My Incredibly Ambitious Resolutions For 2019

James Proclaims (4)

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Happy New Year everyone!

Today is the first day of 2019 and, as is always the case at the beginning of any year, it is customary, arguably obligatory, to come up with a list of ways to self improve.

Because there is no better way to start January, that most miserable of months, than by listing all the ways that we’re inadequate and then committing to unrealistic goals that we have no chance of achieving, just to really ensure that our self esteem is really at rock bottom by the time February rolls around.

In previous years I have not take the notion of New Year’s Resolutions as seriously as I could.

And this year will be no exception.

Last year I set the bar particularly low and set myself some resolutions that were basically quite mundane things I was already planning to do.

However, I feel it is possible to lower the bar even further so this year’s resolutions will be less about changing things to make me a better person but rather committing to ‘not changing things’ so I definitely don’t become a worse person.

I am mildly optimistic that I will achieve all of this year’s targets.

They are as follows:

  1. I’m going to continue not drinking whisky, mostly because I don’t really like it. That’s probably a good thing though right? Although I will still be drinking plenty of wine and beer…
  2. I definitely won’t take up smoking.
  3. I’m not going to start actively using Social Media (aside from this blog, which barely counts anyway) and in particular I’m going to avoid using Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Mostly because I don’t really know what any of those things are.
  4. Thanks to Brexit, I’m going to continue to keep my carbon footprint relatively low by not travelling abroad for the foreseeable future.
  5. I’m not going to commit to a life of crime. Unless I’m certain that I’ll get away with it. 

There we go – I’m sure I can achieve all of those things.

I’m feeling more virtuous already.

The (Increasingly Traditional) James Proclaims New Year’s Eve Review Of The Year That Was

James Proclaims (6)

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It’s still 2018 as I write this. At least it is in the UK. In some other time zones it might well be 2019 by now. And indeed it will be 2019 here soon enough too. But before that happens, tradition dictates that it’s time, once again, for me to review the year that has just happened.

Although did anything of note happen in 2018? In last year’s version of this post I wrote about Brexit and Trump. And the year before that I wrote about Brexit and Trump. So I’m loathe to do that again this year, but that does leave me with not much else. Because those two horrendous realities still seem to be largely dominating the news.

Unless I’m mistaken, which is entirely possible because for me personally, 2018 was quite a momentous year.

In that I became a dad for the first time.

Which is quite a big thing.

And frankly the only thing I’m remotely capable of thinking about most of the time.

Obviously, it’s a good thing and I love Baby Proclaims more than I’m able to adequately express in words. She has literally brought joy to my life on a multitude of levels every single day since she entered in my life. I’m sure other stuff happened this year, particularly in the seven months of 2018 that preceded her arrival but I’m finding it hard to recall even the notion of an existence before my daughter.

Still, parenting does have its downsides. I wouldn’t object, for example, a night of unbroken sleep.

The chances of me maintaining consciousness until midnight in order to see the New Year in are not looking overly promising at the moment.

Not that I’m especially devoted to that notion in any case.

Mrs Proclaims and I have never been big on celebrating the New Year. A glass of sparkling wine and a nice meal is the best we normally manage, and, if Baby Proclaims allows, we might just manage that again this year, but we’ve never been likely to trouble a party with our presence, so our ‘bundle of joy’ is hardly cramping our style.

In my younger days I was more likely to be found heavily inebriated in a pub or a club, but honestly, I’m not sure starting the New Year with a massive hangover is an especially good way to go about things, but I was less enlightened in my youth. Probably because I was drunk.

I’ve just had a quick look at the blog resolutions I made on the 1st January and I seem to have achieved most of them. They were, of course, eminently achievable (apparently my ‘clever joke’ last year was to make them especially unambitious) but there was still a chance I would fail miserably. Actually, I’m not sure I did achieve the one about watching a film of Mrs Proclaim’s choice. To be fair she doesn’t really like watching films so I’m really not the worst husband ever and I am nice to her in all kinds of ways that she actually appreciates.

I did achieve the one about running a mile. Indeed, I almost made it to two miles before giving up. Don’t judge me too harshly, I did, as I’ve previously noted on this blog, run more than one marathon in my younger days, but I had more time on my hands back then. I haven’t been completely inactive during 2018, but it hasn’t been a vintage year for fitness and might be something I need to address in 2019. I don’t want to harp on about being a new parent, but I think it mitigates my relative inactivity slightly.

