THERE is something wonderfully indulgent about setting a New Year’s resolution.

I find that the pleasure you gain from it isn’t impacted by how likely you are to actually achieve your lofty January goals.

It’s the intention behind making them that offers something that I can’t seem to resist, no matter how many of my resolutions fail to get past the first few weeks of a brand new year.

There are a few that seem to make it onto my January 1st list, year after year.

One is a promise to myself to be brave in accepting new opportunities.

It is such a vague and wide-ranging pledge that it ought to be achievable.

Yet here we are in 2023 and I am still very much a career coward. But all is not lost. As the cheesy Instagram quote says, a new year is a book that has yet to be written.

Perhaps my new book will include saying yes to appearing on Question Time or a similarly terrifying television programme. Probably not.

But it’s still lovely to daydream about a moment in time when you are a shinier, better, braver version of your current self.

Ditching my beloved cigarettes was another resolution that became a frequent flyer on my New Year’s list. In the end, I finally broke up with the fags on a totally random day in August 2021 and have remained consciously uncoupled from them ever since.

I miss them sometimes when I catch a whiff of one after a few glasses of wine or see smokers huddled conspiratorially around an outdoor heater. But all good things must come to an end – especially ones so adept at destroying every organ in your body.

Unfortunately, achieving that particular goal led me directly to another vice that I have pledged to wean myself off this year.

I replaced the cigarette addiction with a less intense – but no less expensive – habit of vaping. A blueberry cloud follows me wherever I go. And while I tell myself that there is no hard evidence that the cloud will lead to my untimely death, there is also a quiet whisper in the back of my brain that regularly reminds me vaping hasn’t been around for long enough for science to make any firm conclusions either way.

So, it has to go. Whether that’s this month, as I intend, or on a random day six months from now, the intention is there and that’s the best any of us can hope for.

Especially given that the world is burning and there’s quite enough to be worried about.

Of course, there are those high-achievers who walk among us that set a firm New Year’s resolution and actually do it, on schedule and without fuss.

It’s a concept I don’t quite understand but I’m rooting for them anyway.

One of the most popular pledges at this time of year is to lose weight or get fit.

It seems to me that January is the worst possible time to begin any radical lifestyle change.

December is for feasting and fattening up. It’s a time of sitting still, drinking a bit more than you should and going weeks without eating a vegetable.

A January health kick is too much of a shock to the system to be sustainable.

Better to ease into it gradually.

Have a few litres of water this month and a couple of salads the next.

By March, you can introduce leisurely walks in nature and a few press-ups if you are so inclined.

Then, before you know it, you have meandered towards physical perfection.

By the time the summer comes, you’ve got a six-pack and have developed a taste for green smoothies, all without too much effort.

It’s important to keep your intentions manageable and celebrate small victories.

Another one of my New Year’s resolutions (yes, it is quite an extensive list) is to become more organised financially.

Anything to do with numbers hurts my brain so I’ve no grand plans to suddenly learn what an ISA is or get stuck in about the gilds market.

But I’ll check my online banking more regularly and maybe cancel a subscription or two.

I’ve got off to an uncharacteristically good start with this particular resolution.

Feeling full of January motivation, I wrote out an income and expenditure sheet which I put in a fancy wee folder for future reference.

From this, I learned a few things.

Firstly and unsurprisingly, the cost of living crisis is a pain in the arse.

Secondly, I really can’t afford to keep vaping.

Thirdly – and most excitingly of all – if I ditch impulsive purchases, I could probably upgrade my lifestyle to include a tub of Lurpak each month.

That alone makes it a resolution worth sticking to.

And that makes me happy – even though I probably won’t.