New Year, New You? – Bryony Gordon

New Year, New You? – Bryony Gordon

Bryony Gordon, author of Eat, Drink, Run talks about her feelings on ‘new year, new you’.

It’s January 1st, and all you can hear are companies and brands reminding you of a ‘new year, new you’. Which makes me want to gag. I mean, excuse me:  What was so wrong with the OLD you? For a long time during my twenties and thirties, I compared myself to others – and it only made me sad. I was tormented by thin, happy, healthy people. I would see joggers whizzing around the streets in the early morning as I returned home from a night out, the self -loathing seeping in to my bones as their sap seemed to rise. I never dreamt I was a runner. I (am) a dawdler, a loafer, and a smoker. Until one day, I decided enough was enough. I didn’t want to think about what I couldn’t do – I wanted to think about what I could do. And so began my journey to self-acceptance. Last year, I ran all 26 miles of the London Marathon – in my underwear. For the record, it was my second marathon. And this new year, I’d urge you to do the same. You don’t have to run a marathon in your knickers, obviously. But every time you find yourself thinking you need to be a new version of you, stop yourself. And remember: this new year, you just need to be fearlessly, unapologetically you.

12 tips from Bryony Gordon on how to be the best version of yourself in 2019:

  1. Eat: a piece of cake every now and then – BUT don’t punish yourself for days afterwards.
  2. Drink: a glass of wine if you feel like one. Just maybe not 5 or 6.   
  3. Run: just once this January, and see how it goes
  4. Be: fearlessly and unapologetically YOU. Do not compare yourself to the person sitting next to you at work
  5. Dance: to a Beyonce to a dance work-out. Ditch the spin class if it’s not working for you
  6. Enjoy: A few sober evenings at home each week 
  7. Walk: If you can’t make it to the end of the race, walk. The most important thing is getting there in the first place.
  8. Reward: You and a girlfriend to a weekend away every now and then. But watch out for the wagon …
  9. Wear: A new pair of fun leopard print leggings to the gym. Lycra needn’t be boring
  10. Sleep: before 11pm at least 2 times a week 
  11. Join: A gang of like-minded people to share your problems with
  12. Accept: Your body and your mind, and never be ashamed of it

Find out how to achieve these things through Bryony’s hilarious and brave new memoir Eat, Drink, Run

Eat, Drink, Run

‘A courageous account that will inspire us all – bloody brilliant’ Fearne Cotton

‘An honest and damn funny book about daring to dream, about chafing and Vaseline, and running through the pain. I raced through it without getting a stitch’ Matt Haig

‘The woman who made talking about your thinking not just acceptable but imperative’ Daily Telegraph

My New Year’s resolutions – Olivia Beirne

My New Year’s resolutions – Olivia Beirne

If, like me, you’ve been wearing the same trousers (and by trousers, I mean pyjama bottoms) since Christmas Eve and you’re trying to peel yourself off the sofa from the mounds of Quality Street wrappers that have you welded to the cushions like a left-over Toffee Finger, you’ve probably done Christmas pretty bloody well. And is it still okay to eat a turkey sandwich days after Christmas Day, or should have I have bowl of cereal – even though I really want a hunk of yule log? Or should I just eat all three? (Yes). Until suddenly, with very little warning, it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re expected to get out of your pyjamas and squash into something with maximum sex appeal to prove that you are ready for the New Year.

I used to hate New Year. I hated the entire idea of forcing my post-Christmas body into a dress I ordered online (which, obviously, looks nothing like the model), pulling my feet from my slippers and into a pair of explicable high heels, and taming my hair down from its ‘messy bun’ (that term is used loosely) that I’ve been rocking since my hangover from the work Christmas party. I also hated the idea of New Year’s resolutions. It made me feel like the version of me I’d been parading for the past year wasn’t good enough, and that in order for me to enter this new, glittering year, I had to be richer, thinner, fitter and basically more successful in every way. Why can’t the current me stay as I am? Why do I have to improve myself every year? Also, what on earth is going to happen to me when I’m 80? Will I expect myself to be running Google out of the west wing of my castle, rocking a designer dress wrapped around my miraculously toned body *despite* the Camembert?

So, with that in mind and biscuit tin in hand, I changed my mind set for New Year. I don’t write a list of New Year’s resolutions anymore. I write myself a ‘to-do’ list of things that I want to experience this year.  As you may have guessed, I have spent the last year writing lists, but here are my top five:

1. Go to Disneyland (I know, I’m a child) 

2. Run 10k for The MS Society (if you know, you know) 

3. Learn how to cook (this one is quite important as I feel that the age of dinner parties is looming, and I don’t think I can serve Chicago Town pizza as a starter, main and dessert)

4. Go to Edinburgh Fringe Festival 

5. Read 1 book a month 

From now on, I will only put things on my ‘to-do’ list that I will enjoy doing, and bar the training for the 10k (lord help me), I think my five goals for 2019 sound quite fun. 

