OPINION - Rob Rinder: Why exercising, dieting and date nights can all wait

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  • Mia Farrow
    Mia Farrow
    American actress
 (Natasha Pszenicki)
(Natasha Pszenicki)

A couple of people have asked me what my New Year’s resolutions are. In response, I’ve hoisted both eyebrows and given them my frostiest snort. Because I’ve always known New Year is a terrible time to make resolutions. Everyone feels skint, tubby and frazzled, it’s cold, it’s grim and it’s grey — nobody can think straight with this much gloom floating about. It’s hard enough deciding what socks to put on. Nevertheless, on December 31, sensible people still persist in trying to make these grand changes.

Inevitably, it all falls apart a couple of days later when the temperature tumbles and work calls, and you find you can’t quite summon the energy to learn Mandarin or write that opera. Everyone ends up in the middle of January feeling even drearier because they failed. The worst resolutions of all — even worse than diets and exercise — are the relationship ones, when couples have a crack at regular date nights or weekly fondling and other such nonsense. Of course, when you make them together, you flop together, and end up blaming each other — it’s disappointment squared. In my view, enough is enough. Let’s all focus more on self-care in January than self-improvement. New Year’s resolutions can wait until June.

In other news...

A lesson in politeness from the Queen Mother

Recently, I’ve been thinking about one of my favourite Queen Mother stories. Mia Farrow was once take to a fancy dinner and was seated one down from her. In breach of about a hundred different types of royal etiquette, Farrow leant over to ask her what — in her opinion — was the most important thing to teach your children. “I think,” came the regal reply, “It’s manners.” “Really?” said Farrow. The Queen Mum was clear: “Manners can get you through anything.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s difficult to pinpoint precisely what good manners are, but you know them when you see them. It’s definitely not about using the right fork for your Pot Noodle or remembering to put the milk in first. Boiled down to the essentials, they are simply being mindful of the people around you. In fact, good manners like this are the most valuable thing you can teach your children. Be kind and thoughtful and interested and, as the Queen Mum said, it’ll get you through anything. The rest is just cutlery.

Post-Omicron isolation freedom means binge-eating, hard-drinking and mega-sexting

Apparently one in 10 Londoners have been through Omicron recently and, as January drags on, they’re getting liberated from their isolation. It seems everyone has gone a bit demob happy and there’s been a lot of binge-eating, hard-drinking and mega-sexting. Actually, when I was a criminal barrister I’d see much the same thing when people got released after long sentences. My advice to isolation and prison leavers is broadly the same: take it slow, be sensible and remember to pop a mask on — you don’t want to end up back inside.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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