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?

turkey leftovers from a big holiday dinner.iStockphoto

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

A young woman wrapping Christmas presentsiStockphoto

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

Frustrated Overweight Woman Measuring Waist iStockphoto

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?

Hot winter drink with spices and oranges.iStockphoto

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!

Young woman sitting down having a break from housework


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’

Quality Street box


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!

Shopping bags


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!’

Mum and son playing in the snow


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…’

Mum crying at movie


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:

10. Ta-dah!

Little black dress and accessoriesiStockphoto

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!

Stack of mobile phones


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!

Woman exercising outdoors in winter


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