So here we are. Another year has been and gone.

Although reflections and resolutions can be made at any time – why not the 1st July for example? – there is something about January. The excess and gluttony of December can leave us feeling full and content, in many ways, and so the opportunity to start over, to refresh and re-evaluate, or to re-focus on a new challenge feels most rewarding at this time of year.

The period in between Christmas and new year is the perfect time for these ponderings. We find ourselves in a sleepy, often cheese-induced, slumber. One spent visiting friends or extended family, watching BBC dramas, and making the most of delicious festive leftovers.

Of course, with this over-indulgence often comes guilt and regret which seems to reoccur every year. Perhaps we are too hard on ourselves though. We confess that come the new year we will be on a new diet or watching what we eat. We will be better with our money, save more, or finally attend that weekly exercise class we’ve been meaning to join all year.

There will always be something we want to change or improve on. If you ask friends or work colleagues no doubt they will all respond with something they want to stop doing, or quit altogether. Resolutions are often negative – they seem to encourage us into stopping something we enjoy, because it’s bad for us, or unnecessary.

So, how about making 2019 the year for doing more of what you love? Make a resolution to spend more time with friends or to start swimming if it’s an exercise you enjoy. A resolution for spending more time baking or promising yourself three weekend breaks abroad to new destinations. For watching a different TV series every month, to take up a new hobby, or even, dare I say it, to give yourself more time to relax. There’s nothing wrong in a resolution that rewards more ‘me time’. In fact, you’ll undoubtedly see the benefits of this much more than if you subjected yourself to a gym membership that you didn’t even want. We spend so much of our time doing things because we have to, that making time for doing what we want to becomes all the more important.

New year resolutions do not have to be forced or an unhappy decision then as the media would have us believe. It’s far better to set one or two that you’ll look forward to implementing come January, so you’re spending more time doing what you love because you’ve made a conscious decision to do so. What’s more, you’re far more likely to stick to it too.

So, here’s to 2019 – may it be a happy, healthy and prosperous year.

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