If you're like me, each year you pick a New Year resolution and by the first week of January you've probably given up or forgotten all about it. I usually ditch the resolution as it's just a bit boring. Do more exercise, eat better, drink less, not very inspiring for anyone.
However, a new year is a good point to take stock of your life and see if you would like to make any changes. This year I'm getting organised and having a brainstorm in advance rather than a slightly drunken decision just before midnight. Here are some of my ideas that you could try too, or think of something a little different, crazy or cool.
I don't think I'll go as far as circus skills but a small party trick to amuse friends and family would be fun. There are plenty of demonstrations and tips on the Internet. Try this weekend notes review for a few simple tricks.
Explorer I've enjoyed travelling around the world from Yemen to Italy but often forget to explore what's on my doorstep. Writing articles for WeekendNotes has inspired me to learn more about Oxford. Why not become a tourist in your own town.
If you need a bit more inspiration then you could pick a theme. What about climbing the highest building in each place you visit or enjoying afternoon tea around the country. If you're in Oxford try the Ashmolean Rooftop for tea and cake.
Chef For me there's no point having a resolution to try cooking lots of skilled and fancy meals as I already know I just wouldn't have the time. Instead I'm going to collect and try recipes for tasty but super speedy meals. My top two favourites so far are Chilli Prawn Bucatini which is really quick from start to finish. My One Pot Meal recipe inspired by a visit with my sister is quick to prepare and can then be left in the oven until you're ready to eat, giving you time to look after kids or get ready for a dinner party.
Dancer I'm not suggesting you learn ballroom or salsa dancing which probably feature somewhere on most long lists. My idea is quick, cheap and leaves you privately uplifted. When no one is about (or just my toddler), I love to put some upbeat music on really loud and then dance like a crazy lady. No way would I ever let anyone see me let rip and flail my limbs around with such abandon but boy, does it feel good. I think once a week would be an achievable target and could probably count as a get fit resolution.
If that doesn't appeal then try something else to shake up your everyday life. You could try listening to a different style of music, get creative with some modern art or host a party with a difference for your friends.
Pay It Forward If you haven't seen the film or heard of the concept, then very simply it's a way that one person can make a difference and perhaps change the world. Carry out an act of kindness for someone and instead of this person paying you back they carry out an act of kindness for a third party, thus paying it forward. If successful this can cause a change reaction of good.
Alternatively, there are lots of other ways you can make a difference. How about volunteering, doing a sponsored triathlon or if you're a mum who goes through a lot of baby wipes there are various charities who collect the empty wrappers. In the UK you could support Ellie's Fund.
So ditch the boring resolutions and think of something different to do instead. I'd love to hear what ideas you have.
I went to a New Year's party where everyone wrote a random 'resolution' and put in in a hat. Everyone then picked out a mystery resolution to adopt. I got 'see 5 shows of live comedy in the year'. I actually did it and it was great fun!
I've never bothered with new year's resolutions before. If I decide I'm going to make a change in my life, I don't wait until a particular date to do it. I suppose it is a good motivator for people who want to change, but need a kick up the rear end to get them started.