As the New Year is upon us there is the temptation to set new goals for ourselves.

Recently I have returned to doing some daily exercise. Waiting for my hip operation there is a tendency to be lazy as mobility is restricted. Sitting for long periods is never a good idea. My regime is nothing too grand. Using two plastic weights that weigh 2.5 kilograms each, I do upper body work. Lifting them in six different ways at 100 reps each gives me a good workout. It will not make me a muscle-bound he-man but makes me feel that I am at least making an effort.We are all encouraged to get fresh air whenever possible for its obvious health benefits. There are loads of jobs waiting to be done in the garden. It is very frustrating that every time I set myself up to tackle a task the heavens open and gale force winds prevail. It makes working outside impossible. As a complete amateur when it comes to all things horticultural I am at a loss when it is the correct time to prune fruit bushes and trees. YouTube videos of experts make it all look so easy. They also have the correct tools and ideal weather for showing you how it is done. Sadly reality is not so simple. 

Like many households there are numerous jobs that need attention but the temptation is to declare that these tasks would best be left until spring. 

For many the New Year is the time to finally give up smoking, reduce alcohol intake and lose weight. These good intentions are rarely met mainly because we set too strict a regime. 

There is no quick way to lose weight unless we starve ourselves. Such a rapid unhealthy route will not provide long-term weight loss. Likewise going cold turkey on drinking and smoking may work for a few but is very difficult if you have spent a lifetime in overindulgence. We all have good intentions but we are human with our normal weaknesses. We therefore need to set goals that are limited in scope to give ourselves a realistic chance of success. 

My own list for 2024 is not that ambitious. 

1.   I will not watch daytime television so that I do not sit for long periods being inactive.

2.   I will do some form of exercise every day.

3.   When faced with a series of tasks that need to be done I will tackle the most difficult one first rather than leave it to the end.

4.   When I fail to meet my goals I will not beat myself up but reset and start again. 

What my chances are of achieving these limited ambitions remains to be seen, but I am hopeful that as the list is small I can make some progress.

This year we will see lots of politicians telling us they have good intentions. They will claim that they will provide us with solutions to all our problems. The cost of living will be reduced. Hospital waiting times will be a thing of the past. House building will be rapid. Homelessness will be an ended. Schools and social care will be provided with the necessary funds to serve the community.

 More police will be visible on our streets to curb crime. Inflation will return to under two percent. Taxes will be reduced. The living wage will see the end of food banks. Potholes will all be repaired. The list of good intentions is endless.Whatever your good intentions for the coming year I wish you every success. We will be slim and fit alcohol and smoke free.

 The moon will also be made of green cheese!!!!