvenating enough. But that doesn't mean that we can't do things a little differently.

Here are some ways to spice up your life for a "new year, newish you".


We're so tired of running into people we sort of like and then saying: "Let's do lunch!" - knowing full well we will never do lunch. Let's either start "doing" lunch (but at a cheap eatery because Cyril's economy is painful) or stop lying about it.


Maybe this isn't so little for everyone (some people are emotionally attached to their hair). This doesn't need to be a drastic change, but you could perhaps try new wig styles, add a new colour, maybe cut it a little shorter.

It doesn't even have to be a change noticeable to anyone else: sometimes knowing you've done something a little differently is enough to give you an extra bounce in your step.


Some people do this all the time, but if you're the type who's stuck in their ways, a little change will jazz up your daily life, even if it is only temporary.

What are we going to be drinking this year? What's the cool ingredient of the moment? Which Asian nation's beauty secrets are we stealing in 2019? As long as it won't drastically affect your health, give it a go.

Be a cool kid, whether you're 22 or 72.


This isn't necessarily about promising that you are finally going to use that gym membership you've been paying thousands of rands for (although that's really not a bad idea), but rather it's a way to up your game with something you already do.

If you drag yourself out of the house to socialise once a month, up it to twice a month. If you read 12 books last year, try reading 24 this year.

Speaking of reading, maybe try reading the books that are on your shelf rather than going out and buying new ones. Just a thought.


Honestly, there's no glory in suffering when you really don't have to. Life is tough enough. If someone is toxic or doesn't contribute positively to your emotional and mental wellbeing, let them go if you can.

Remove yourself from situations that aren't helping your wellbeing (unless it's your job, in which case I'm so sorry that capitalism sucks).

It's okay to put yourself first because, guess what, no-one else is going to do it for you.


Starting on February 5, 2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig. What does that mean? While the zodiac pig isn't seen as intelligent, it does have its strengths: namely warmth, generosity, honesty and loyalty.

2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig.
2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig.
Image: 123RF/Tabuday

You don't have to be all of these things (remember, we're not changing overnight) but you can try be one of them once in a while.

One of the pig's drawbacks? They're lazy. But if you're the type who has a hard time relaxing, maybe kick up your feet more often, loosen up a little bit and take on a little less.

So go on, put a little oink in your step.


Don't be an a**hole, it ages you. And laugh more.