New Year’s Resolutions: How to keep the hoping machine running

In notebooks, on Post-its, or squeezed into the blank spaces of an unattempted newspaper crossword.

A lover of lists will seek out any vacant writing surface to dash off their agendas and to-dos. This time of year, in particular, offers ample opportunity for a spot of chronicling and cataloguing – from the ever-growing present list to the pre-Christmas groceries.

But as the New Year rolls in, the sort of items that get totted up on the tick-lists move from tangible gifts and eatables into the hazy realm of annual aspirations, as humankind takes its pledge to polish itself up, to weed out its unhealthy habits and cultivate healthy ones. Because this year, we will definitely, maybe, perhaps a) take up boxercise, b) buy a NutriBullet, and c) learn Cantonese.

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