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Peter Wilby’s New Year’s resolution

Mine is to make no New Year resolutions. Deciding on a new course of action purely because a digit on the calendar has changed strikes me as frivolous and feeble-minded. New Year resolutions are a cover for procrastination: for delaying what ought to be done until the clock strikes midnight on 31 December and, thereafter, convincing yourself you have an entire year to carry out your resolve. As Oscar Wilde observed, good resolutions "are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account". If a thing is worth doing, it should be done immediately, whatever the date.

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Peter Wilby was editor of the Independent on Sunday from 1995 to 1996 and of the New Statesman from 1998 to 2005. He writes the weekly First Thoughts column for the NS.