Fempire branding desktop.Fempire branding mobile.

Why the cult of “New Year, New You” must be banished forever

It's a cruel, cruel fate that only days after you were eating M&S Yule Log for breakfast and writing mental to-do lists that began with “watch Elf again”, it feels like someone has wrenched the chocolate cake out of your hand and taken you not only back down to earth, but hurtling far past there into a dark place called January.

Now let's be fair to January: in itself it is not awful. The TV's good, Baileys is on offer in Tesco and you still have an outside chance of finding chocolate coins under the sofa cushion. There are wins available.

But somewhere along the line, whoever who was in charge of deciding that we've all got to trundle through the year with exactly the same intentions (bikini diet in June/ Christmas LBD plan in November) decided January would play host to the worst one of all: New Year, New You.

And that, right there, is where January went wrong.

New Year, New You is so inherently awful that it even trumps the Beach Body Countdown because while the Beach Body Countdown (start of June until mid July) presumes you need to change your waist, arms, thighs etc, New Year, New You doesn't think that goes nearly far enough and suggests that you should revolutionise EVERYTHING.

That's including but not limited to your exercise regime, fondness for salt and vinegar crisps, nail biting, fashion choices, career, love life, penchant for a credit card or eight, hobbies, where you live, what you want to DO with your life and entire personality.

What they're marketing - well to be fair they don't lie about it -  is that you get a New You, and what I yell at the magazine covers/my laptop/adverts on passing buses that hammer me over the head with it is “WHAT IF I DON'T WANT ONE?”

What if I like the old me, who doesn't believe a meal is finished unless you've had a bit of chocolate, gets bored at yoga and has learnt to accept that I will never be a Person With Nails?

And if I DID decide the odd thing could do with a spruce up, what if I'd prefer to ignore the schedule and do that in April? Is that allowed? Or will I miss my deadline and lag behind for the whole year, getting my body “beach ready” just when everyone else leaves the coast because it's got a bit chilly there and the tide's come in?

The solution of course is to ignore New Year, New You and refuse to be recruited but like any cult, it's persistent. Once January hits, it targets me from first thing in the morning via that enthusiastic promoter of the yearly trajectory, Lorraine Kelly, until last thing at night, when I see Cameron Diaz promoting her new body book on Twitter (“Why do I love thee so #kale” really happened). Cam's book did of course come out on the 31st of December, just in time for the cult's recruitment drive and features Cam in only her knickers on the cover, because these New Year, New You advocates will stop at nothing to tempt us in.

Look away from Cameron's long, tanned legs! This is what they WANT! And I hate to tell you but no matter how much #kale you shovel down your throat between now and Valentine's Day when the New Year, New You crew head off to regroup for 2015 and the Love Life team takes over, you will not look down and see a Diaz thigh edging out from beneath your skirt.

The most ludicrous thing about New Year, New You, is of course that that apart from newcomers to its existence - perhaps those just learning to read or use a computer - we all KNOW that it's a cheap marketing tool without any actual meaning.

Changes for the right reasons: fine. But colleagues that pull out homemade spinach soup from the rucksack they jogged to work with suddenly because January told them to will be back on the M&S meal deals by mid-month, proving that even its advocates don't really believe in New Year, New You, and meaning that we are all morally obligated to protest against this madness.

As it's a bit cold out there for physical protests, I think the best thing we can do is stage an indoors one, with a clear, strong and loud message – ie. watch Elf again, get the Yule Log out, and choose the Tesco Baileys offer over the one from Virgin Active. Yeah! That will show them.