Who needs New Year resolutions? As if January isn’t bleak enough, they can make us feel guilty and inadequate – especially when we cave in within weeks, days, even hours… No, the time for resolutions is now, in the run-up to Christmas. That way, they can be less about beating yourself up and more about making the festivities easier on yourself. Cheers to that!
1. Feeding the 5,000?
I will not wildly overestimate how much my guests will eat, then end up trying to get through platefuls of dried-up leftovers until New Year’s Eve.
Tip: Waitrose handy online planner does all the calucations for you!
2. Paper mountain
I will make time for myself to enjoy the run-up and not get buried under a mountain of wrapping paper and ribbon.
Tip: Take advantage of the free giftwrapping option available in many stores and online. And if it’s not offered up-front – ask! Alternatively, buy some gift bags, gift boxes and tissue paper, pop in the presents and scrunch some tissue on top to hide them – simple!
3. Feast or famine
I will not crash-diet until Christmas Eve, gorge myself stupid until New Year’s Day, then try to reverse the damage at the grimmest time of year.
Tip: If you’re prone to piling on weight over the festive season, set yourself a (realistic) limit on how many treats you’ll have a day. Being aware is half the battle won.
4. Deluded – moi?
I will not make all five of my ‘five-a-day’ glasses of mulled wine. (OK, it’s made from grapes, but the alcohol outweighs the benefits of the fruit content!)
Tip: Of course, any fruit you mull along with the wine will count towards your daily five, so chuck in some apple and orange segments!
5. Cry for help!
I will not try to take on all the household chores myself because ‘no-one else does it like I do’.
Tip: With tinsel, baubles, scraps of wrapping paper, small toy parts and cracker jokes already taking over, what on earth difference will a thin layer of dust or a few mince-pie crumbs really make? And the ironing can definitely wait!
6. ‘Because I’m worth it’
I will rake out all The Purple Ones from the box of Quality Street and stash them in the kitchen for my own secret enjoyment.
Tip: Tesco sells a big pack of Purely Purple Ones!
7. Save, save, save!
I will not go crazy with at the pre-Christmas sales (unless it’s to buy that cashmere coat for myself that’s 70 per cent off…).
Tip: Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis has loads of great money-saving tips for Christmas!
8. ‘Pass the cheesy footballs!’
I will take time off each day from barking orders at the family to sit down and enjoy the festivities with them.
Tip: Plan your days so that everyone knows that at, say, 3pm everything stops for a wintry walk and frolic in the snow (we wish!), a board game or a round of charades.
9. ‘Something in my eye…’
I will not cry like a baby when I watch the new Raymond Briggs heartwarming animation Ethel and Ernest, which tells his parents’ love story (sob!).
Tip: You can watch a trailer here to get you in the mood:
I will not drag around the shops every day between Christmas and New Year’s Eve looking for a cheap, sparkly, new party outfit that I will probably never wear again.
Tip: A single piece of statement jewellery, a brightly patterned hair accessory, an evening scarf or a daring pair of dress gloves can transform a little black dress into a whole new outfit.
11. Hands off!
I will instigate a ‘phone stack’ rule that applies to everyone – regardless of protestations – at the dinner table! (This means everyone piles up their phones, face down, and is banned from retrieving them until after the meal.)
Tip: Make it into a game of forfeits. The first person to cave (unless they are on red-alert for a babysitter or ailing relative) has to clear away/drink cold gravy/anything your evil side can come up with….
12. Gain without pain!
I will resist all discounted gym memberships that will result in me going no more than twice, and resolve instead to take long, brisk walks whenever I can manage them.
Tip: Why not download the free WalkIt app to your smart phone. It gives you walking routes, including journey time, calorie burn, step count and carbon-saving stats, from and to loads of UK locations! Go to www.walkit.com to find out more