Anyway, the point of all this is that 2018 has now mostly happened and I can’t really remember any of it.

But it was definitely a year.

Of that there is no doubt.

Beginning The Journey To A Brand New Me

James Proclaims (4)

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So 2017 is but a distant memory and now it’s all about 2018. And what better way to start the new year than by making some New Year’s Resolutions?

Because convention dictates that this is the day that we all need to take a good long look at ourselves and realise that we just aren’t good enough.

Now I have been accused (mainly by myself) of not taking this whole New Year’s Resolution thing seriously enough. And to be fair I didn’t achieve any of my goals for 2016 or 2017. Not even the one about watching every episode of Star Trek. I did get through all of the original series, all of the Next Generation, about half of Deep Space 9 and all but one of the films before I gave up. Which is pretty good going. I enjoyed it, but it does get a bit ‘samey’ after a while.

Still I might press on and finish the rest of them this year.

But I’m not making that an official ‘resolution’.

I would like to roll over last year’s target of becoming super rich. I still think I’d like to achieve that.

And maybe the one about becoming a superhero.

But today is not about rehashing old, unachieved resolutions.

No, today I must come up with some new ones.

And maybe they should be ones I have a vague hope of actually achieving.

Although that does take some of the fun out of it for me.

Nonetheless, it’s clear I’ve been overambitious in recent years and it’s time therefore to get real.

So, without further ado, here are my, slightly more modest, New Year’s Resolutions for 2018:

  1. Run a mile – that’s right by the time January 2019 rolls around I will definitely have run at least one mile. At this stage I’m not committing to doing it all in one go. It may have to be a cumulative effort. Don’t be fooled by the fact that I used to run marathons and half marathons in my younger days – this is definitely going to be a challenge.
  2. Watch at least one film of Mrs Proclaims’ choosing and not make sarcastic comments all the way through – I might be overstretching myself here, but I think I can probably do it. It may take a few attempts though.
  3. Take the Christmas decorations down – because they just aren’t ‘special’ if you leave them up all year apparently.
  4. Go back to work – I will definitely do this. My mortgage repayments do rather depend on it. But I’m not promising to actually do any work when I’m there.
  5. Eat more healthy food – as long as this doesn’t preclude the continuation of eating unhealthy food obviously.

There we go, five resolutions that might well be achievable. I wouldn’t want to jeopardise my chances of self-improvement by committing to any more than that.

But I am quietly confident I will be able to look back in a year and say that I met some of the above targets.

2018 marks the dawn of a brave new era.

 

The (Now Traditional) James Proclaims New Year’s Eve Review Of The Year That Was

James Proclaims (6)

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Well here we are again.

The end of another year.

A time, if ever there was one, for reflection.

Which is something I like to do here on James Proclaims. Now, I’m aware I won’t be the only person doing this today but, lest we forget, I also did it at the end of 2015 and 2016, so I’m quite the trailblazer in many ways.

So how does one review a year like 2017? A cold hard analysis of the facts and figures? A zeitgeisty nod to some of the trends that have taken the world by storm? Perhaps nostalgic reminiscences of some of the more iconic moments?

Or should I just make a load of stuff up?

After all, if 2017 was anything, it was the year of fake news and alternative facts.

And frankly, I can’t really remember that much about what actually happened. Maybe it’s the champagne I’ve been drinking since 7am this morning…

Only joking – that’s the first alternative fact for you.

Obviously, I haven’t been drinking champagne since 7am this morning.

Champagne is way too expensive.

I’ve been drinking a reasonably-priced prosecco.

But back to the matter at hand.

Which is 2017. And more specifically what happened in it.

There was the Oscar fiasco of course. You remember, back in February. It’s pretty hard to forget a mistake of that magnitude. I refer, of course, to the moment when my mate Oscar accidently put unleaded petrol in his new diesel car. Ok, chances are that you don’t recall that particular incident. Because you’ve never met my friend Oscar. Because I just made him up. Fake News! Ha!

Of course, there has been some real news. British politics is in the worst state it’s been in since…er…2016?

On the one hand we’re got a prime minister who basically took her ‘strong and stable’ majority, a political mandate that just might have been enough to steady the ship to guide us through the choppy waters of Brexit, and decided to gamble it on the basis that no-one would ever vote for Jezza Corbyn. And she was sort of right. But not right enough to prevent her from losing her majority and having to form a government with some scary people at the cost of a billion pounds. Well played Theresa.

