Greetings dear readers – and welcome to my first musings of 2018.
Hopefully, you will have all survived the excess of food and booze of the festive season and are ready and raring to go, relishing the challenge of the 12 months ahead.
Or, more accurately, you are probably still feeling horribly stuffed and bloated, wondering if you’ll ever get through those After Eight mints and realising that your New Year’s Resolutions to get fit, lose weight, stop smoking or whatever else have already spectacularly hit the skids after just a few days.
They reckon those who boast about their goals on Facebook or other social media are more likely to fail.
I suppose that writing in this column or online constitutes pretty much the same thing so I’d best keep my trap shut on what I’m hoping to achieve in 2018, but if my editor is reading this, that Ferrari, Spanish villa and luxury yacht won’t buy themselves (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
Joking aside, I’ve always found the New Year a bad time to start afresh with resolutions and targets.
The telly might be full of ads for WeightWatchers, help to quit the fags and supermarket shelves groaning under the weight of fruit and superfoods (the same shelves that were groaning under the weight of beer and chocolates two weeks previously) and I can guarantee you’ll be heartily sick of the sight of “body coach” Joe Wicks before the month is out.
Despite the bombardment, the only person who can make changes is you – and from experience, you have to be ready to make those changes.
If you aren’t ready to diet and lose weight, it won’t work.
If you don’t really want to knock the smokes on the head and it is just a half-hearted attempt because you feel you should, chances are you’ll be sparking up your Benson and Hedges before you’ve even finished reading this column.
I’m not about to start waxing lyrical on setting targets and all that “New Year, new you” nonsense. It is boring, predictable and dull so don’t feel the pressure to conform.
Last year, I rediscovered my love for getting out and about on a bike – something I’d not done for years.
But that wasn’t because I’d had Sir Chris Hoy or Sir Bradley Wiggins telling me to.
I’d not had copies of Cycling Weekly force fed to me and neither had I been “inspired” by the likes of the Tour de Yorkshire or Tour de France or anything like that.
I simply rediscovered something I’d forgotten all about and how much fun, pleasure and fitness it can provide and decided to go out there and do it all over again.
And I loved it.
OK, the cold winter nights, icy paths and yes, some Christmas excess, have slightly derailed me, but it won’t be long before I’m back.
Go out there and do what you want to do and do it when you’re ready and you’ll do a hell of a lot better.