Really, really wanting it: NYR2

Author, journalist and broadcaster Helen Croydon gives her take on New Year resolutions.

One year I made a resolution not to make any more resolutions. And you know what, it was the only resolution that ever stuck. After much analysis of the puzzling phenomenon I concluded that if you ever want to change something about yourself, or your habits, it’s only going to work if you want it enough. Want it enough, that is, to not want to wait until the 1st January to do anything about it. The things I’ve felt most determined to achieve did not have to wait for a date. Instead they injected me with a surge of onrush to start it now.

That said, New Year is a natural time to make a vow to do things differently – not because it’s a new year – but because we return to normality after a period of time out of our normal routine. we’ve had a rare opportunity to reflect (on our behaviour at the Christmas party) , slow down and read the credit card bills. Plus, anything that needs any sort of decision or action just before Christmas, gets pushed aside, or has mulled wine spilled on it. By the time January 3rd comes along I for one have a long list of office-hour phone calls to make. Some people confuse that with a self-congratulating resolution of efficiency. I think it’s just getting back to normal.

Helen Croydon is author of Sugar Daddy Diaries, a confessional memoir which explores the attraction of power and questions modern models of relationships.