I am not a big believer in resolutions. I always avidly make the usual sort of resolutions, you know the ones I’m sure; lose weight, eat better, get fitter, take up some new activity, read more, generally be a better person. Then January arrives with a large cold moneyless thump and generally by around the second or third week of the year, I am feeling generally uninspired.

So this year I am taking a different approach, a more flexible list of ‘things I would like to achieve’, thus reducing the pressure of ‘failing’ and hopefully providing myself with inspiration and the main thing that I want to achieve involves my family. My children are all growing up at a tremendous rate. If, like me, you have a big age gap with your children, having an older one, does help you to appreciate the time with the younger ones. O turned 16 this year and he is slowly starting to emerge from his ‘teenage kevin’ stage (thank god). He is now a young man, independent, sociable and busy. We still spend time with him, but understandably, he wants to spend more time with his friends and girlfriend.

This has made me realise how quickly they grow up. Blink and you miss it. So this year, I want to really make the most of our family time. Sunday is going to be ‘family day’ and nothing else will be done except cooking a meal that we can eat together or going out together.

If the house isn’t as clean as I would like, well it will have to wait. I want to enjoy the children while they’re young and not look back in ten years and regret doing other things rather than spend quality time with them.

Another part of that is spending a bit of time with my husband. We celebrated our ten year anniversary yesterday, which is quite an achievement. We don’t go out on our own these days due to lack of babysitters who could cope with our mob at bedtime and also continuous exhaustion from about eight o’clock every evening! But nevertheless we do need to try and snatch a bit of time together, even of it is a nice meal and a bottle of wine every couple of weeks after the children have gone to bed!

Yes, I could do with losing a few pounds and doing some exercise, but I know that once I mention the ‘diet’ word, my brain immediately becomes obsessed with food and it is all I can think about, so that won’t work for me. I just love eating! So again, as part of my plan to spend more time with the family, we are going to do lots of outdoors things like walking and cycling (albeit very slowly to begin with) and running around parks. Hopefully, this will help me in my quest to be a bit fitter and who knows, I might lose a couple of pounds along the way!

So that is what I would like to achieve in 2012. Nothing earth shattering I realise, but they are important to me. Yes, I would love to write a book. Yes, I would love to find the perfect job. Yes I would live to learn to speak Italian. If I began to achieve any of those things, it would be great, but right now, my family are the most important thing.

Happy New Year and good luck with any resolutions you make!