I’m not entirely sure of the point in new year resolutions, it’s not like you’ve not just had a year to do new things. I’m even less sure of the point in publicly declaring them, unless one of them is a commitment to being publicly shamed for having failed them all before the end of January.

Therefore, perhaps it’s best to make them achievable.  Something like, giving up walking down stairs with hands in your pockets, or to not eat quite so many biscuits for breakfast. Actually, scrub that one. But here are my plans and inclinations for 2016. It mainly involves no longer writing a weekly blog, which was last year’s resolution.I’ll keep blogging though, to keep my oar in; it was after all inspired by the man who wrote Three Men in a Boat, but it’d be good to be freed of self-inflicted shackles. Therefore, in 2016, I am determined:

1 To extend my parenting technique beyond saying ‘Hold on a minute,’ to every demand, punctuate by saying ‘Where’s your other glove?’

2 To have more sex. Of course this is determined by someone else also having this new year resolution. Unless they’ve resolved to having less sex in 2016.

3 To  stop describing liking U2 as a guilty pleasure. There’s nothing guilty about it. Their latest arena shows redefine how live music can work, which sounds like their PR has hi-jacked this list, but it’s true.

4 It’s also about time I decided whether I’m an arse, or tits man. I’ve left the female population hanging on this decision for far too long, a decision needs to be made. It’s always so awkward when the topic of conversation comes up. 2016 will change this.

5 Play more golf. I know this sounds a little unchallenging, and I’ve agreed with Mark Twain for years in that it ruins a walk, but I’ll never see my mates again if I don’t take it up. Besides, it’s something to blog about, and I really DO need to leave the house.

6 Start watching more TV. My face is so blank at talk of Luther, or Monkton Abbey, or murder cases being solved by a stripy jumper in the Slavic gloom that people have expressed concern over which century I’m living in.

7 The problem with writing is seeing how old your hands look, so start wearing gloves. If only this had been my new year resolution in 1991.

8 To invent a headphones pocket de-tangler so they always emerge ready for use, as opposed to knitted tighter than a ball of wool.

9 To finally admit that I once thought Fleetwood Mac had nicked the Formula 1 theme music

10 To minimise time spent surfing the web for explanations of plot holes and questions provoked by Star Wars – The Force Awakens to only 30 mins a day.

11 Save money by buying Christmas decorations and wrapping paper for 2016 now.

12 Admit that leaving academic papers around the house and a having highlighter in every pocket is not the same as actually studying.

13 Keep the loo seat down. Apparently in Feng Shui it keeps money in the house. Unless someone is flushing it down the toilet I struggle to see how this is the case, but surely it’s worth a punt.

14 Learn to let things go, not everything is a competition. For example, it doesn’t actually matter who is the most ticklish.

15 To remember at least one of my passwords, you know, that one involving a capital letter, the name of your neighbour’s cat when you lived in Acton for 3 months in the late 70s, an emoticon and all in an uninvented font.

16. Start a new blog called Facts from the Village, whereby I record overheard local facts, which are generally made up, yet utterly believed, such as ‘oranges float better than lemons’, and that Jean Fowler from number 34 hasn’t been seen since she was told Elton John is gay.

17. To not mention my novel The Life Assistance Agency in every blog or sentence, but which can be pre-ordered here:

https://wordery.com/the-life-assistance-agency-thomas-hocknell-9781911129035

18. To enjoy every minute of finally getting published in September, but to confine grinning like a smug idiot until after going to bed. I have pursued this for 20 years, and must remember to enjoy it. To sit with the moment of achievement, instead of striving for the next.