New New Year Resolutions

Don't sweat the big stuff. Celebrate the small stuff instead in 2015, says Kaye Holland

Master Mandarin. Travel to India and Russia. Explore more of London… these were just a few of the things that made it onto my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions list.

Having set up my own London walking tour company with three friends and fellow freelancers (www.talkofthetownlondon.com if you’re interested!),  number three was achieved. But I didn’t manage the first two nor did I ever get around to others on my list like giving the walls in my flat a fresh lick of paint or FINALLY becoming confident in the kitchen (this one has been on the list for the last 10 years).

Usually on 1 January, I sit down and scrutinise last year’s New Year Resolutions list, berate myself for my failures and then promptly make a new, equally exhaustive plan which I write in a new notebook. My Dad always jokes that there need to be eight days in a week, for me to have even the slightest chance of achieving all my goals and you know what? Maybe the old man is right.

So this year- 2015 - I am going to forget about the big stuff and focus instead on the small things. In short, life’s simple pleasures. Ok so I might not have made to Moscow but I did tick off Tel Aviv and Texas. I didn’t do a lot of flat DIY but I did see my friends more, ventured it Vicarage Road to watch my beloved Watford FC battle it out live as opposed to on the box - and played an active role in my local community. I also opted to read biographies rather than keep up with the Kardashians on 4Music, finally joined Instagram (and discovered that sharing photos with a community is actually a lot of fun) and when freelancing journalism work dried up during the summer, successfully sought alternative methods of cash in-flow (think tutoring and Airbnb) - all of which is surely worth celebrating.

So go ahead and “Dream big and dare to fail” - as English entertainer Norman Vaughan once put it - but don’t discount the small stuff either. Yes ‘Master Mandarin’ and ‘Travel to BRIC countries such as India and Russia’ will no doubt be back on my list later today. However I’m also going to learn to say no to (according to US business magnate Warren Buffet, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything”) and in the process be kinder not only to others in 2015, but also myself.