Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Resolutions? I’ve a far better New Year plan

Frances Burscough

It is a well-known fact that most people who make a New Year’s resolution on December 31 have broken it within the first week of January.

Bearing this in mind, and knowing how limited my own willpower is (“I can resist everything except temptation” is my favourite motto), I have learnt to be more realistic about my own personal goals.

So, last Saturday night, before cracking open a bottle of bubbly and doing the conga round the garden with the kids and the dogs, I took a moment of clarity to write these down. I like to call them my anti-resolutions ...

1) To drink more

Before you reach for the phone and ask for Social Services, let me explain. My name is Frances and I am not an alcoholic. But at the end of a hard day I do enjoy a nightcap of Bushmills, or occasionally a few fingers of a fine Scotch single malt. Or a Jack Daniel’s, a Wild Turkey etc etc. I reckoned that if I made a conscious decision to drink it more often, but then fail in my resolution, then that can only be a good thing. Which would also explain Resolution Number 2 ...

2) To smoke more often

I tried to give up when that pesky smoking ban came in, but that only lasted until someone offered me a ciggie. That’s why I’m not even going to try this time. Heck, a girl needs at least one vice! But actually increasing my nicotine intake may prove more difficult. I only smoke when I’m drinking, and rarely in front of the kids, so once again if I fail it can only be a good thing.

3) To spend more than I earn

This is one New Year’s resolution I know without hesitation that I can and will fulfil with great aplomb. In fact, I’m probably halfway there already.

4) To stop going to the gym and/or exercising regularly

Instead of a total body detox programme involving a treadmill, weights and a chest-press, which sounds far too much like hard work, no gain and far too much pain, my more attainable and realistic plan is to stay home and retox (see above — and below)

5) To eat more chocolate

Well, somebody has to eat the strawberry cream Quality Streets and the coffee Revels left over from Christmas. And those little net bags of chocolate coins hanging from the higher branches of the tree that the dogs couldn’t reach ... well they’re not going to eat themselves, are they?

6) To watch more TV

Like a lot of people at the end of last year I availed of the credit crunch specials on the high street and bought a bigger, better, larger, HD-ready (whatever that means) TV for a fraction of the regular price. The plan was to be able to watch the Christmas specials and all the wonderful seasonal costume dramas in vivid detail and clarity.

However, on day one of my new purchase it was immediately commandeered by the boys for Xbox purposes and instead I spent the entire festive season watching the backs of their heads as they played Skyrim in vivid detail and clarity.

7) To make a number of unnecessary and/or unsatisfactory purchases on ebay when bored, then never bother to return them and get a refund, because it’s such a palaver

I can put them in my wardrobe next to the ravishing red cocktail dress (still brand-new-with-tags after two years because I never got invited to any cocktail parties), the original ’70s wooden hippie clogs (dead cool, but too uncomfortable to actually wear) and the book entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People — unread, of course.

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