There was the year when I said I would take up jogging, and get thighs of steel. And the year when I said I would do every piece of homework the day I got it. One year, I promised myself I would drink a glass of milk every day.
But 2014 has been different. Knowing that I would inevitably fail if I set myself a concrete task for personal development, I went with a motto for the year instead.
'Don't hold back'.
Every time I'm in a situation where I'm hesitant or unsure of myself, I remember the motto, and I go for it.
So far, I've had an amazing few months. 'Don't hold back' has resulted in some brilliant and absurd things happening to me. From unexpectedly pleasant conversations with construction workers, to some slightly wild nights out, 2014 has been great so far. Skinny dipping, walking out of a film and making a two-hour trek back to my home at 1 in the morning, sipping gin and giggling through a show at the Old Vic, telling a cat-calling delivery guy to 'Stop harassing girls and go deliver your pizza!', singing opera at full volume in the street at 1 in the morning...
There is fun to be had if you let loose and go for it.
And on a really tame level, when trying on skirts and dresses, thinking 'Ooh I like it, but isn't it a bit short/outgoing/not really me?', the motto 'Don't hold back' has given me that little bit of confidence to say 'Screw it, my arse looks great in this'. When given the option between going out or a quiet night in watching 'Brideshead Revisited' with a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit, I've thrown on a coat, grabbed my keys and shut the door behind me. Even if it's just starting harmless conversations at bus stops, I've realised there's simply no point in feeling timid and self-restrained.
So I may not have gone jogging, or done all my homework immediately, or fulfilled my milk quota for the year, but I've had a hell of a lot of fun over the past few months. I've got one piece of advice for my readers, and it's pretty self-explanatory.
Don't hold back.