Category Archives: New Year

The Resolution to the “New Years Resolution”

New Year's Resolutions

I have to say that I was incredibly organised last Christmas. While most people were still no doubt franticly googling “Christmas gifts for her” and “What the hell do I buy an eighty year old that doesn’t involve lavender or slippers?” I was amazed to discover that Christmas in the Leeks household was done and dusted by early December. The gifts had been bought, the turkey had been ordered and I even found time to lie to our distant relatives as to why we wouldn’t be able to host them this year.

In fact, I was so organised last Christmas, that by the middle of December, I had already started to think about my new years resolutions. For me, a new years resolution should be something that is truly going to change your life. It’s the one time of the year where you can make a decision and stick to it.

Joining Gyms, losing weight, saving money, being nice; these are all lovely ideas in principle, but we all know that within a few weeks you’ll be reading the small print of that gym contract, you’ll be stuffing your face with half price selection boxes, you’ll have spent any meagre savings on that perfect dress in the January sales and you’ll be back to being your same old grumpy self again in no time. In fact, that time has already come for most of us.

Why not instead, make a resolution this year to fulfil your full potential? Instead of trying and failing to lose that half a stone and feeling more miserable than you did in the first place, why not take those art lessons you’d never found the time to have? How about that time you tried out archery on holiday and realised that you not only enjoyed it, but you were pretty good at it too; why don’t you go ahead and join an archery club? Instead of doing things this year that you think you should be doing, why not have a go at something you know you’d LIKE to be doing?

A little over a year ago I found that writing came incredibly naturally to me. I started to write an autobiographical tale of my daily commute to London and while I only initially started doing it in order to prove a point, I soon found that I had indeed stumbled across a hidden talent. That “hidden talent” has gone on to provide me with hours of joy, a bestselling book and amazingly, a credible second income.

So instead of signing up to a gym you won’t use or a diet where you find it impossible to lose, why don’t you, just for this year, do something for you?

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New Year, New Me…. Same old Facebook!

Facebook

There are times when I love Facebook and there are times when I hate it. I hate Facebook when I get constant updates from people asking me to play tedious online games and when people upload pictures of their food. I hate Facebook when people leave statuses that are clearly designed to initiate a response. You know the ones I mean, theres probably one sitting on your newsfeed right now. “Why do I bother” “I can’t believe he’s done it again” “Is it really supposed to double in size” that kind of thing. People are lured into responding, not because they care about the person, they’re just plain nosey!

There are also times when I love Facebook and the period around Christmas and New Year is when I fall back in love with it. Christmas is great because there is so much positivity and everyone just seems happy to be off of work and relaxing with their family and friends. The New Year is even better because the twenty four hours either side of midnight, you often get to see the very best of people and the very worst of them. As I scrolled through my news feed leading up to and then entering the New Year last year, it was the perfect mix of hope and excitement, followed by the dawn of realisation.

My book “As They Slept – A Year in the Life of a Commuter” was born from an argument on Facebook and the chapter posted below took the form of a poem, created solely from the status updates on my news feed in a twenty four hour period, between New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Overworked and underpaid
Congratulations on getting engaged
Ok I’m drunk, I confess!
Work tomorrow, so depressed!
Think it’s time to clear out the loft
Watching season 5 of lost!
Housework done, time for beer
Look out people, this is my year
Surely it’s got to be gin o’clock?
Chris would like to play lucky slots
Sorry about my drunken post
Looking forward to a big fat roast
Wake me up when it’s all over
It’s 2 in the morning and I’m still sober
Chips are ready! Ketchup or Gravy?
Kim and Kanye are having a baby
Time to lose my Christmas gut!
Anyone know what time Tesco shuts?
Haven’t been this drunk in a while
Time to party gangnam style
Time to lose the Movember tash
Mosie would like to play Bingo bash
Oh my god I look like a goth
2012 can piss right off
Time to weigh in
I’m laying off gin
Lovely weather!
Yeah whatever
Ouch my head
Time for bed
Here come the tears
Happy New Year

If you want to hear more about the book, check out the You Tube video below where I talk to Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London

As They Slept – A Year in the Life of a Commuter is Out Now

As They Slept 1-4 cover design (ebook)