Ring out the old, ring in the new

If you're not already out of town, there's a chance you might be heading to Ratchaprasong intersection tonight to join the huge crowd for the New Year Countdown. I've heard that this area has now been listed as one of the leading places on the planet for the New Year's Eve celebration, joining the ranks of Times Square in New York and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, though there's a distinct possibility that this list was drawn up by our tourism authorities.

If you are in favour of a celebration of a more sober and spiritual kind, then you might be heading to Sanam Luang for the mass prayer vigil that takes you into the new year with a pure heart rather than a smashed brain.

If you're a homebody, you might be preparing to crash in front of the TV for an HBO movie.

And then there are some who will be snoring right through all the fun!

Some people will be busy thinking of what went wrong this past year, and what they'd like to improve in 2013.

I'm sure we've all made our share of New Year's resolutions, and if there's anyone who actually achieved what they set out to do, then I'd like to hear about it!

I suppose it's the thought that counts, or at least, that's what they all say.

How many of you have promised yourself to lose 5kg by the end of the first quarter, only to give up after the haze of the countdown libations eased up three days into the new year, and you discovered you had gained 1kg instead.

Weight loss and get fit programmes apparently top the list of most popular new year's resolutions by far. Need I add that they are also the top of the most commonly broken new year's resolutions, according to the Time website?

Here are some more popular resolutions:

_ Improve well-being: lose weight, get fit, exercise more, eat better, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, stop biting nails.

_ Improve finances: get out of debt, spend less, save more.

_ Get organised.

_ Improve career: get a better job.

_ Improve education: improve grades, get a better education, learn something new (such as a foreign language or music), study often.

_ Improve self: become more organised, reduce stress, be less grumpy, manage time, be more independent, perhaps watch less television, play fewer sitting-down video games.

_ Enjoy life, travel the world.

_ Volunteer to help others, practice life skills, use civic virtue, give to charity.

_ Get along better with people.

_ Make new friends.

_ Try foreign foods.

_ Fall in love.

_ Spend more time with family.

I also asked some of my Facebook friends who came up with their own personal goals for next year:

_ I'd make [my] being 70 [next year] as hip as I can.

_ I would like to maintain my age, wrinkles and weight as they were on 21/12/12. Even with the threat of political tensions looming in the next year, and I get too depressed, or even starve as a result, then at least my wrinkles and weight would not increase. Seriously.

_ To always look at life in a positive way and never to lose my humour. But I must lose some weight!

_ To try to find consolation in the thought "if celery tasted like chocolate mousse, 'twould be much easier to reduce".

And I have a few of my own:

_ Never to lose my temper with my kids (if I can help it).

_ To replace the Magnum in my fridge with healthy fruit and vegetables (if possible).

_ To resist the "50% Sale" sign in front of my favourite high-street clothing stores (unless I absolutely have no choice).

_ To refrain from adopting another stray dog or cat, and start being nicer to people instead (even if my gut tells me otherwise).

_ To do a bit more than the five yoga classes I did in the whole of this year.

_ To get my cholesterol count down without taking medication, which means giving up comfort food that gives meaning to life (though the raspberry sauce on the crepe cake does count as fruit).

_ To stop gossiping about my housekeeper in my weekly column (unless I consider that there is a moral purpose to the story).

_ To wash my car.

However, considering the dismal statistics from a certain Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol in 2007 that a whopping 88% of those who set New Year resolutions actually fail, it seems I'm doomed even before I start.

But as Mark Twain once said about New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

Who am I to argue with Mr Twain?

Usnisa Sukhsvasti is the Features Editor of the Bangkok Post.

About the author

Writer: Usnisa Sukhsvasti
Position: Features Editor