Andrea McLean: Why September is always New Year to me

Andrea McLean. Image: xxx

Andrea McLean. Image: xxx - Credit: Archant

For the Loose Women presenter, September is the time for fresh starts and new beginnings

Happy New Year! No, I haven’t gone mad and I’m not trying to get in early. I have always, and thankfully Nick joins me in this, seen September as my fresh start. I don’t know if it stems back to the new school year, with all the excitement and trepidation that came with it, but to me September is the perfect time to start again, with new books, pencil case and uniform, ready and willing to get stuck in. I’ve never understood the point of setting yourself new goals in January, which is one of the toughest months of the year to get through. It’s dark, it’s cold and Christmas has passed so all the twinkly lights are coming down. You feel guilty for the amount you ate, drank and spent in December, even though millions of pounds worth of

marketing and advertising was thrown at you by people with one purpose - to make you do just that. Then comes the January onslaught of fat and fit-shaming, where those same people now try to guilt you into losing any weight you may have put on because you did the very thing they pushed you to do just weeks before! It’s utter madness to then try and stay focused on a “New Year New You” regime as you are destined to fail at it, because of all the other stuff you’re coming up against! January is a time for hunkering down and working on the plans you made back in September and be ready to put them into effect in Spring, when you have the energy and mindset to do it.

Having a new year in September means you are coming to it with a fresh energy. In normal years, you’ll have a had a summer break, you’ll have relaxed for at least a week and enjoyed some sunshine and will be feeling ready to get back at it. Clearly this year is very different and many of us will have stayed either in the UK or within our homes this Summer, for our own individual reasons. In this ‘new normal’, things obviously look very different and all our circumstances have changed. But what stays the same, I think, is our basic need as humans to keep moving forward, to finding a way to progress, whether that is away from hardship or towards a higher goal. Momentum is what keeps us alive.

READ MORE: Andrea McLean on adjusting to lockdown and the ‘new normal’

This September is an extra special one for me, as it marks another new beginning. For the past year, and throughout lockdown, I have been hard at work writing my third book, which will finally be released into the wild on September 29. Writing a book does feel very like nurturing a baby, quietly and privately in your own space, pouring all your heart and soul into it, doing your best, and then when the time is right you have to simply let it go and hope you did a good enough job that it fares well and succeeds. At that point it is out of your control, even though it you are entirely responsible for its creation. This book is special for the one reason that it is my ‘coming of age’ book. It is about overcoming adversity, learning to cope with the curveballs that life throws at you, no matter who you are or what they are. We all have our own unique things that we have to deal with, some small and irritating, some huge and life-altering, and unless we find our way of handling these things,

they will eventually overcome us. I wrote this book from the perspective of someone who was overcome, who broke down, and had to start all over again. I didn’t know when I started it that these were feelings that the whole world would experience, and my hope is that the expert advice and support I was given and am passing on will be of service.

So, September is a month of new beginnings for all of us. For the children who will be going back to school after months away from their friends and the classroom - some excited, some nervous and scared. For the parents, handling their mixed emotions of relief and fear. For the employers trying to keep businesses afloat in choppy waters, and for those of us simply trying to keep working, keep going, it’s a time to adapt, to make any changes we need to in ourselves and our way of life to help us thrive in this new world. Happy New Year.

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Live: My book is called ‘This Girl Is On Fire: How to Live, Learn and Thrive in a life you love’ and it’s released on September 29. It charts the pivotal moment when I took part in the TV show SAS: Who Dares Wins and realised that I had to deal with the pain and trauma I’d been hiding and holding in for years, how I did it, and how you can too. It is available for preorder on amazon now.

Learn: It’s not just the kids who are starting a new school year, why not kick-start your new year with a masterclass? On this month we are launching our brand new mentorship scheme, bringing you expert advice on everything from overcoming guilt and fear, identifying what’s holding you back and showing you how to overcome it, confidence building and working towards your incredible future self!

Thrive: September is the month of new school uniforms, pencil cases and bags, and just because we are grown-ups doesn’t mean we can’t get a kick out of treating ourselves to something great to wear.

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