This time last year, I suggested that resolutions were a waste of time and that setting goals - broken down into achievable steps - was the way to go. Equally, that looking back at the year with a positive eye to see what we were able to achieve, rather than focusing on "failures", was the way to ensure that we could face the next year with heads held high and a spring in our step.
I know one person whose decision to do just that, coupled with their determination to achieve goals, meant that they were posting beautifully happy end-of-year photographs this December 31st. And how those photographs made me smile at a time of personal sadness.
But, if you've sat down and given 2016 a good chance, taken a damn good look and there really is no small nugget of satisfaction to be found, then damn its eyes, feel free to write off 2016 without a backward glance. Just make sure you truly leave it behind, let none of its negativity hang about you as you move forward into the new year. For some years are like that and there is little us mere humans can do about it. Or is there ...?
Another person I know who writes wonderfully funny and inventive books has been rocked by the outcome of the recent election in their country. Currently all their considerable energies are being directed into raising awareness of the wrongs which (have already been and) are about to be perpetuated upon their fellow countrymen and women. How can I do anything but admire such dedication and fighting spirit? Even if they don't succeed in their ultimate aim, they won't be looking back one day, wishing they'd tried to do something about it, 'cos they are - truly - giving their all.
I've decided that's what I'm going to take from 2016: inspiration from two individuals. Two individuals who made decisions to do something about it. What the "It" is doesn't matter. It's what mattered to them ... and so they've done something about it. And they've done it their way, and been true to themselves.
If you're thinking "Is that what the rest of us have to do now? Find our "It" and do something about it?" 'Cos that makes it sound easy ... and I know it isn't. Nevertheless, it wouldn't hurt to take a look at our lives and see if that "It" is there, lurking away quietly at the back ... would it? For even if we don't find the big "It", we may find other goals, changes or challenges that we'd like to take on. And it does no harm to practice on the smaller stuff first.
This year I'm raising my glass to Vicki and to Isa-Lee, to thank them both for being so inspirational.
Those of you who've found your "It" - I'll be cheering you along the road to the year's end, for you'll need little else. But I'll also be offering encouragement and support to those who decide to take smaller bites at all things life changing.
Instead of a Happy New Year, may I wish that 2017 brings you contentment, satisfaction, or simply peace of mind.