Ben Keenan: The best laid plans of mice and men

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Last year, I told myself that 2011 would mean a thinner waist and a fatter bank account but sadly I got it round the wrong way.

The arrival of the New Year means that many of us will turn our thoughts to making a resolution in the time-honoured tradition of new beginnings.

Historically, this is one of the easiest ideas to decide upon, but one of the hardest to fully commit to. How many people reading this planned to keep a diary last year? Who among us was going to join a gym? How many days without cigarette did you go before the cravings became too much?

We’ve all been there and personally, I must have started as many as five diaries over the years but can’t seem to get past February. But don’t be disheartened dear reader because I’ve done some research and found out that in a recent academic study on resolutions conducted by Richard Wisemen at the University of Bristol, 78 per cent of those who set New Year resolutions fail, and only 12 per cent of those interviewed actually achieved the goal they set out to achieve on January 1.

This year, my wife and I have decided that we stand a better chance of success if we combine forces and have decided to learn a new language together. Instead of buying an expensive language study kit, Jen and I are planning to attend an evening class at West Suffolk College in order to learn from a professional which, for me, is the only way it might actually happen as I am very easily distracted when at home.

I’ll let you know how I get on in 12 months time but until then, I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to you all and thank you all very much for reading.