Happy New Year!

The List That Changed My Life

You can pre-order the paperback edition of my debut book, The List That Changed My Life, here!

Team Bookends' New Year's Resolutions

Team Bookends' New Year's Resolutions

Looking to change something about your life? Draw inspiration from our resolutions for 2018.


Last year I said I was going to go to the gym, look after myself a bit more and learn calligraphy. I can report that I signed up to a gym – was very good for about a month and then froze my account. I also bought all the bits I needed for calligraphy (in November) and gave it a go. I’ll be sticking to this one as it’s very relaxing so can I say to learn calligraphy again? Second time lucky! Helena

My New Year’s Resolution is to bring in more packed lunches so I can splurge on the weekend in fancy restaurants! And to try reading more crime novels. Oh and of course to be myself (inspired by my favourite anti-guru Sarah Knight’s new book You Do You). Hannah

The obvious one is “read more books”! But I’d also like to get to more exhibitions this year. I used to work for an art gallery and be able to swan into any exhibition I liked. It was fantastic! Now I have less free time, but an hour or two in front of beautiful or thought-provoking pictures is very good for the soul, so I need to get back into the habit. Alice

I’d really like to learn meditation and a martial art, to take more notice of my breathing and calm my mind. I find it quite hard to relax, so I think meditation will be really beneficial, and a martial art – well, I’ve always thought they are so cool! Aimee

To learn a new skill – I have been talking about pottery which sounds like the perfect antedate to a stressful day in in the office. I love the idea of switching off, and creating something beautiful at the same time! Vicky

Team Bookends' New Year's Resolutions

Team Bookends' New Year's Resolutions

After Christmas is over our attention inevitably shifts to improving our health, well-being and happiness. At Team Bookends, we like to do things slightly differently, so here are our obligatory New Year’s resolutions, alongside some bookish alternatives!


New Year’s Resolutions

Along with every other person in January I’ve actually joined a gym. This year I will look after myself, drink more water and learn calligraphy. By December I should be strong, glowing and holding a book full of beautifully written notes . . .  watch this space. Helena

My non-reading resolution is, wait for it, to not make a resolution. I’m sure lots of people find the New Year a helpful moment to take a breath and reassess, but, for me, I worry about setting unrealistic goals in the heat of the moment. Again, this might just be me, but this only leads to failure by 31st January and a feeling that the year is already off to a bad start. I prefer making incremental micro-changes throughout the year, so that in twelve months’ time I’m doing something completely differently almost accidentally. But maybe that still counts as a resolution? Dammit! Alice

This year I’m planning to get back to the gym. I stopped going last May due to an ankle injury, and have been having physiotherapy on my gammy limbs ever since. The aim is to get back running on the treadmill very soon. Aimee

My non-bookish resolution is to carve out more time to spend with friends. There’s no greater feel-good moment than laughing until your body aches. Vicky


Bookish New Year’s Resolutions

Weirdly my New Years resolution is to read more. Unfortunately I seem to spend more of my time on the tube staring sleepily into space than with my head in a book. I’m aiming for a book a week . . . wish me luck! Helena

My reading New Year’s resolution is to take more risks and read more books outside of my safe, regular choices. I’m sure there are hundreds of wonderful authors to discover! Alice

Last year I set myself a target of 50 books to read over the course of the year. Tracking my progress with Goodreads I actually managed over 80! But this year, I’m going for the big 100. 100 books in 1 year. I’m nothing if not adventurous. Wish me luck! Aimee

My 2017 bookish resolution is to read more, having lost my reading mojo slightly towards the end of a busy year, and to read more books which I am not working on. First up is Eleanor Olipant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, a new book I’ve heard lots about in advance of publication and I can’t wait to read. Vicky


Your New Year Resolution: Make the Leap!

Your New Year Resolution: Make the Leap!

Author of The Art of Living Danishly (which basically spotted hygge before anyone else), Helen Russell gave herself a year to cure her chronic indecisiveness. And so she gave herself a year for a life experiment: to overhaul every area of her life, learn how to embrace change, and become and lean, mean decision-making machine.

She shares the lesson she’s learnt in her brand new book Leap Year, out now, and in the video below she introduces her 10 ways to win at new beginnings: