Out with the old and in with the... hang on

There will be quite literally millions of us beavering away at setting, or starting New Year's resolution today. For  some it will be set today, start tomorrow as they nurse a hangover and defer to the calendarical symmetry of starting on a Monday.

I'm not going to get stuck into that this year, I have commented on it before and setting goals is one of those perennial subjects in any event. So this year I am less concerned with what resolutions you are setting for yourself but rather, one we probably do not ask ourselves a lot:

What did you learn this year?

Before you start binning it off because you didn't have a massive flash of inspiration, the answer might well encompass reminders of things that you once "knew" but had not applied or had forgotten. Revision more than learning, if you will!

For example, for my part, I (re)discovered that arrogance pushes all of my buttons; I have a whole new list of tried and tested ways to put weight on using only standard dietary items; science is significantly more interesting than it ever was at school; people are oblivious of the impact of hormones outside of puberty, pregnancy and menopause (that's a whole different post); seeing somebody you love in pain is a thousand times worse than enduring any yourself.

Now a lot of this isn't exactly news but testing them as working theories is quite useful. It enables me to have a look at the decisions I have made and either figure out why I opted for some of the really daft things and to some degree, predict what I'm likely to do in future in similar circumstances. This is not destiny, but a likelihood.

The year has been pretty good in terms of book learning and published research too (all from others, I have to say, I am not that useful...but that won't come as news to those of you have read this before!).

Basically, what I am trying to say is, before you bin everything off in the quest for your new resolutions, spend 10 minutes thinking about what you have learned over the last 12 months. You may well find some things that are useful in setting your resolutions, either in terms of what is important to you or in helping you identify your potential pitfalls.

Happy New Year

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