Raggedy Ann Girl's Resolutions for the New Year

Forget losing weight, giving up cigarettes and not biting your nails. Well, do those too but, if you want some really life-changing New Year Resolutions, try these first …

Learn to say 'No' Although we are all raised to be obliging to others, there is no earthly reason to say 'yes' to everything. You don't have to join in all the time, or do something you really do not want to do, simply because you have been asked. If you keep saying yes to things you hate, you will end up having to do them for the rest of your lives.

That being said, Don't say 'No' out of habit. Sometimes it does us all good to try something new, at least from time to time. We all have things that we think we will hate that, once we try, we find we actually enjoy.

Both of these help with the another resolution: Don't get stuck in a rut. It's very easy to keep doing the same thing over and over. While there's a lot to be said for developing a comfortable life, it's all too easy to drop into a rut. If you suspect you may be in one, there's no need to panic and change everything in your life. Something as small as buying a new nail polish can lift you. Of course, if you're a bloke, you might want to buy a new tie instead.

Accept that its okay not to know everything.  Far better to ask a stupid question than remain ignorant. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, there are no stupid questions, just a lot of really stupid assumptions made because someone was afraid to ask.

Stop offering to do something 'if you can't find anyone else'. If you say this you will be the one receiving a last-minute phone call to help. No-one, but no-one who has a volunteer willing to step in at the last minute will bother to find someone else. Ask yourself this: would you look any further? No, of course you wouldn't.

Don't make time for people who are bad for you. Perhaps there are people who make it impossible for you to break bad habits, perhaps there are those who stress you out. They may take every opportunity to put you down, or mess you around. You know who they are. You know how they make you feel. You don't need them. Simple as that.

Stop waiting for that 'special occasion' If you have an expensive perfume, or a favourite piece of jewellery you should be wearing it every day. It's likely that you, or someone you love, spent a fair bit of money on it, why would you wait for the odd day a month when you go out on the town to enjoy it? Why hide it away the rest of the year?  It's all about value, in my opinion. If you paid £50 for something and wear it once, it costs you £50 a time. If you wear it ten times, it only cost you £5 a go. Even my rubbish maths can work that out. You know it makes sense.

Remember to play. I'm not suggesting you get out your old space hopper (although if that butters your muffin …) but we all need to find time to play. To let go of being adult (and all the complications and stresses that go with it) and just indulge in something fun. It might be watching a favourite old film from the '80s. Or eating a Sherbert Fountain. Or even playing charades. Whatever, we all need a diversion from time to time. Don't be shy. It does us good!

Don't feel guilty about things that aren't your fault. If you are truly to blame for some catastrophic event, or even a little one, then fine, feel guilty and try to rectify the situation. If, however, something has happened that you could do nothing about and yet you still feel guilty? Stop! It doesn't help anyone. Instead concentrate on helping out - much more constructive. Focus on what you can do now, not on what you might have done had you known there had been anything you could have done to prevent the event. There are plenty of people out there trying to dodge the blame, don't be the one trying to take on the guilt unless you are responsible. Got it?

Remember you can only live the life you're in. There is absolutely no point in bemoaning your fate in life. As hard as it is, and believe me I am sympathetic to everyone's situation (been there, done that), there are some things you can't change. There are many things you can, of course. But the only thing you can do with the past is accept it. You can regret it, you can try to get out of the situation in which you now find yourself, but you can't ever change what led to it. Until they invent time travel. In the real world.

What else do you want for a new year?

Learn to embrace the simple things …