Bad New Year’s Resolutions

Have a wet january

By Harry Mottram: There’s an old saying that the only New Year’s Resolution you’ll ever keep is the one to make a new list next year. Cynics always say you’ll break all your resolutions by January 2.
That doesn’t have to happen if you follow these essentials to create the anti-dote to New Year’s Resolutions by rejecting the cliches like joining a gym or giving up booze.
Sod the bucket list
Photographed in front of the Taj Mahal, a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon; the front row at a Rolling Stones concert, climbing Mount Everest and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Bucket lists are universally both aspirational fantasies and remarkably conventional – plus for most are unachievable – but also a bit like train spotting – just ticking them off a list – rather than enjoying the experience.
There are other canyons to fly over and mausoleums where you can take a selfie without being jostled by thousands of tourists. And as for Mount Everest only 10% of the climb is mountaineering as 90% is queueing up on the summit for a photo.
There are much easier alternatives such as climbing the highest hill in each county, swimming (without a wet suit) in the North Sea in October dressed as an Edwardian bather, or walking the Cheddar Gorge skyline walk – more impressive than the Grand Canyon as you won’t have to fork out for a noisy helicopter flight.
Ditch the gym
Getting fit isn’t about joining a gym in January and then regretting it as the direct debits mount up and you realise you’ve not been since the second week of the new year. Instead just go for a two mile walk once a day with a two carrier bags of baked beans. It’s free, easy to achieve and you can alter the shopping bags with cans of soup or bags of rice – but no cheating – like carrying bags of Pot Noodles. It means you’ll avoid those annoying types at the gym who clearly don’t need to get fit or lose weight – while walking to the supermarket or bus stop everyday will not only shave pounds off your weight but make your arms longer making it easier to reach the top shelf in the kitchen.
Take up smoking
You quit smoking 20 years ago – but since then you’ve tried vaping and chewing gum but nothing beats the whiff of Golden Virginia tobacco as you inhale a cigarette smoke, or the paraphernalia required to fill and light a pipe. You don’t have to smoke 60 a day – just give yourself one day a month when you can light up – and smile in the face of the anti-smoking mob – and add some taxes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s need for cash.
Have a wet January
I’ve never understood the need for a dry January. I mean all that gin, sherry, port and wine consumed over Christmas is only the warm up for the New Year. Alcohol is one of life’s great pleasures – I’m talking wine-o’clock, the lunchtime pint, the quick slurp while preparing the evening meal and the confidence vodka shot ahead of a job interview at the health farm.
Obviously if you’ve signed up to run a marathon or to drive a vintage car to Brighton for charity then cut down to just a couple of glasses of vin blanc. But nobody really wants to give up the sacred liquid.
Mindless mindfulness
Do an online search for New Year’s Resolutions and there’s a long list of activities for you to take up like yoga, meditation, massage and contemplating your naval. All listed under the resolution of mindfulness in an effort to de-stress your life. If you take up all of these activities they will add stress to your life – so instead chill out with a glass of wine, slump on the settee and watch The Telletubbies or lie in a hot bath and listen to the sound of rain on the window.
Good bad resolutions
We all want to secretly go to bed later, eat more chocolate and tell people what we really think of them. These are the resolutions we should make.
Spend less time with people you find dull to the point of falling asleep as they speak.
Enjoy junk food and processed food – those health food fanatics really do bore for England with their evangelical five a day sermons. You can’t beat a pizza after five pints of ale.
Read fewer books – let’s face it you haven’t finished a single volume this year so why not just read one book like The House at Pooh Corner or Just William – there’s more wisdom in those novels than in a hundred literary works.
Put on weight without trying – so much easier than losing weight and it’s probably something you will achieve given daily helpings of chips and doughnuts. Plus you can treat yourself to a new wardrobe of clothes with elasticated waist bands.
Be late for everything. We do it anyway so putting it on the list is doable. Trains run late, budget statements are put back and Christmas dinners are always delayed. Nobody cares and nobody dies – unless it’s an ambulance of course.
Happy New Year.