An exclusive Independent readers' offer: New Year's resolutions even you can keep

To visit a total stranger in hospital and keep telling her you hardly recognise her

WHEN DID you last make a New Year's resolution and keep it? Not for a long time. If ever. And I'll tell you why. It's because we all make resolutions to cure the worst part of our behaviour. In other words, we make the resolutions that are least likely to be kept, because they are the hardest.

An untidy person resolves to be tidy and an overweight person to eat less. Fat chance. Ten days later the mess is as bad as ever and the diet forgotten.

So here's what you must do. You must make a resolution which you will find easy to keep. And the best way to do that is choose a resolution at random. How do you make a resolution at random? Easy. You pick one from the following list of resolutions, randomly provided by our tireless Independent computer.

Just stick a pin in the piece and make a solemn oath to keep whatever oath fate lands you win. Here we go, then. Say after me: I resolve...

If overweight, to be tidier.

u

If untidy, to eat less.

To buy no more books until I have read all the books I already possess.

u

To throw out all the dried spices on my kitchen either which are more than 10 years old or which I cannot identify with a blindfold sniff.

u

To buy my produce at little High Street shops until Safeways has gone bankrupt, or at least until I am forced to go back to Safeways because there were no bloody aubergines in the bloody High Street.

u

To give up reading any articles which are headed: "New Labour, new rift" or "Cancer cure breakthrough" or "African fossil find leads to rethink on human origins".

u

To boldly split infinitives without a qualm.

u

Not to use such pointless time-wasting expressions as "as it were", "as it might be", "as such" or "if you like".

Never again to sing "My Way", or any part of it.

u

To smile at drivers who cut in front of me and discover that road radiance is even more effective (ie annoying) than road rage.

u

To get rid of all Ordnance Survey maps more than 10 years old, unless they are more than 50 years old and therefore getting valuable again.

u

To practise my signature until it begins to look something like the scrawl on my credit cards again.

u

To give up reading all articles headed "BBC reshuffle spells new threat to radio", "Sports supremo promises massive shake-up" or "TV documentary was fixed".

u

To go carol singing next year, but singing only carols in French.

u

When asked what I want to drink in a pub, to say "The unusual, please" and then to try something new for a change.

u

To ruthlessly reduce the number of keys on my key-ring by half.

u

Never to vote in any personality of the year contest, or anything which involves ringing one number for Yes and another for No.

u

To phone up a prostitute's telephone number and try to sell her double glazing.

u

To avoid all articles headed: "New ways with noodles" or "Open up that attic" or "Ten uses for a converted church".

u

To think up 10 more valid uses to which cotton buds can be put.

u

To visit a total stranger in hospital and keep telling her you hardly recognise her.

u

To ask people if they have noticed that nobody seems to be discussing Peter Mandelson's sexuality any more.

u

Never to call anything "the new rock'n'roll".

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map