We are three weeks into the new year and as the smell of pine needles finally fades from the living room it’s the traditional time to take a long, hard, massively critical look at one’s life. I have never been a big one for new year’s resolutions for one reason; that I am fundamentally a man who finds any sort of sweeping change to my lifestyle difficult to implement and maintain. My interests in life haven’t really changed since I was about 16 and whilst marriage, home-ownership, employment and the other side effects of living a fulfilling adult life have altered how I spend my time, I’m way more likely to be found playing Football Manager or watching movies in my spare time than I am exercising or learning a new skill.
How, then, to try to make and stick to some of the resolutions that I want to make? Make them public on my blog and write a monthly update on how it’s all going.
Wish me luck!
RESOLUTION 1 – LOSE A STONE
Measure of success: Weigh 11 st 3 by January 1st, 2015
Surely the most common and traditional of resolutions. New Year’s Resolution 101, as it were. For about 12 years now I have been carrying a bit of extra Fred around my middle which is not only a symbol of a sedentary lifestyle, but also looks odd taken in tandem with my small, flat bottom. Without wishing to get too ‘Take a Break’ it’s time to make a concerted effort to lose some of that weight through the wretched and distasteful combination of a healthy diet and more exercise, which bring me on nicely to…
RESOLUTION 2 – RUN A HALF-MARATHON
Measure of success: Complete an organised half-marathon event in 2014
Last May, I ‘ran’ the Manchester 10km with some of my work colleagues. The achievement went to our heads and we all vowed to up the ante and run 21km next time out. As the months went by, people returned to sanity and began to drop out or make noises that they wouldn’t be able to commit. Undeterred, I started training for it, but then Christmas happened and I consumed a ton of fizzy wine, salmon roulade, and mince pies. In addition I ran exactly zero miles for six weeks.
My plan to run at Wilmslow in March’s has now been scrapped but there is a hundred other half-marathons to sign up for so I will pick one, pay my money, and then hit the road.
RESOLUTION 3 – LEARN TO DRIVE
Measure of success: Obtain a full UK driver’s licence by 31st December, 2013
Two and a half years ago I started to learn to drive. Hundreds of pounds and three failed practical tests later I decided to have a break from it. That break lasted over 18 months, but will not last much longer. The current plan of action is to take an intensive course and try to get this accomplished over the space of a couple of days.
Drivers of Whitefield – you have been warned!
RESOLUTION 4 – READ ‘CRIME AND PUNISHMENT’
Measure of success: To read, engage with, and understand Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ by the end of the year
I love reading, but I am a very slow reader. Occasionally I get great bursts of it where I can polish off a book in a couple of days, but on the whole a single, 400 page book probably takes me about a month to get through.
I also haven’t read many of the great works of literature, so to that end I vow to read that red-spined, white covered copy of ‘Crime and Punishment’ that looks down at me, and on me, from the book shelf in the spare bedroom. It will not be enough to read it, however. I must engage with the story and understand what it is trying to say.
RESOLUTION 5 – WATCH 150 MOVIES
Measure of success: To watch 150 movies in 2014
This one should be easy. Last year I managed more than 130 and I’ve already done 21 in the first 21 days of the year. Expect this to be the only one I succeed with.
I will update on my progress each month.