Now that the eagerly-anticipated joy of Christmas is out of the way, it’s that time of year where we all pretend to better ourselves.
New Year is typically a time to reflect on the year gone by and make a half-hearted attempt to rectify something we didn’t manage to fix in the past 12 months.
It’s taken me 26 years to finally come to the realisation that New Year’s resolutions are a complete waste of time.
For me, at least.
Every year, for as long as I can remember, I’ve made a resolution to stop biting my nails.
It’s a horrible habit I’ve not managed to break since I was young.
Yet, every year without fail, I’ll re-make the resolution and start out just as most people do by convincing myself that, ‘This year I really mean it.’
It’s barely a couple of hours and a few glasses of Buck’s Fizz before I’ve completely forgotten all about my new path and the resolution goes out the window.
It’s a recurring pattern each and every year.
As is falling into the January gym membership trap.
You may remember from a previous column, I’ve had a membership at a Leeds gym since January – and haven’t been once in the past six months.
It started off well, as most resolutions do, and I joined forces with a new gym buddy for extra incentive.
It was actually OK while it lasted.
It just didn’t last.
And the gym bosses know it.
Every time January rolls around, they put on all sorts of tempting deals and offers for naive people like me.
I’ve been the perfect prey for them – an exercise-phobe who is a sucker for the ‘New Year, New Me’ motto.
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a gym at the start of the year, you’ll know I’m not the only idiot who falls for it.
You have to elbow each other out of the way just to be near a treadmill and, God forbid, you want to book a class.
Last New Year’s Eve, I added an extra resolution to the pretty pointless list: To be on time.
It goes against every fibre of my being to be anywhere early, and to be on time is a pure miracle.
Running late is not something I purposefully choose to do.
It must be something in the genes because most of my family are the same.
It doesn’t matter if I have 10 hours or 10 minutes to be somewhere, something always happens and I end up being late.
So I hoped this resolution would change things.
And miraculously, it did.
For a week.
It annoyed me immensely that I couldn’t keep this particular resolution going because it’s something I’ve now become known for – with friends telling me to meet them earlier than they plan to be there because they ‘know me too well’.
I’ve given in to it now, because I don’t think it’s something I can change and no amount of New Year’s Eves can rectify it.
Not only are the resolutions a constant source of disappointment, so is the night itself.
It’s the annual anti-climax of an evening that marks the end of the festive joy and the start of the January blues.
For years I’ve ventured out in Leeds but drinks, taxis and clubs are so over-priced and over-rated that I end up in a packed-out bar full of people who are equally resentful of the prices they’re paying for what is basically just another night out.
House parties are definitely the way to go – a room full of friends, with music you can choose yourself, no entry fee and a venue that’s within staggering distance.
So this year I think I’ll find a house party and resolve to not make any more resolutions.
Robin’s in the Thicke of it after landing sexism award
It’s possibly the most unsurprising thing you’ll have heard in 2013, but Robin Thicke has been named Sexist of the Year.
Not Sexiest of the Year.
Sexist of the year.
The Blurred Lines singer received the accolade after a poll by the End Violence Against Women Coalition, which represents dozens of women’s groups around the UK.
Prime Minister David Cameron was runner-up for the second year in a row.
It’s hardly shocking Thicke has taken home this title and I doubt he’ll even bat an eyelid.
In all likelihood he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Despite places like the Leeds University Union banning the song and people blasting its controversial lyrics for suggesting rape or sexual assault, the backlash somehow hasn’t stopped the singer in his tracks.
The 36-year-old father-of-one still chooses to have women strutting around him with barely anything on in his subsequent videos and almost all of his television performances.
So I doubt this ‘award’ will make him change his tactics.
But it’s at least some comfort to those whose feathers he’s ruffled to know he didn’t get through 2013 totally unscathed.
I agree, the lyrics aren’t exactly empowering, but I have to admit it’s one catchy tune.
The women’s coalition said they would be sending Thicke a voucher so that he can download Aretha Franklin’s hit song Respect as his prize.
Maybe it might give him inspiration for his next single.
We can only hope.
Burgundy is back where he belongs on the silver screen
I’m a bit behind with times but can’t wait to see the new Anchorman movie.
It’s been nine years in the making and I hope it’s been worth the wait.
Friends have already been bragging about how great it is on Facebook, so let’s hope it lives up to the hype.
Next year is also going to be an awesome year for films, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla and The Hobbit: There and Back Again all due for release next year.
There’s sure to be plenty to keep the superhero fans among us happy too.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days Of Future Past and – wait for it – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be hitting our cinema screens in the next 12 months.
Some of my colleagues used to organise a little YEP cinema club where we’d have weekly trips to catch a new film.
But we got a bit slack and haven’t been since the summer.
With all these new releases in 2014, I think it’s time to get the club back together.
News team, assemble!