Giving up smoking:

If you’re 100% sure that 2014 is your year to ditch the fags, take it from a smoker who quit every Sunday morning and was back on it by Tuesday lunchtime – don’t tell anyone. Nothing makes people want to see you fail faster than a grandiose display of crushing your fag packet at 12.03am and proclaiming in a loud and annoying voice, ‘I am done with this forever.’ If you want to give yourself a fighting chance without the pressure, do all the sensible stuff (i.e stop putting lit cigarettes in your mouth) but keep it to yourself. That way, if you fail, there’s no shame – and you won’t have anyone needling you down the pub whining, ‘But I thought you said you’d quit?’

Quitting your job:

You hate the office, and everyone in it. Sometimes, on a Monday morning, you fantasise about discovering the building has burned down and you never have to see any of your colleagues ever again. However, quitting by email at the NYE party or just not turning up to work on Thursday are both bad tactics. Yes, this is your year to find yourself, get the job of your dreams, marry a millionaire, etc. However, I’d advise you to hang on and wait until you find something new, as if you’re still jobless by mid-February, you will look foolish, and will probably be fairly poor.

Dumping people:

Your other half has buggered off to another New Year’s Eve party, and guess what – this is just the latest in a long line of grudges you bear. Remember how they shirked the washing up on Boxing Day, and how they wouldn’t carry all of your bags during the mammoth shopping trip? ‘I’ll dump them!’ you think brightly, swaying around the garden, cider in hand. ‘I shouldn’t have to put up with this. I need a fresh start.’ A word to the wise – if you’re making this decision under the influence of alcohol, hold fire. Also, you might want to check out the other party that they went to – there’s a good chance it may be better than the one you’re at.

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Unachievable weight loss:

The fridge is stocked with delicious, filling mineral water, you’ve booked 80 personal training sessions and you just know you’re going to shift that pesky four stone in time for your cousin’s wedding at the end of January. I hate to be blunt, but you won’t. Not even if you stop eating and make sure all of your spare time is spent on a treadmill. Sorry.

Seeking out old ‘friends’:

You haven’t spoken in five years, ever since she tried to kiss your Dad at your 21st birthday party and ruined the night by sitting in a corner, muttering about you under her breath. Still, you’ve had a few drinks, and the rosy, glowing memories of your time together are encouraging you to give her a ring. Remember the time she let you use her hairdryer? How about that wonderful Christmas where she made such an effort to abstain from cracking on to your boyfriend in the name of festive spirit? If you do decide to drink ‘n’ dial, feel free to punish yourself appropriately by actually making a lunch date with this person. You’ll never go out with your phone again.

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