Tuesday 22 May 2018


It doesn't feel like New Year's Eve. I mean, it's not cold enough for a start. It should be absolutely freezing out there with severe weather warnings on the radio. My most vivid memories of New Year's Eve are ones of standing at hostile taxi ranks in town not even being able to feel my feet, with my teeth chattering and wondering when in the world was I ever going to get home to the safety of my nice warm bed. New Year's Eve parties are usually always awful because nobody will commit until they're completely sure that no better offer will come along at the last minute, and usually nobody wants to travel too far anyway because of the awful weather.


And now it's weird because it's not too cold and I could go out without slipping on ice and breaking my neck, but I have nothing planned other than writing my annual resolution list. The list is always the same by the way, with getting fit at the top of the list. I used to have 'give up smoking' on that list, too, but that has been eliminated now that I'm four years off the fags.

I don't even bother adding 'give up drinking' because I don't write down unrealistic goals. 'Travel more' is something I always write and usually stick to. 'Save money' is something I write and never stick to. 'Find a man' hasn't been on the list for a while because I genuinely wasn't bothered, but this year I will add it on.

Over the years, I have always written a list of 10 things. It is important to actually write a list and to handwrite it and leave it somewhere you will come across it every now and then.

Each year, if I have ticked off seven of the things I had set out to achieve, I feel I've done very well. There is no point half-heartedly promising yourself you will reach goals as you toast champagne with friends, as the likelihood is that by the morning you'll have forgotten most of the night's good intentions.

Your list must be written soberly and put away. Writing down your goals makes them real. You're also sending out that message to the universe. I remember one year I wrote 'write a book' as my first New Year resolution. And I wrote it. And ticked it off. I also wrote 'get a cat' and I not only got one, I got two.


As my cats aren't planning on going anywhere, I don't write 'get a cat' any more. Nor do I add 'write a book' to the list.

That's because I'm a writer and I write at least one book every year.

It would be like somebody else writing 'go to work' on their set of resolutions.

There is no point writing something wishy-washy such as 'become a nice person'.

Instead, write down one thing that you're going to do for somebody else such as 'book a weekend away for my mum'.

Then you can tick it off. You can't tick off something vague like 'become a nice person' because only other people can decide if you're nice.

Write down your goals. Pursue them. You can do anything you set your mind to.

Happy New Year.

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