WHERE would we all be if we kept the resolutions we swear by each and every New Year?

For starters, I know I’d probably be a stone lighter and fluent in German.

If only I could resist the temptation of chocolate or opted for that English-Deutsch textbook gathering dust on my shelf over one more episode of Archer on Netflix.

I’ve no doubt many people reading this will have been in the exact same boat as me. Perhaps your gym membership failed to see it into the spring? Maybe you barely made it halfway through your monthly novel, only for life to get in the way? Or did your promise to be nicer to your siblings come crashing down when they forgot your birthday again?

Let’s face it, resolutions are hard to keep and the concept that we must all change our lives for the better just because the bells have chimed to herald the start of another year is a bit daft.

How boring would the world be if we all kept our New Year’s promises? Frankly, the thought of spending life in the gym and sticking to a diet of fitness shakes, where we’d all be ‘that guy’ in the office (if you don’t know what I mean, you are that guy), sounds like Hell on Earth.

We’re already dangerously snowballing towards a future where Alexa knows our every thought. The last thing we need is to add to the fire by turning ourselves into the background cast of a utopian blockbuster, freshly delivered from the pages of the latest fashion mag.

There’s no need to despair if you’re not perfect and have no intention to be so. We humans have been having a go at it for countless centuries and still haven’t got there yet.

When Benjamin Franklin wrote: ‘Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let every New Year find you a better man (or woman),’ I wonder if he ever imagined it would still perfectly apply over 250 years later.

It’s the funny thing about life: the more things change, the more they invariably stay the same. The further we get from the past, the more prone we are to falling into the same traps.

How many of us have asked Santa for world peace and, when he’s failed to deliver it, tried your luck with your resolution instead? Sadly, we still have war beyond what any of us can imagine.

Yes, 2020 is now upon us and yet foodbank use across the UK is soaring. While some kids will still be trying out their latest toys on New Year’s Day, others will have been lucky if Santa even stopped by.

What we can all promise to do, however, is be just that tiny bit nicer to one another. I’m sure that’s a resolution we can all aspire to.

First up, I know it might be cold and you just want to get inside, but maybe hold the door open that second longer so the person behind you can get in.

Why not try to put family quarrels to one side and remember the good times? If your brother is the one who always forgets your birthday, maybe add it to his calendar.

Finally, let’s all make a point of donating to our local foodbank every month. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have enough food to put on our table can surely spare a few tins of soup and rice pudding?

There are good people out there whose selflessness goes somewhere towards making the world a better place – ordinary folk who sacrifice so much to make up for humankind’s ills.

It won’t take much for us all to help them make the next decade better than the last for thousands across the country.

And we won’t even need to make unattainable New Year’s resolutions to do it.

Here’s to whatever 2020 will bring.