Making plans for the new year ahead

Do you need a little inspiration for your New Year resolutions? If so, see what some well-known people are planning

It's that time of year again. As the final bars of Auld Lang Syne fade into the distance, a list of New Year's resolutions will be drawn up.

Some will be more ambitious than others, some will be achieved, while others won’t ever see beyond the 2nd of January, but year after year, we all make plans to better ourselves in the coming months.

To give you some inspiration, here’s what some other people are hoping to change about their health and wellbeing next year.

Julie Feeney

– singer, composer and songwriter

Feeney says she always takes the time to make goals for the year ahead and unless she is very busy, tries to adhere to her plans.

“Any opportunity to refresh our approach to life is good by me. I like to take stock at the end of every year and have usually learned a huge amount so I find it easy to make New Year’s resolutions.

“I tend to have some sort of goal every year because I always have a very quiet Christmas with family so have lots of time to take stock which means the making of resolutions happen naturally.

“And as long as I don’t hit the ground running in January, I will stick to what I have resolved to do. Otherwise, if I am very busy with work, I will forget all about any resolutions.

“My top resolutions for 2014 are to continue to appreciate every single golden moment that comes along and to continue to try to be as kind as I can even when hugely challenged.

“But I also want to learn how to drive a car and continue learning how to fly a plane and to finish my opera and get the fourth album composed and recorded.

“The most life-changing resolution I ever made was when I decided to stop assuming that others think the same way that I do. But I think regardless of making that resolution, it will take me a lifetime to fully realise it.”

Celebrity chef Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant, who recently launched his own cookery school in Blacklion
Maguire says he always makes resolutions as it's important to make plans for the coming year.

“I think resolutions are definitely worth making because it’s a time of the year when you can reflect on the year gone by and think ahead, make some plans and sort out your priorities for the year ahead.

“I always make them and do my best to stick to them, but usually they are the sort of things where I resolve to make a change in some area of my life so they are not really ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type decisions.

“In 2014 I intend to spend more time at home with my family in Blacklion.

“Everyone tells me the children will grow up so fast so I will be doing less demos around the country and arriving home in the small hours from work and focusing instead on the Cookery School which is literally beside the restaurant.”

Politician, Mary O'Rourke
O'Rourke says for someone at her "stage in life" she is happy to be alive and well and looking forward to another year.

“I find the notion of me making a New Year’s resolution quite funny because I am gone beyond trying to get trimmer so really my main objective for the year ahead is to keep going and get my feet out of the bed each morning.

“And because I am getting older, I need to be ready for what’s coming down the road in the Afterworld, so I am trying to be more spiritual – not so much in a holy way but more in the sense of becoming at peace with everything in the here and now and what is to come.

“Making a New Year’s resolution is a good thing as it is rejuvenating and helps people to look over what they have achieved as they face into another year.

“I am optimistic by nature so I always found the very act of making goals and plans for the year ahead to be a positive and hopeful exercise.

“Now that I’m in my mid-70s, I plan to spend the next year reading some more books, spending time with friends and family and although I can’t love my grandchildren any more than I do already, I intend to try.”

Musician Sharon Shannon
Shannon loves the idea of resolutions but doesn't always make them in January, because she can't be sure she will stick to them.

“I think New Year’s resolutions are a great idea, if only we could stick to them. I don’t make them every year and quite often not at the start of the year. I often set goals for myself but not necessarily on New Year’s Day and these would usually include ways of trying to maximise good health.

“Also, depending on what the resolutions are, I don’t always stick to them. I try my best, but I’m not always successful.

“I think we all feel the need to make a fresh start every year because it’s a good thing to have a think about how we can improve the quality of our own lives and how we can help others.

“It helps to make some positive changes and try to stick to them.

“My resolutions for 2014 are quite simple. I would like to get up earlier in the day because it’s good to try to avail of as much daylight as possible. I would also like to drink more water to keep hydrated and healthy, and I would love to try to de-clutter my house because clutter really causes chaos and wrecks my head.

“And lastly, I would like to try to be more careful about keeping a healthy diet while on the road. It’s very hard to stick to eating well when I am on tour, so I am now committed to carrying more fruit and vegetables with me.”

Independent Senator John Crown
Crown always tries to make New Year's resolutions but admits that they always seem to be the same goals.

“I think New Year’s resolutions are important as it is good to reflect on areas where self-improvement is possible. I try to make some sort of resolution every year but usually it seems to be about the same thing – weight loss.

The father-of-three says he will continue to set himself some health challenges and hopes that he can manage to meet his goals this year. “I don’t always stick to my resolutions but tend to orbit around them instead,” he says.

“I think we all feel the need to make a fresh start every year because no one is perfect and for 2014, I hope to try to lose weight, exercise more and work less.

“I hope to be successful because previously I managed to achieve my most life-changing resolution which was to stop smoking.”

Sportsman Seá

n Óg O hAilpín
O hAilpí

n believes that having a goal in life really helps to focus the mind and feel purposeful. “The American basketball player, Michael Jordan, once said that success is a moving target and I think this applies to the notion of New Year’s resolutions.

“I think we all need to be constantly evolving and bettering ourselves. We need targets and the start of a new year is a landmark time to make changes.

“I always try to make resolutions at New Year. Some are successful and some are not but the point is that it gives me focus and something to work towards and look forward to in the coming months. Otherwise, I don’t feel there is any purpose in my life.

“One of the best resolutions I made was to drink three litres of water a day. And now, even though I have retired from top level sport, I still drink as much water as it has become second nature to me. This helps to flush out the toxins, stops me from feeling hungry and basically keeps me in good health.

“My resolutions for the year ahead are firstly to try to get to bed earlier. Life is so crazy that I never seem to get there before midnight.

“I also want to start cooking more for myself. I am spoiled a lot by my partner and my mother so although I don’t want to become the next Jamie Oliver, I do need to be a bit more independent in myself.”