On the other hand, the only viable alternative to Mrs May celebrated losing like he’d just won the lottery. And went on Gogglebox. And headlined(?) Glastonbury. Which is obviously what we want and need from a prime minister.

Still things could be worse.

We could have an egotistical megalomaniac in charge. And to be fair there’s no point in trying to make humorous observations about all the stuff The Donald has been up to. That’s a man who satirizes himself whenever he opens his mouth. Or uses Social Media.

And it would be funny if it wasn’t all so terrifying.

But it does take a very special effort to make Kim Jong-Un seem like the sane one.

There’s obviously been some good news this year. Harry got engaged to Megan. I mean I hear it’s good news. I’m relatively indifferent to it, seeing as I won’t be getting an invite to the wedding. But it would take a particularly churlish person to describe the forthcoming nuptials as bad news.

Although Suits won’t be the same.

On a personal note, 2017 was very much a year for me. It began for me on the 1st January, and it’ll end today.  I was definitely awake on most, if not all, of the 365 days it took to get to this point.

I’m not sure if it’s been a particularly good year or a particularly bad one really.

All in all, it’s mostly been a bit covfefe…

James Complains About January

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I’m writing this  in what can only be described as a foul mood.

Christmas now seems but a distant memory and, although I’m sure I enjoyed it at the time, the net result of the recent festive period is that I’m now poor and fat.

The return to the daily grind has left me so ridiculously tired that it’s frankly astonishing to me that I actually do work for more of the year than I don’t. How have I been coping all this time? I deserve some kind of an award for bravery.

I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that getting out of bed every morning last week was nothing short of traumatic. And yet somehow I managed to force myself up and out into the morning traffic.

I’m nothing short of heroic. Continue reading James Complains About January

My Incredibly Realistic And Achievable Goals For 2017

James Proclaims (4)

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Well here we are in 2017.

Lots of people are glad to see the back of 2016 but I think it’s a little harsh to blame a specific period of time for all the ill that happened during said period of time.

Although the legacy of many of the events that occurred in 2016 should ensure that 2017 is also a pretty awful year, so maybe hating 2016 is justifiable.

Anyway it is a new year and therefore time to make some resolutions about how I will make ‘me’ a ‘better me’ over the next twelve months.
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I didn’t take the concept of resolutions overly seriously last year and consequently achieved none of my goals for 2016.

But then, as has already been discussed, 2016 was a dreadful year so it’s hardly my fault.

Much as it won’t be my fault when I don’t succeed this year. Continue reading My Incredibly Realistic And Achievable Goals For 2017

The Obligatory New Year’s Eve Review Of The Year That Was

James Proclaims (6)

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Last year I wrote a review of 2015 on the 31st December so it seems only fitting that I review 2016 today.

Except that I’d rather not.

It seems to be universally accepted that 2016 was a bit of a rubbish year all around.

Not for everyone obviously – some people might well be thinking that 2016 was quite good.

If you’re British and you hate immigrants then you might be feeling like 2016 was a pretty good year, what with Brexit and all that. Obviously 2017 is going to be a bummer for you when you realise that Brexit isn’t going to deliver on any of the things you thought you were voting for. Then again it might take until 2019 or even 2020 for you to work that out.

But thanks to Brexit, us Brits can pretty much write off 2017 before it even begins. Continue reading The Obligatory New Year’s Eve Review Of The Year That Was

My New Year Resolutions That I’ll Definitely Be Sticking To

James Proclaims (4)

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Tradition dictates that because it’s the beginning of a new year, I must make lots of pledges to change my way of life, even though I’m perfectly happy with my life for the most part.

It’s mildly inconvenient, because while I accept that there’s always room for improvement, I’m not entirely certain that I’m ready to make any drastic changes to my existence. Continue reading My New Year Resolutions That I’ll Definitely Be Sticking To

James Reviews 2015, Just In Case Nobody Else Remembered To Do It

James Proclaims (6)

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Well it’s the last day of 2015 and that calls for some kind of review of the events of the past 12 months. I’m probably the only blogger that’s even thought of doing this. It’s a pretty original and exciting idea is it not? Continue reading James Reviews 2015, Just In Case Nobody Else Remembered To Do It