As 2023 wakes up, looks at the alarm clock and goes back to sleep for another 10 minutes, I’ve been wandering the house thinking of the promise that comes with every new year. The unbridled hope and belief that because the year’s changed you have the opportunity to hit the ‘start over’ button and make the changes you’ve spent the past 12 months waiting to make. In no particular order, these are some of the things I’m going to do and be…

I’m going to be a better husband. I’m going to have more adventures with my wife, love her more and share more. Bucket lists will be filled and emptied together. I’m not going to answer “nothing” when she asks what I’m thinking, unless it really is nothing. Which is quite often.

I’m going to be a better son and brother. I’m going to travel home more often and make an effort to keep in touch with my brother who’s 5000 miles away. I’m going to buy him and his family sensible presents. No more Nerf guns or funny t-shirts, although there may be crossbows and throwing knives. I’m going to laugh with my neices and nephews and remember that they are children, not adults.

I’m going to be more patient with others. I’m going to be more sociable. I’m going to eat at better restaurants and tip more than I can afford. I’m going to order less takeaway food and I’m going to drink more water. I’m going to be healthier and fitter and lose weight. I’m going to spend less and save more. I’m going to read more and write more. I’m going to talk less and listen more. I’m going to devote more time to my friends and less to chasing social likes. I’m going to take up a new hobby and resurrect old ones. I’m going to travel more and see the interesting parts of the world that are tucked away in unexplored corners. I’m going to cook better food and eat less crap. Fruit and veg will no longer go unloved at the bottom of the fridge. I’m going to change my wardrobe and get rid of everything that’s 2 sizes and 20 years too small for me.

I’m going to de-clutter and finish renovating the house. My office will become an oasis of minimalistic calm, creativity and productivity where I’m going to write every day and listen to new, undiscovered bands. I’m going to finish all those jobs around the house that need doing. The guttering will be replaced, the drain will be unblocked, the walls will be painted. The garden will be tidied, weeds removed, and I’m going to create a haven for wildlife. I’m going to clean more often and banish that layer of dust on top of the DVD unit for ever.

I’m going to be a better person in everything I do. I’m going to be a role-model for others. I’m going to complete work and start meetings on time. I’m going to procrastinate less. My productivity will be exceptional. My inbox will be zeroed. I’m going to submit assignments in good time and 1am panics over word count will be bad memories.

I’m going to suffer idiots but not their idiocy. I’m going to educate ignorance, cultivate understanding and show tolerance, although I will be intolerant of intolerance. I’m going to inspire those people I look after. There will be no more indulging the complainers and validating their opinions because their views will be challenged.

I’m going to stop saying “I’ll start tomorrow” and do everything there and then. I’m going to start this one tomorrow.

I’m going to accept my limitations and failings. I’m going to be uncomfortable about being comfortable. I’m going to face the challenges of life with good grace and humour. I’m going to be grateful for the bad things and I’m going to be thankful for the good things.

I’m going to swear uncontrollably when the alarm goes off at 6.30am on my first day back at work. I’m going to be pragmatic and realistic about how much change the new year will bring. I’m going to shrug my shoulders in 12 months when I think about all the things I was going to be.

Because most of all I’m going to be me and I’m going to be happy, and if that’s the only thing I achieve then I’m going to have a good year.

Happy New Year, may it be full of magic and wonder and awe.