Group of drunk people at a New Year's party

100 new year’s resolutions to make 2021 better than this one

Or #Pleasebebetter

As we get ready to give 2021 a welcome unlike any other seen in history (aka millions of people wanting to conga down the street but not allowed to because of the pandemic) I have a couple of questions about what the year will bring.

And, because it wouldn’t be a new year without them, I also have one hundred new year’s resolutions to make the next 365 days much brighter. (Spoiler alert: At the time of going to press I haven’t completed the list of 100.)

Group of drunk people at a New Year's party
A flashback to the olden days when parties were allowed and so people gathered together to celebrate a new year (“Group of drunk people at a New Year’s party” by simpleinsomnia is licensed under CC BY 2.0)
New year party by Paul Everett
There won’t be too many tears shed about the end of the fag end of 2020 (“New year party” by mojorider2 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
New Year Fireworks by David Yu
Watching fireworks from a long way away – in a socially distanced style (“New Year Fireworks” by davidyuweb is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

I wonder whether British people queue in bars in 2021 or will table service be the way for ever more?

Has the pandemic killed the handshake or will a friend of a friend thrust their hand in our direction when we meet them, as if to say “I don’t trust you so let’s shake hands and see if we can find some common ground”.

Will we go back to the days of shoving and pushing as we fight to get on the bus/ train/ tube/ tram?

After a year of crossing the street to keep your ‘social distance’ from strangers, will 2021 be the year when we feel a sense of community instead of “me, me, me”?

It’s too early to know any of the answers but one thing is certain, some people will make new year’s resolutions and many will feel disillusioned by January 8th after breaking them.

Drink more cocktails
Drink more cocktails should be on (almost) everyone’s list of new year’s resolutions (“Girly cocktail” by Hotel de la Paix Genève is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)
Rush Hour at Farringdon Tube, London, UK
Will scenes like this become commonplace when people go back to work in offices? (“Rush Hour at Farringdon Tube, London, UK” by Ashley Coates is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I’ve always found the best way to not be upset about breaking new year’s resolutions is to make so many that if a couple are broken then it doesn’t matter.

This is why every year I set myself 100 (or thereabouts – in 2020 I think I only managed to think of 35) to give the next 12 months a bit (but not too much) of focus.

Listed below are the ones I’ve managed to dream up so far. Some – like drink more cocktails – are always on the list and other mainstays from yesteryear like move out of Bromley and buy my own place have dropped off the list because, in the darkness of 2020, some good things did happen.

1. Drink more cocktails
This is always a good one because, to me, cocktails equal fun times in nice places. I’d like some more fun times in nice places next year.

2. Buy a suit
At some point in 2021 people will be back in offices and I’m not sure I’ll fit into any of my old work clothes.

3. Learn some DIY skills
There’s nothing quite like living in a rented room for years to show just how little DIY I can do. I’d like to learn how to rewire a light.

4. Cook better food
I haven’t mastered the timings for cheap rolls at my local Co-Op and, as a result, am eating better than I did in my old place. But I’d like some more variety (feel free to share any favourite recipes you have).

5. Stay out later
I miss going out until the sun comes up, having crazy nights I’ll remember or not remember at all for years to come. When we are allowed to go out properly again I’d like more nights to remember.

6. Make a plan for the year
All plans were cancelled in 2020 but it would be good to know what direction life is going.

7. Join an internet dating site
When I’ve lost some weight and we are allowed to go outside I might give this a go because swiping hasn’t been successful so far.

MGMT Concert
I hope 2021 gives us music back (“_MGMT Live Concert @ Ancienne Belgique Bruxelles-0753” by Kmeron is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Let’s go out until the sun comes up (“SUNRISE” by giu205 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

8. Go and see more bands play
Over the past few years (apart from 2020) I’ve begun to see more plays than bands. This makes me sad because there’s nothing better than live music.

9. Learn a language
I’m one of those people who only knows how to order a select few dishes in the languages we learned at school. I’m supposed to be in Denmark in September for a half marathon and by then I’d like to be able to ask a shopkeeper about their pastries.

10. Buy a table
Whoever said new year’s resolutions cannot include parts of a shopping list was lying.

11. Buy some dining chairs
See above.

12. Buy a mirror for my hallway
I think it would look nice.

13. Go on two holidays
As a single person it’s difficult to go anywhere (even when there’s not a pandemic on) but I hope to in 2021.

14. Eat a meal at a restaurant on my own
I managed breakfast at a fancy pants place in 2019 so might be able to work up to lunch in 2021.

French cafe chairs
There are so many chairs to choose from – but which ones should I choose? (“Elegant cafe and restaurants of Paris” by eutouring is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Energetic Beachbatter and Lazy Lilo Guy
It would be nice to go on a holiday in 2021 (“Energetic Beachbatter and Lazy Lilo Guy” by RobW_ is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

15. Try not to compare myself negatively to others
If you’re reading this I’m probably envious of what you have managed to achieve in life.

16. Go outside at least once a day
Living alone, working from home, it’s sometimes too easy to not leave my place all day, especially because I only like to walk if there is a purpose.

17. Speak to people on the phone more often
Messaging is fine but sometimes I forget what voices are like.

18. Work out what doesn’t make me happy and change it

19. Have 17 one night stands
It’s something to do, innit.

20. Register with a doctor
I may even do this in January so I can be in the long line for the coronavirus vaccine.

21. Buy some new jeans
If I do this before January then it counts as a double win.

22. Find a new TV show to watch
Next year I will still be thankful for Community. If you have any recommendations for other things I should watch then I’d be grateful.

23. Go to the cinema three times
In 2020 I only managed to watch one movie at the flicks. Next year I’d like to be sat in the darkness with strangers many more times.

24. Read two books
This may sound a small number but I don’t think I read one in 2020 so two is better than one and that’s better than none.

Reading on a park bench
This isn’t me, because I don’t have trousers in that awful colour, but I need to do more of this in 2021 (“Reading on a bench” by Ed Yourdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Deliveroo blonde
Some weeks the only person I see is someone with a takeaway on the back of their bike. I need to stop eating takeaways and start getting out more (“Deliveroo Blonde” by Waterford_Man is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

25. Discover some new bands

26. Be tidier

27. Weigh less on December 31, 2021 than I do on December 31 this year
This has appeared on my list for a few years and conveniently forgetting to weigh myself on New Year’s Eve usually leaves me clueless about whether I have achieved it or not.

28. Run Park Run at least once a month
In 2020 I was going to start this one in March but then the pandemic happened and Park Run shut down.

29. Run three half marathons
I’m signed up to two so far (both postponed from 2020) but they might still be cancelled.

30. Run a 5k in under half an hour
My fastest time for this distance is 23 minutes but haven’t run anywhere near this pace for years. I hope to be able to do it next year – and hope I’m not too old.

31. Join a running club
Part of the reason why I moved to the place I am now is because it’s close to a running club. The pandemic meant I couldn’t join in 2020 but hope to next year.

32. Give up takeaways (unless with a friend)
I’m not too much of a regular on Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats but cutting back will be better for my bank balance, my waistline and will also stop the disappointment I feel after ordering.

33. Only drink twice a week (unless out with friends)

Stay safe for another week!