Stop trying to change - and celebrate the person you are

Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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The Christmas and new year period is all about the theme tunes. Nothing beats festive season telly for giving us the distinctive sounds of James Bond, Mission Impossible and Indiana Jones.

You know it’s time to open the chocolates and settle down with a glass of port when those distinctive melodies ring out across the living room.

But, after all those days relaxing in front of the box, are you ready for the onslaught of ‘new year, new you’?

If not, brace yourself for everyone telling you that you’re simply not good enough – after you’ve spent all that time being yourself.

I’m not sure who decided, or when, that we should all have new year ideals. But to whack them on to the most gluttonous holiday of all seems a tad mean.

It’s quite tedious, isn’t it? This expectation to lose weight, get a new job, get better hair, travel the world, write a book – or even all of these at the same time, while taking up a new language and the clarinet.

Sometimes I think that advertisers and the media’s relentless onslaught on the way we are just now is designed purely to drive us to comfort products once we realise that we can’t keep our resolutions.

So we turn instead to the old familiars and instead indulge ourselves with excessive spends on other products.

And what are resolutions anyway if not a reluctant promise to live up to someone else’s ideals?

I always fail to keep to resolutions, so this year I’m going to aim for some which I want to fail.

Like putting on weight and staying really unfit. Witness the reverse psychology in action here – how can I lose?

What I’m trying to say is that it’s time we stopped buying into the fact that we’re not good enough, at least not at this time of year when it’s dark and cold and we all need to hibernate.

Instead let’s list the things about ourselves and our lives that we’re pleased with and spend time reflecting on the successes that we’ve had in 2014, however large or small they were.

Think about how great you are without having to spend any money trying to be someone different. With that in mind, have a wonderful new year.