It’s the time of year when newspapers and magazines carry articles about New Year resolutions. Sometimes the advice is not to make any resolutions at all, thus making it hard to break them.

A feature in my newspaper today suggests making resolutions that are easy to keep.  They include:

I will not lose weight.

I will not go to the gym.

I will not try to be a better person.

I will not learn anything new.

I will not give up alcohol.

I have (clearly unwisely) made a resolution.  It is to stop waiting on the basis that ‘life is what happens to you while you are making other plans’ and I’m rapidly running out of waiting time!

I have made a variety of resolutions in the past; some laudable and some less so.  For example, I once made a resolution to be less risk averse and to go outside my comfort zone more often.  Armed with this resolution some years ago, I went to Le Touquet, in January, to run a residential course for a group of senior managers. The hotel we were in for the week was modern, with huge plate glass windows, situated beside the beach and surrounded by sand dunes.

When the tide is out, the beach at Le Touquet is a vast expanse of perfectly flat sand – miles and miles of it.  The whole week we were there, a fierce gale blew and sand piled up, like snow drifts, against the hotel’s windows. But the wind, whilst strong, was very warm; abnormally so for January.

Each morning, as usual, I went for an early jog along the flat sands. It was still dark and running into the teeth of the warm wind was exhilarating.  After a while I had an overwhelming urge to take my gear off and run naked across the sands. Now normally I would not succumb to a sudden urge like this but, remembering my resolution, I stripped off and left my running shoes, T- shirt and shorts in a neat pile on the sand.

I was about ten minutes away from my clothes and about to turn back when, without warning, a powerful searchlight swept across the sands. The beam caught up with me, swept passed, hesitated, stopped and reversed. I was totally exposed (literally!) with nowhere to hide.

The beam tracked me all the way back to my clothes (quite useful actually – without its help I may never have located them in the dark).  I imagine the coast guards, or whoever they were, had a good giggle at my expense.  But, since I’m not in the habit of running naked along beaches, I felt so pleased with my newfound risk taking behaviour that I told the senior managers about the incident.  Predictably, they challenged me to do it again the next morning!

Happy New Year!


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