Here they are, the same old resolutions, poking out to taunt me. Write every day. Finish novel. Enter Mslexia short story competition. Renew gym membership. And then all the 'Thou Shalt Nots'. Don't let blogging, facebooking, browsing on internet, erode writing time. Eat less, cut down on chocolate, drink less wine, and don't waste time watching EastEnders.
Well, this year it's different. I'm sending them packing. Nobody will get a chance to say to me, 'But I thought you said you were going to...' The only resolution I've made this year is I WILL NOT MAKE ANY NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS.
I should have said that years ago. When I was eleven I wrote my New Year Resolution on a card and decorated it with coloured crayons all the way round the edges. In big fancy lettering in the middle of my drawings of balloons, stars and, yes, golden trumpets, I wrote (no doubt at a time of intense feelings of guilt) 'I WILL NOT BE CHEEKY TO MY MOTHER'. How embarrassing when I lent my Bunty Annual to my friend next door, forgetting I'd used this card as a bookmark. How even more embarrassing when my friend's mother came round and gave it to my mother. And how damn infuriating when the next time I shouted at my mother, she reminded me of these words and waved the blasted card in my face.
But, no, I still didn't learn. Worse, much worse, was to come. A few years later, I wrote out my good intention for each day of the week on scraps of paper. I folded up the pieces of paper, put them into an envelope, meaning to pick out one each day and try to live up to it. I promptly forgot about them. When I went back to school, after being off sick, I handed the teacher a letter from my mother to explain my absence. Guess which envelope she'd put her letter in? Imagine the rate of my cringe factor when, in front of the whole class, the teacher picked out each of my notes and read them out one by one, to the amused delight of my classmates.
Anyway, back to the present. I've learnt something about myself. I'm better at writing on post-it notes and making out long 'To Do' lists than actually getting things done. That's why this year I'm not going to plan, prepare and trumpet about what I'm going to do. I'll just quietly get on with it.