A guide to... resolutions

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In the first instalment from our new columnist, the incredulous Justine Maybank, casts a disapproving eye over those killjoys of the New Year - the ever-lurking resolutions...

A guide to... resolutions
What is it about the New Year that makes us, after a month of fun and excess, suddenly strip all the joy out of life and commit a bit of self-flagellation? You don't find a runner attempting a hundred metre dash after he's just finished a marathon, so why subject ourselves to a deluge of deprivation when we've only just managed to wrestle the Advocat back in the cupboard for another year? Resolutions go from the sublime to the ridiculous. They're either about making impossible changes or stripping your life of pleasure. Aiming to become a best-selling author who lives in a turret with twins is never a realistic option when you're actually an illiterate, agoraphobic bedsit dweller with a dodgy ovary. And having just drunk yourself into a state of pickled nirvana, now is not the time to deprive your body of its balming fluid and only drink Lemsip. Your rosy alcohol hue will turn to a pallid grey and you'll suffer a mental relapse at being able to see yourself clearly in the mirror again. Resolutions are something we do because every one else does, not because we want to. It's a bit like going to Brownies. Remember those happy days when, after eight hours of school, you then had to don a purse belt and neckerchief while dodging the stick wielding Brown Owl who made you draw homework chart charts using only a pencil and your teeth. But there is an unwritten rule that absolutely no one sticks to their resolutions beyond the second day. It never takes long to realise why you never do the thing you've drunkenly imposed on yourself in the first place. Perhaps if more of us resolved to drink more and have fun, come January we wouldn't be surrounded by a bunch of anxious looking people who are already regretting their over hasty appointment with the colonic pump. Why not resolve not to resolve and leave this moment of misery for those who enjoy a dose of repentance. While others deprive themselves of chocolate, impulse buying or obsessive eyebrow plucking, make yourself a treacle pudding, slap on a corset, put a cherry in your cocktail (it goes towards your five a day) and actually start the New Year as you wish to go on.
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