Observations: Resolutions of the heart
Friday 01 January 2010
If readers have yet to make a New Year's resolution, consider yourselves a tardy bunch. Some of us – namely the 788 people signed up to One Hundred Days to Make Me a Better Person – have been going for a good month already.
This London Word Festival project, not to be confused with last year's 100 Days to Copenhagen countdown, is simplicity itself: an online pledge to do "one thing once each day for one hundred days" in a bid to nudge the world into a nobler existence. High-profile participants include the comedian Isy Suttie (aka Dobby from Peep Show), who is adding daily drawings to a "canvas of happiness".
Behind this warm-hearted endeavour is Josie Long, she of such shows as All of the Planet's Wonders, Trying Is Good and the Edinburgh award-winning Kindness and Exuberance. Long's aim is self-improvement without psychobabble. And, given their creative demographic, most participants have pledged to write/paint/ snap/strum something new each day, sharing their efforts on Facebook, Flickr or Twitter along the way.
Other common goals include picking up a new language (be it French, Finnish or Ancient Greek), learning to hula-hoop or making a stranger smile in the street. Dieting combines with current affairs in the comedian Tiernan Douieb's aim to "stop eating cakes and start watching the news", while the artist Daniel Weir's promise "to play with Lego" has produced intriguing brick-based sculptures.
This writer has pledged to read half an hour of fiction a day (less a resolution, more a sad indictment of an Eng Lit graduate five years on). But if this week's science headlines are true, smaller resolutions started early have the greatest chance of success. Once the 100 days are up, Long will be curating our experiences for a festival gig on 10 March in East London, where Suttie's canvas will be auctioned off for charity. By then, this collective habit of art might just have stuck.
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