New year, new you (or: let’s try this again)

Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Is it easier to break a promise when you make it to yourself?

Perhaps that is why so many of us fail to stick to our new year's resolutions, this columnist included.

So for extra accountability, here are my three for 2018: at work, to learn new things that will make me a better journalist, such as how to use Instagram (this is how journalism works these days); at home, to do the dishes more often; and for myself, to read more books (I'm currently working on News of the World by Paulette Jiles).

Like the sign at Palmer in the photo, it’s a work in progress.

What have you got?

According to an email that landed in my inbox this week, it may hardly matter.

Forty per cent of people will make resolutions each year, according to psychologist Michelle Grosvenor, but less than one in three of those will succeed at them.

Apparently the trick is:

  • Be specific: set a goal of walking three times per week for 30 minutes rather than "getting fit"
  • Think long-term: pace your efforts throughout the year
  • Be realistic
  • Visualise the ways in which your life will change if you achieve your goal - for instance, how much money you will save if you quit buying cigarettes, and what you will be able to do with it
  • Buddy up: find someone who can offer support and encouragement

(An aside: the email came from Pilot Pens, based on the tenuous connection that one needs a pen and paper to write down one's goals. I applaud whatever lateral-thinking PR flack came up with that idea to try and get the company's name in print.)

The new year is also a time for nostalgia, something we indulged in in our final edition for 2017.

In looking back at the year, we found our share of triumphs and disagreements, yes, but also inspirational people like Jacqui Clarke, overcoming meningococcal; memorable moments like the opening of Murray Bridge's new water playground; and grand plans like Tailem Bend's first V8 Supercars race, now just eight months away.

There was plenty of good news, and there will be plenty more of it for us to bring to you in 2018 – may that be our resolution.

Peri Strathearn


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