New Year’s Resolutions

One New Year, about 10 years ago, I made a whole list of resolutions and I stuck to each and every one of them. They were:

• Eat less;
• Drink more (alcohol, that is);
• Sleep less;
• Go out more;
• See more films; see more theatre productions;
• Get involved in more things I have never done before.

As a result, I lost weight, developed a taste for red wine and coffee which was previously undiscovered, saw much more of the world, acquired an opinion on recent films and plays and became involved with a London charity called The Food Chain, which in turn led to lots of other nights out, more wine, less sleep. Remembering this has got me thinking about how much easier it is to make resolutions about trying new things, taking up new hobbies, rather than giving things up. How much more positive might it be to say “this year I will…” rather than “I’m going to give up…”? At least, that’s what I’m thinking.

With that in mind, here are my aims and objectives for the coming year.

Change my appearance. Everything from taking better care of myself and losing some weight, to getting a new haircut and new clothes. I might invest in the services of a personal shopper, thereby trying on different styles of clothing I might never have picked up before. I’ve already lightened my hair a couple of shades, just to help take the dingeyness out of the grey and overcast weather we had for most of last week. I was given some hair straighteners for Christmas which help iron out the kinks in my hair and alter my appearance a little more.
Take the Italian classes more seriously. I’m enjoying them but find evening-class learning to be painfully slow. What I really need to do is decamp to Italy for six months and learn it the easy way, by immersion. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen any time soon! So in the meantime I need to get what I can from the evening classes.
Get writing! I’m going to start with flash fiction (, short stories and competitions. I’ve read two books over the Christmas break about writing short stories and I feel slightly less “in the dark” about the whole thing as a result.
I’m going to look at courses in writing with a view to starting in September. I’ve already got the information for the Writers’ Bureau Comprehensive Writing course and will look again at the London School of Journalism’s Short Story Writing course, which can be taken as a distance learning programme.
I want to spend more time in London, just (short) days to myself wandering around, sitting in coffee shops, watching the world and gathering ideas for my writing. Realistically, aside from family days out, I won’t be able to do this before the little man goes to school in September.
Become involved with a charity. I loved my experience at The Food Chain and I gained a great deal from donating my time once a week or so. I’ve also been involved with the NCT and, years ago, with Age Concern. Now I’m looking for something new.

These are just my ideas. What do you think? Have you made any resolutions or is it all a waste of time? Can resolutions help change our lives for the better or are we just setting ourselves up for disappointment? If you are looking for inspiration take a look at

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17 Responses to New Year’s Resolutions

  1. What a positive & upbeat set of resolutions! There’s so much there & I envy your ability to fit all this stuff in! I particularly like the one about spending more time to yourself. When my daughter was smaller & I had no commitments we used to just vanish to the beach & sit for hours or go for lunch in cafes & I have missed that recently – she’s school in September too so I’m exactly the same as you, hoping to regain a bit more me time. Can’t wait to read about how you get on!

  2. Kate says:

    Great upbeat post and amusing too.
    Lots of great intentions. I think you have just rebranded the whole New Year thing and in a very good way too.
    Will be posting a la groove later when my head clears. Too much vino last night tut!
    Thanks for support for #groovingmums as always

    • Looking forward to seeing that. Vino is definitely good for your mental health too, if it makes you feel good.
      Looking forward to the coming year and glad to be involved in #groovingmums. Px

  3. catherine says:

    Thats a really inspirational lovely post and a great positve way to look at things. Im new to grooving mums and looking forward to what i can do this year too instead of dwelling on giving things up as well.
    Look forward to grooving with you
    Happy new year xx

    • Hi there, happy new year to you too! Welcome to the group, looking forward to reading your posts. If you are on Twitter, could you let me know when you post a Groovingmums post? Would hate to miss it. Polly x

  4. Read your highs and lows with interest this morning, popped back to discover your plans for the year. Am in awe – brilliant ideas. Am sure the writing will take off for you and I love the idea of short days in London (might nick that one). Best wishes for 2012.

  5. Great resolutions. ( And I love the fact that you once made one to drink more!). I think making resolutions is a good idea, as long as we don’t put unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and actually, I think it can be done at any time of year, but the start of the new year is as good a time as any! This slightly laid back attitude means that I still haven’t quite decided mine! Good luck with yours. I look forward to following and seeing how you do. x

    • Hi Claire, I agree that resolutions can be made any time. I find autumn, back-to-school time to be very inspirational, just as the weather is chilling off and everyone is beginning a new academic year. Looking forward to your resolutions, whenever you decide to make them! Px

  6. Ally Bean says:

    I think that resolutions are a good idea. Yours are great. But I find that at this time of year, I can never think of any. I’m better at deciding what to change about myself when the weather is warm and the grass is green. Say May or June. Always marching to the beat of my own drum, I guess.

    • Absolutely right, Ally, and what better way to march than to your own beat, whenever the fancy takes you. Spring is such a positive time, new year can be a bit of a drag, for all sorts of reasons.

  7. Love your resolutions / plans for the year – I have a similar aim, to glean and make use of a little more time for things other than being a wife and mum, as without them I become a bit grumpy! I have just written mine and feel better just for doing that! See you at Grooving Mums in the future!

  8. Older Mum says:

    Really inspired by this post and I really love your zeal about writing. Sounds like you are really going for it. I am with Mummy Plum – NYR’s are great as long as you don’t over stress yourself and give rigid deadlines for when something must be completed by. Ps I am about to start a new blog – will be giving reasons why in a final post over coming week on current one.

    • Ooh, intriguing! Do let me know when you make the switch. I shall be keeping an eye on your blog for the final post. Thanks for taking the time to leave some comments.

  9. mammasaver says:

    I love the idea of spending more days in London – what do they say “To hate London is to hate life” so go for it!

    If I lived closer, I would love to do the same – get lost in a busy metropolis where you could be anyone, doing anything.

    I also think there is a certain ladylike elegance to taking oneself to London for a day.

    I hope you enjoy!