I resolve to have a Happy New Year

Happy New Year.

As we have been back for a few days now, and there was a decent run after the New Year celebrations itself before we returned to school or college, it seems like the New Year and Christmas celebrations were a lifetime ago. That said, many of you may well be reminded on a daily basis of it being a new year by virtue of the fact that you have committed to a New Year’s resolution. I think in this COVID era there may well be fewer people committing to hard-core New Year’s resolutions and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be easier on ourselves at this present time.

As always, I’ve made a couple of New Year’s resolutions but it’s not necessarily appropriate to share those here.

What I could share are a few tips to ensure that your resolutions remain intact a little longer than they may otherwise do. Firstly, it’s about identifying at what level you want to establish a resolution. Some of our resolutions will be very personal, some may relate to our work or family, some may relate to our influence in the local community and we may even commit to ourselves to making an impact more widely, in the global community. By identifying at which level your resolution sits you could stand a better chance of working out what it is that you have to do to ensure that your resolution remains intact. I tend to go for personal resolutions – it’s the controlling of external influences that makes success too unlikely.

Secondly, a mantra that I picked up from Boots (I think) some years ago and that’s the three Ps: Pledge, Plan, Persist.

Pledge: in simple terms set out quite clearly and as simply as you can what it is you want to do. Make your resolution simple and achievable. And then share that resolution with someone who might help you stay on track.

Plan: think about how you are going to achieve your resolution. What strategies can you employ to ensure that you stick to that resolution: For example, many of us may be considering a ‘dry January’. If that’s the case, how about ensuring that there is no alcohol in the house during January? Or that you buy a good quality alternative to that wine, beer or gin – there are loads of non-alcoholic varieties out there and fruit juices galore.

Persist: this is the bit which is more difficult. It’s really important that you find a way of sticking to your resolution. It might be that you share your resolution with someone close and ask them to help you on your way, which might include reminding you of your resolution on a regular basis or looking out for you at times of temptation. I think the persist element does also relate to the plan. For me it’s important to establish a clear timescale around the resolution. Open ended resolutions rarely stick and the mark of success may be more difficult to identify.

I do wish you the very best of luck if you have set yourself some resolutions this year. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everything that you achieve is significantly better than doing nothing. And give yourself a break – times have been quite tough (again) recently and making it even more difficult for yourself, at this time, may not be a sensible way forward.

Although I did say earlier I wouldn’t share my resolutions I can hint, and you won’t be surprised to note, that one does relate to running.

‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right’. Oprah Winfrey

‘I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’. Henry Moore

After a three day a week it’s now the weekend. Enjoy whatever you’ve got planned and remember to pledge, plan and persist.