My plan to beat the New Year blues

YES. I’m just as lethargic and fed up as you. Christmas has flown by, I’m back at work and every man and his dog is predicting the next 12 months will be bleaker than back-to-back episodes of Jeremy Kyle.
Still, new year, new start and all that.
In an attempt to discipline, cajole and inspire myself I have come up with my version of New Year’s resolutions – a dozen dos and don’ts which I hope will make me a better person and keep me focused during the dark days of 2011…

  • I will lose the stone-and-a-half I’ve put on since I had my thyroid removed. That means no chocolate, biscuits, sweets, crisps or cakes. None. You see, it has to be all or nothing for us blokes. None of this “all things in moderation” mullarky. Be warned, however: Offering me treats may result in a sulk.
  • As part of a feeble attempt to get fit, I will walk our fast-growing puppy Starbuck every night without fail – no matter how knackered I am or what the weather is doing.
  • I will use my orange asthma inhaler – the preventative one – as well as the blue ‘reliever’. After all, the doctors and nurses have been pestering me for the best part of 30 years and so middle age is probably the time to start listening.
  • I will dig out our enormous tent and treat my girls to their first camping holiday in the glorious British countryside. It will be worth the sleep deprivation. It’s also healthy, we can take the dog with us and – crucially – it’s probably all any of us will be able to afford by the time Chancellor George Osborne has put his axe away.
  • I will come up with alternative ways of raising cash for my daughter’s primary school other than spending a whole day playing pool in a pub with five blokes who do nowt but moan about being there. I mean, which part of 24-hour did they not understand?
  • I will stop driving in the middle lane of the motorway. I now concede that it wasn’t purpose-built for yours truly and that I really ought to move over into the slow lane every so often.
  • I will endeavour to keep the computer room tidy, unravel the kids’ clothes before putting them in the wash basket and not place empty boxes, bottles or cartons back into cupboards or the fridge. You’ll have to bear with me on this one.
  • I will maintain my proud record of watching no reality TV shows. That includes continuing to boycott The X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here and absolutely anything involving Davina McCall. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.
  • I pledge to give some contemporary music a try. I accept that everything that isn’t Frank Sinatra, The Stone Roses, Bon Jovi or stuff that is post-1990 isn’t necessarily rubbish and perhaps I ought to, just occasionally, visit the here and now.
  • Now I’ve finally found a sport I’m half-decent at. I will earn my First Class archery award and enter some competitions so that I’ve got more than just the two tiny badges to pin on my quiver.
  • I will find the time to finish the first draft of my novel – if only to prove to myself that I can complete it without doing a Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
  • I will not get drawn into arguments with my fellow Port Vale fans over the future of our club. Everyone is entitled to an opinion – even if it’s wrong. We’re all on the same side, after all.
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