Andrea McLean: ‘This January is a new start, one I’m excited and scared about it unequal measure’

Andrea has left Loose Women after 13 years to focus on Thus Girl Is On Fire. Image: Nicky Johnston

Andrea has left Loose Women after 13 years to focus on Thus Girl Is On Fire. Image: Nicky Johnston - Credit: Archant

Our columnist reflects on her decision to leave Loose Women after 13 years to focus on her own business

This time last year I had plans to complete my book This Girl Is On Fire and launch a female-only online marketplace to help women in business. I had no idea how much these women that I wanted to champion and support would come to need an online space to continue bringing in an income, when the world whipped away all other ‘normal’ revenue streams.

I had no idea that my book about overcoming trauma, about figuring out what it is we really want from our lives and how to get out of our own damn way to live a life we actually want rather than the one we’ve found ourselves in - would resonate so deeply that it became a Sunday Times Best Seller. I had no idea that I would finally decide to take my own advice and make huge life changes that I, like all of us, have thought about, dreamed about but never dared to actually do.

This January is a new start for me, and one that I am excited and scared about in unequal measures - the good news being that I am more excited than nervous. After walking away from my job as anchor on ITV’s Loose Women after 13 years, (and after 23 years working in Daytime TV), I am striking out in a bold new direction and working on something that I have spent the past two and a half years building up from scratch.

Like all of us, I have had dreams that I’ve been too afraid to say out loud because it would mean actually doing something about them. Isn’t this the reason why most of us stay silent and keep plodding on; because we are frightened that if we articulate what it is that deep down we really want, then we will have to make changes to our lives? Those changes may not please those around us, they may mean a financial risk, they mean failure… and even more frightening, they may mean success. And then what will we do, if our wish actually comes true? Will we be able to cope?

READ MORE: Andrea McLean on holidaying alone

You see, there are many reasons why we hold ourselves back from setting goals, making plans, saying them out loud and then putting them into action. It’s really easy to sit down on January 1 and decide that: “This is the year that I…” insert whatever it is you want, whether it’s a lifestyle change, a health goal, a career move - whatever. Making the resolution is the easy part. Sticking to it, putting in the graft when you’ve run out of enthusiasm is the hard bit, which is why most of us give up before February comes around.

Making any kind of lasting change doesn’t come from something you conjure up because the rest of the world expects you to, at the time of year everyone else is doing it. You make the decision to change your life every single morning - you decide how your day is going to be, and whether what you do that day will take you close to achieving your resolution. And if it didn’t go to plan, tomorrow you can start all over again.

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What I’m getting at is this; every day can be January 1. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that you only get one shot to create a life you love. Let that be your resolution this year.

LIVE: 2020 was the year where life as we knew it ground to a halt. Everything changed. Do you want to go back to your old life? Use this as an opportunity to reset, regroup, and make the changes you need to live a life you love.

LEARN: What can you learn about yourself this year? Most of us are so set in our ways that it’s been years since we gave any thought to why we behave the way we do, think the way we do, react the way we do. Learning doesn’t have to be an outside job – you are interesting enough to study!

THRIVE: Make this the year that you do more of what makes you happy. How do you do that? Write down what parts of your life you enjoy, and those you don’t. Have you got the balance right and if not, change it. Remember – YOU are in control.

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