It's a week or so after New Year, which means that almost all of us will already have buckled on our resolutions. Some of us will still be insisting that we can still get fit in time for the Comrades, while others may have already realised that abseiling down the Grand Canyon might have to wait until 2009.

Don't beat yourselves up. It is not your fault - ever since you were old enough to count, you've been asked to make resolutions but nobody has ever helped you decide what is worth resolving. Here's some advice, for what it's worth.

Avoid biting off more than you can chew. Resolutions like 'I will be a better person' or 'I will eat only tofu and raisins' are impossible and futile, and you know it. You might make it until early February before turning into a complete bastard and eating nothing but Bar Ones for a solid week. Be ambitious by all means, but be realistic as well.

A good start is to make your resolutions while sober. We all have a friend who at some point during New Year's Eve has vowed to never drink another drop of booze. The problem, and the irony, is that they are more often than not drunk at the time. So next time, do them early, before the party starts, because there really is no point waking up on New Year's Day with a drunkenly scrawled list of companies you want to start, or the 'Five Cars I Must Own Before June'. It just sets the bar too high.

Don't make it too vague either - you're not fooling anyone by deciding to do your best to lose weight, or cut down on smoking. If you can't fail, you can't really succeed either. Remember that it's not a competition. If the guy next to you at a New Year's dinner party says he's going to kayak across the Atlantic with only three Granola bars for sustenance, leave him to it. Wish him good luck. Don't, for goodness sake, say you'll do it with two.

So there it is; next year's guide to making resolutions that you can actually achieve. Until then, enjoy falling hopelessly short of this year's list. With nothing to make you feel like you're a failure, you might actually get something done this year.

The Editor

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