It is my firm belief that nobody in the history of the world has ever visited a gym they joined as a New Year’s resolution. Packed with sweaty bodied angry folk feigning exercise enjoyment whilst secretly calculating how many pies they can scoff later, everyone knows they are protein shake selling temples of doom.

Yet come January thousands of people toddle down to their nearest one, desperate to rid themselves of mince pie belly and become the sleek Adonis they’ve always dreamed they could be (if it wasn’t for their insatiable love of baked goods.)

As smiling models beam down on us from the lofty heights of the local newsstand’s magazine rack, it’s only natural to grieve for your 19 year-old body. “Last year my New Year’s resolution was to join a gym. LOOK AT ME NOW!” they taunt.  Don’t be fooled. It’s not real. She and the well oiled muscular Amazonian on the neighbouring men’s shelf have just received an airbrushing more rigorous than Ryan Giggs’ STI screening tests.

When considering gym membership you may also be tempted to diet. Don’t do this. Put simply nobody ever successfully gets skinny after proudly announcing it as a resolution.  In fact I think the number of people who have deliberately dropped a dress size in January may be smaller than the number of people who visit gyms.

Of course I’m not suggesting you permanently shun all forms of physical exercise in favour of bed sores and carrot cake through intravenous drip. (Cerebrovascular disease is nobody’s idea of a party.) But before you start chugging detoxing banana skin water and sign your life away to a white shirted man with a degree in jumping around, think carefully. It’s not all Olympic gold medals and massages from Brad Pitt lookalike physiotherapists. (That’s how the bastards sucked me in last time.) Gyms also extract large sums of cash from your bank account on a monthly basis and make you feel bad about yourself for lying on your bum like an upturned potato on a dreary winter’s eve. And everyone knows this is why God MADE winter. Slam dunking complex carbohydrates from the sofa with limited guilt is the only silver lining to the wet dark lurgy laden months. (It’s what Jesus would have wanted.)

So if your high school PE report said that you were never likely to achieve in this subject due to ‘your unwillingness to move’, making unrealistic crash diet/gym resolutions is highly counter productive. Instead of joining gyms, embarking on Gillian McKeith inspired crash diets or giving up drinking (another popular resolution amongst sadists and nutters), just continue to enjoy everything in moderation. And sometimes, after a very bad day, a bit less moderation.

If in doubt stick to the three golden rules: 1.) Stop eating when you’re full. 2.) Make sure 85% of your diet is made up of ‘good’ fresh foods like lean protein and vegetables. 3.) When you get to the stage of voluntarily performing your special bedroom onesie dance for your new boss, stop drinking.

At least that’s what I plan to do in 2013. Merry New Year!

PS: You can give up smoking if you like though. That shiz will kill you.

PPS: Accidents will happen obviously. For such occasions I recommend Berocca, Ibuprofen and (depending on the severity of your actions) a change of phone number/address/country.