New Year resolutions: Do we want or need them?

New Year resolutions may have their place in some people’s lives but not in mine. That’s not to say that I never set targets, and set out to achieve them, but I cannot see anything special about January 1.

Yes, it marks the start of a new calendar year – but, so what?

resolutions If you want to start, or stop, doing something in your life, then you should start doing so immediately. For example, give up smoking on March 23 or start a new diet on August 4. There is nothing magical about the beginning of January.

And, if truth be known, most New Year resolutions don’t last very long. Determination of most people, even those with the very best intentions, tends to wane fast and their resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. Mostly, this happens in months, if not weeks, or even days.

I am completely sure that I’d be one of those who give up and ditch their resolutions sooner than later. And this is fine for anybody who wants to do something, but not for someone who needs to do it.

‘Want’ vs ‘need’

There is a great deal of difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’. As an example, you might ‘want’ to eat a large meal, but it isn’t a ‘need’. However, you do ‘need’ to eat to live. To put it simply, a ‘want’ is something you would like to have, but is not absolutely necessary. While a good thing to have, it is not essential. A ‘need’ is essential.

As someone with a chronic disease, in my case multiple sclerosis, the need to look after myself is extremely important. It could even be described as critical.

It includes keeping a careful watch on what I eat along with the amount and level of exercise I take. Also, through my doctor, I have to keep an eye on my vitamin levels, particularly B and D. I was found to be vitamin D deficient in 2016, and a couple of months ago my vitamin B level was discovered to be too low. I have now been prescribed supplements of both.

To live as healthy a life as possible is an ongoing need. It is not related to the New Year and will not be put aside like a resolution.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at with other companies and products. Read more.

* * * * * is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.

Blog review 2015 and New Year’s resolutions


This, my 50shadesofsun blog, went live on August 1 last year and so December 31 marked the end of its first five months. When starting it, I had absolutely no idea of what to expect, how many views it would achieve and how many visitors it would attract.

I was not sure how many posts should be written nor in how many countries my blog would find its readers. All I really had was my history of working almost all my life as a writer, mainly in journalism and public relations, and a great big dose of enthusiasm.

Choosing a blog hosting site, setting up the blog the way I wanted it to look and even coming up with an original and catchy name were all tasks that had to be accomplished before the blog could go live. It took a few weeks to research and accomplish all of it – and that alongside the preparations that Lisa and I were making for our move to Spain.

So, how has it all gone? I am more than happy with progress so far but my target is to grow the blog as it goes along and hope to be talking about greater numbers in 12 months’ time.

In its first five months, my blog has attracted 3,246 views from 1,747 visitors, and that’s an average of 649.2 views from 349.4 visitors per month. One more established long-time and award-winning blogger has a monthly average three times the size of mine but then 50shades is still a baby in comparison to hers.

I have written 149 posts in 153 days, so my output is quite prolific but then writing has been my life at work and now continues through this blog which, hopefully, informs, amuses, educates and even inspires its readers.

Time for your New Year’s resolutions?

Today, New Year’s Day, is your first chance to succeed, or fail, to keep any resolutions you may have made. Traditionally it is a time to choose to try to better ourselves by giving up smoking, stopping drinking or one of many other such worthy targets. You may be even aiming to carry out one random act of kindness every week or every month; an act that will benefit someone else.

Now, my list of resolutions is blank. Yes, you read that correctly, I don’t have any. Never had, never will. That’s not because I am perfect, far from it, but because my targets are set at various times and they don’t get stored up until New Year’s Day.

So, if you have made resolutions, all the best with your efforts but I’m happy to continue as before.