So! We’ve devoured the last turkey sandwich, the Celebrations are down to the Bountys, and we’re down to the strange Twixmas time between Christmas and New Year. So our minds now go across to that other strange time of the year – the very end of it! New Year.

There are two main areas I want to cover here: and that’s New Year’s resolutions, and New Year parties.

Firstly, some general stuff. New Year is a time where there is inordinate pressure on us to do something different – to change ourselves. However, remember that there is not always any reason to pressure yourself to actually change within a single year. Or, quite frankly, change at all! I can guarantee that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way you are right now if you want to stay like this.

This leads me quite nicely to resolutions. Those little promises that we make to ourselves, to make some form of change during the year. Now personally, I’m not a fan of this, because I always look back and then suddenly wonder how I’ve “failed” at my promises. People also have such a tendency to massively overreach – completely changing your personality is going to be either impossible or going to take more than a single year! But equally, if we can set proper goals for ourselves, then maybe it can become the little driver that we need.

So! If you really do want to set a resolution or two to yourself, then my advice is simply to keep your goals SMART! I know, cliché…
For those not familiar with this very popular acronym, here’s a quick rundown:
SPECIFIC – Make sure your goal is something that you can easily see what you’re doing.
MEASURABLE – How will you know when you’ve managed to achieve your goal?
ACHIEVABLE – This is REALLY important! Is this something that you can actually do? Or is it something like “create world peace” which, let’s be fair, isn’t going to be achievable, especially not in just one year!
RELEVANT – Is your goal actually relevant to you? Or are you promising to give up smoking, when you’ve never picked up a cigarette in your life?
TIMELY – Is your goal actually achievable in the timescale, i.e. one year?

Remember though, that the stats say under 10% of people say that they achieve their resolution – so if you don’t manage it, you’re in good company!! In fact, just under 20% of people don’t even make it past the first week! (Source:

Now, New Year’s parties. Oh joy, it’s that time again, where people go out and pay way over the odds for a pint, after paying £40 to get into some club with a sticky floor, get squashed on the dancefloor and then end up paying an eye-watering amount for a taxi home! (Okay – you might guess I don’t like new years parties!!)

So, by that, you may have gathered that I won’t be going to one myself! But if you are, here are my top tips to make sure that you can stay mentally healthy, as well as have a great time:

  • Drink water! Yes, I know it’s not as exciting as vodka, but equally, it keeps you hydrated. Dehydration will worsen any hangover and we all know physical illnesses will worsen mental ones!
  • Know how you’re getting home. Pre-book taxis, organise lifts, or know the route you’re taking – and make sure other people know too. This means that there’s no last-minute panic, which can ruin a night out.
  • Know what you can do if you need to take a quiet 5 mins if things get too much. Can you nip outside? Have a plan!
  • If you need to call it a night – THAT’S ABSOLUTELY FINE. Do what YOU need to do. Just make sure you get home safely.
  • Tell someone that you trust in the group how you feel. Make sure they can look out for you too!

Overall – my advice boils down to three points: BE SAFE, BE AWARE, BE YOU! 

Whatever you choose to do, Spark will be here for you. We’ve got mods on all day on both New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, and we’ll make sure you’re okay. We’ll be having activities in our amazing Peer Support Group over the day if you want to join us!

Peace and love, and remember to always stay sparkly!