TODAY is Saturday, in case this odd period between Christmas and New Year has caused you to lose track of time.

The most ostentatious of days has passed and now we bob along gently, eating chocolate for breakfast and pouring our first drink of the day whenever we damn well please.

For me, this is the best part of the festive season. Unlike the mandated rituals that come with Christmas Day, there are few expectations placed upon us at this time. It won’t last long.

The machinery of normality has already started to whirr back to life. The shops are open and ready for business and their windows are adorned with the garish red of promised discounts.

Bin collections will resume, and the postman will soon be arriving with ominous envelopes full of bills and bank statements. People are heading back to work with turkey sandwiches in their packed lunch and brand-new socks on their feet.

The merciful break we’ve had from politics won’t last much longer either.

Unless a meteor strikes Earth, Boris Johnson and his super-majority are taking us out of the European Union on January 31. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats will be holding a leadership contest and we’re sure to be kept informed of every gaffe and ill-advised comment from the hopefuls along the way.

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And so, we begin the slow march towards 2020.

New Year’s resolutions are often scoffed at, mostly because the outlandish promises and pledges we make to ourselves usually don’t survive contact with reality.

Rather than making a statement of intent for the whole year, some now do initiatives likes Sober January, or Veganuary.

The National: Unless a meteor strikes Earth, Boris Johnson and his super-majority are taking us out of the European Union on January 31Unless a meteor strikes Earth, Boris Johnson and his super-majority are taking us out of the European Union on January 31

There’s so much pressure to make a big change on the first day, of the first month of a new year. As though the clock ticking down to midnight will suddenly reveal a brand-new person, free of vices and possessing a steely willpower that wasn’t there at bedtime.

Despite this, I quite enjoy thinking ahead to what I want from a new year. There’s something about a fresh calendar that makes anything – within reason – feel possible.

Rather than one big declarative goal, I like to make a list of things I want to do and achieve.

Then if – like last year – I manage roughly half of what I set out to do, it feels more of a work in progress than a failure.

Last year I wanted to focus on my health. It’s never been something I’ve paid much attention to, believing in the infallibility of youth. I wanted to stop smoking, not only for the destructive impact it has on my body but for the ruinous effect it has on my bank balance. Alongside that, I wanted to get in shape and be able to exercise without feeling like my lungs were on the verge of combustion.

Those two goals would have slotted nicely together but in the end, I didn’t manage to give up cigarettes. I stopped and started and stopped and started again, blaming Brexit, prorogation and then the General Election campaign. Anybody but myself. It’s back on the list for next year.

I did manage to become more active. I learned to hula hoop and, in doing so, finally found that holy grail of an exercise: something I enjoy. I hired a treadmill and where I’d usually watch all the twists and turns of parliamentary shenanigans from the comfort of the sofa, I walked and jogged while shouting at the TV instead. In the process, I lost 30lbs and gained a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Keeping that up will be on the list, as will places I long to visit (in the car that I want to be able to afford and – crucially learn to drive) as well as the career goals I’ll work towards.

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I won’t manage everything, and I won’t emerge from the dreich days of January 2020 as a sparkling, super improved version of myself. There will be stumbles along the way because some things are easier to give up or take up than others.

But in a year that will test the limits of our patience with a government hell bent on stretching the reach of its power, it’s good to have something positive to focus on.

If we could secure a Section 30 order for indyref2, that would be a big help. I could swap the treadmill for pounding the pavements during the campaign period. My packet of cigarettes, which nestle in my handbag as a constant reminder of my failure to kick the habit, would be forgotten about as the possibility of independence helpfully distracted me from my nicotine cravings. So Boris Johnson can add my health to the long list of reasons why he should respect the democratic right of the people of Scotland to have a say on their future.