Viva la resolution

Happy New Year. Given the current state of affairs, that greeting has got something of a hollow ring about it but, you get the sentiment.

Can you believe it’s been a whole year since failing to be a better person? According to Yougov, around 25 % of us make New Year resolutions. That’s an unexpectedly low figure. Less surprising is that a year on, only a quarter (24%) of those who made resolutions have kept all of them. Just under half (47%) of those who made them say they managed to keep some, but not all – another 28% say they kept none of their resolutions. Be honest. Have you edged a little closer to hell on a road paved with your good intentions?

Low adherence becomes less surprising when you see that the perennial top resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more, get organised, learn a new skill or hobby and be better with finances. All good, worthy things but nigh on impossible to maintain as all require considerable changes of mindset.

When it comes to losing weight and doing more exercise (subjects very close to home) the reality is privation and pain. (Yes, it’s Day 7 of Dry January). And we’ve had quite enough of that recently thank you.

So how about buying a dog to help with that exercise? It’s another resolution that many people can’t keep. Thousands of people who bought puppies during lockdown are now paying for their ‘impulse decisions’ and rehoming their pets.

Talking of dogs, watching the opening episode of Pooch Perfect on the telly last night, I resolved A) never to watch it again and B) to seriously consider not paying my TV license. Just when you thought that the bottom of the televised competitive-hobby barrel had been scraped bare – think Naked Attraction (actually, don’t), endless cookery ones, the pottery one, the painting one, and the knitting one, along comes the dog grooming one. On paper it should work. Lots of lovely doggies being pampered and blown dry. It’s all against the clock (Masterchef) and takes place in a big country house (Bake Off). The skill is all about getting the correct rear angulation apparently.

The compere, Sheridan Smith, looks as embarrassed as any actor of her talent should, being blatantly upstaged by her co-host Stanley. He’s a dog.
Yes, we all need cheering up in these dark times, but if this is the result of the BBC creative talent pool fighting for its very survival, we’re all going to the dogs.

Anyway, the Insight pollsters have been to work to see if there are any other, more achievable and frankly enjoyable resolutions you could adopt and suggestions include: keeping a diary. Travelling around more of the UK, in particular the Highlands of Scotland. To run a more ordered  fridge, with more leftovers placed in Tupperware. To drink more water instead of just coffee and wine. (Sigh!) And, stop scrolling twitter and engage with family, develop patience when helping with home schooling and stop banging my head on the table in frustration.

We’ll keep readers informed of progress towards the end of the year – perhaps with diary notes from a pub in Scotland (if there are any left and the border’s open) plus a tour of a fridge somewhere in North London.

Perhaps the greatest resolution to which we can all aspire is simply not to make any. Try in some small way to do things a bit better, be a bit kinder and sit this wretched pandemic out with equanimity if you’re lucky enough to be able to do so. And, don’t watch any programmes about competitive dog grooming. Ever.