My new year’s resolutions

This year I’ve decided to make some new year’s resolutions and to put them out there for all to see. At the very least it will enable me to look back at the end of the year and flagellate myself for not doing any of them. If it works, and I have had good experiences with new year’s resolutions in the past, then it might help to guide my next year.

So here goes, this year I will…

  • Get fit and healthy. I know everyone always says this, but I would like to eat less, or at least more healthily, drink in moderation and move around more. In 2019 I had a good go at this with a mixture of Park Run, going to the gym and turning semi-vegetarian. But it all fell apart in December through a combination of elections, illness and Christmas cheer. So in January I’m going to start climbing back on the wagon.
  • Finish the Oxford Handbook of Career Development (and other outstanding projects). A few years ago I decided that I wanted to write/edit some more books as part of a desire to make a more permanent mark on the world. The upshot of this has been the social justice books, the Careers Leaders Handbook and a new book on Nordic career guidance that will hopefully be released next year. The final piece of my plan is the Oxford Handbook of Career Development, which my colleagues and I are still bringing together. Once, I’ve finished that, and a few other bits, I’ll be free to come up with some major new project(s). Speaking of which…
  • Write a new book for a bigger audience. I’ve got a bit tired of writing academic type books and articles. I intend to continue to do this, but I’d quite like to shift my focus towards something different. In general I’d like to publish more in places that people might read, but most importantly I’d like to write a book that might make a bit of a splash. I’ve got some ideas, but they haven’t quite crystalised yet, so I’ll probably be trying them out on the blog over the next few months. Speaking of which…
  • Blog more. I’ve always thought of the blog as being at the heart of my thinking and writing. But, in recent years, I’ve let it lapse a bit and mainly used the blog as a repository of presentations and stuff that I’ve been writing elsewhere. This is a loss to me as it takes away the opportunity to be creative and try out new stuff. Towards the end of 2019 I started to try and kick the blog up a gear. I’m going to try and sustain this into 2020. I might even start doing the podcast again.
  • Get more political. My work and life has always been bound up with politics. But, the kind of political involvement that I’ve pursued has varied over the years. I want to refocus this and make sure that 2020 is a year of more lobbying, activism and active engagement in political debates. I think that the concepts of ‘career’ and ‘career guidance’ have a lot to offer to the mainstream political debate and so I’ll be talking about that a lot, but I’ll also be engaging in wide political debates around education, employment and skills policy. And, I’ll probably have stuff to stay about the directions of the main political parties.
  • Learn Norwegian. If you follow this blog you will probably know that I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the Nordic countries. I’m looking forwards to continuing to do this over the next few years (assuming that Brexit doesn’t trap me in the UK forever). I’ve never successfully learnt a language, so I’d like to have a go at getting to grips with Norwegian. I’m now basking in the glow of a an 80 day Duolingo streak, but I recognise that I’ll need to take it up a notch if I want to actually learn a language. I’m just thinking about the best way to do this.
  • Listen to more new/unfamiliar music. I’ve become really dependent on the music that I loved when I was young. I want to start to try and listen to new things and expand my horizons a bit. My plan is to listen to at least one new or unfamiliar album a week and see if I like it. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I plan to post anything that blows my mind on here.
  • Read more. I read all the time for my work, but I’m depressingly instrumental about the way in which I do it. Everything I read relates to something that I’m writing or researching and everything gets gutted for information rather than savoured. I’ve joined a theory reading group to help stretch me, but I also want to read for pleasure. I suspect that this will still mainly be non-fiction, but who knows I might even read a novel from time to time. I’d like to read at least one thing for pleasure a month.

So, how does that sound? Do you think that I can do it? Give me some advice about how to do these things. I’ll try and report back on these periodically as part of my blogging. I’d also be interested to hear what resolutions other people are making and whether you think that this is a good thing to do at all.



  1. They all sound like actions that have meaning and importance to you, it looks like you’ve really taken stock and have actually made a start or continuation on all of them. I wish I had your drive! Interested to read how it goes. I’m also going to try and blog more. Good luck!

  2. What a great set of resolutions! Maybe I should set some for myself, after all? On the topic of learning a language, I bet you’re already doing some of the really useful things. For example, I found TV was a great way to get deeper into languages. I found that I couldn’t handle the news on TV, because I didn’t know enough about the stories of the day (in Germany, at the time), but I really improved my colloquial and my written language by regularly watching “Eine Schrecklich Nette Familie,” the dubbed version of “Married with Children.” With all the great scandi-noir options, that are also helpfully subtitled when you’re watching in the UK, you can’t fail! Another thing I found useful was translations of books – either books written in English and translated into your target language or those originally in your target language and also available in English translations are ideal, because you can get both versions so you can compare when you get stuck. I generally go for detective fiction, but you can probably find suitable stuff in any genre you enjoy.

    The really best way to learn a new language, though, is to get yourself a spouse or partner of the appropriate nationality. Not really a practical option at this stage? Good luck with all of it and please keep up the blogging. I get tons of useful information and inspiration from what you share and often share it onwards with colleagues or students

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