With the Christmas festivities over, it's now time to focus on how we're going to make 2014 a good year. Paul Carey finds out what New Year's resolutions are being made in Gwent.
WHEN IT comes to New Year’s resolutions, there’s only one thing that you can pretty much guarantee.
That despite all efforts, determination and hard work, you’ll be doing fantastically if you're still going strong around February 1.
But despite the odds being stacked against anyone determined to make a change, many still aim to use the turn of the year as the springboard for success.
So from the popular aim of losing weight to the bid to pass a driving test, we went on to the streets of Newport to find out what everyone will be giving up, aiming for and working towards this January as a catalyst for the ‘new me.’
We also chatted to local councillors, the Newport County manager and a Newport Gwent Dragons player, as well as other popular figures around Gwent to find out what they’ll be focusing on this year.
Justin Edinburgh, Newport County manager, said he will simply “aim to have a healthy and happy New Year”, while Newport Gwent Dragons’ latest star, Ross Wardle, said: “My New Year’s resolution is to make the most of every day and to encourage others to do the same.
"I want to make people realise that we are the lucky people in the world and we need to make the most of what we have, stuff that others aren't fortunate enough to have.”
Kris Broome, event’s organiser at St David’s Hospice, said: “My New Year’s resolution is to be a better person and to be more organised. The same as usual really, but hopefully this time I can make it last longer than January.
“I probably shouldn’t say that when my job title is events organiser but hopefully it can improve in the New Year.”
A volunteer at St David’s Hospice, John Moore, 73, from Cwmbran, said: “I’d like to take more photographs. I’m a keen photographer and like taking them of anything I spot.
“It’s a great hobby to have and I take a few but hopefully I can take a lot more.”
Among the many resolutions being made, losing weight and keeping fit and healthy is, as expected, a popular choice.
“I am focused on keeping up my programme up to stay fit and healthy,” said Cllr Miqdad Al-Nuaimi. “I try to go swimming regularly as well as to the gym and I play bowls so hopefully I can continue with that.”
However, there are two different aims for Cllr Tom Bond, who says he’ll be making a sign to stick on his wall to remind him to stick to his resolutions.
“I want to reduce my carbon footprint,” he said. “That’s my main focus but I also want to make sure I read more books as it’s something that I’m not doing at the moment.”
We also spoke to people on the streets of Newport to find out what they will be trying to do this year and it seems there’s a good chance gym memberships in the Gwent area may become a lot more common this month.
That’s the case for Gemma Neill, Laura Smith and Michael Crown who are all targetting a return to the gym as they aim to slim down.
“I want to lose weight as I have a wedding to attend in June,” said Miss Smith, 25. “I’m using the start of the year as the start to try and motivate me but we’ll have to see how it goes.
“I want to eat healthier anyway and hopefully I can push myself to the gym or to get out running as that’s what makes a difference.
“Let’s hope it carries on for a few weeks as I need to do this.”
Mr Crown, 37, from Caerleon, shared a similar tale as he is aiming to cut down on the alcohol intake whilst getting out onto the road.
“I’d like to cut down the amount of beer I consume,” he said. “I make this resolution every year and normally do well and don’t drink for the first few weeks, but I think that’s just because of how much I drink over Christmas.”
Away from the gym and determined to hit the road in a different sense is Hayley Stieber, 22, of Newport, who is aiming to finally pass her driving test.
“I’ve started revising the theory test and am confident for that,” she said. “But I want to increase my lessons in the New Year and I’m really determined to pass my test.”
Meanwhile, for Rhys Gibbons, from Newport, he joked that his January will be spent working off the alcohol that he has consumes over the Christmas festivities.
But how long will people stick to their resolutions?And how can we stick to them as the joys of Christmas celebrations are wearing off and a cold, miserable January is now upon us?
Newport cllr Kevin Whitehead, said: “I’ve found the best way to follow through with something is to announce it in public and to as many people as you can as they’ll hold you to it.
“I smoked from a young age until I was 50 but finally gave up after announcing it to people. It gave me something to focus on.”
Patricia Sully, 58, a Newport resident, said: “The best way to keep to a resolution is to not think of the time you’ve been doing it.
“When you do you start counting weeks but you should aim to make a difference for good rather than as long as you can.”
So whether you’re trying to become healthier or you’re planning something else to see you become a better person in 2014, if you try and make it a lifestyle change rather than just for January, you will have a better chance of sticking to it.
And in the words of Cllr Whitehead, telling people what you’re aiming to do might help you focus on it and stop you giving up, so I thought I’d share my New Year’s resolution with Argus readers.
Put it this way, if you see me driving along the road instead of sat on the back of a Newport Bus from February onwards, then I’ll have been successful in my resolution.
I just need to leave the failed attempt in 2013.