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Live for the moment and avoid those resolutions you just won't keep

An email dropped into my inbox the other day, offering me gym membership for next to nothing. 'New Year, New You.' the subject line read.

Feeling a little depressed all of a sudden, I opened the message and learned that if I availed of the massively discounted rates that the gym was offering, I would look and feel like a supermodel in no time.

Not only that, but they would waive the joining fee and give me free beauty treatments too.

I was surprised by this part – the last time I looked into gym membership I would have had to remortgage the house just to step over the threshold.

These days, however, it seems that too-good-to-pass-up offers are par for the course.

The gym world was almost destroyed in the past few years when people had zero discretionary income to spare, so apparently it's now trying to capitalise on the new, so-called 'feel-good factor' in the economy by throwing in special offers and signing-up gifts such as iPods, beauty packages and even plasma TVs – a little ironic considering that they want us to give up our couch potato status.

Needless to say, I didn't sign on the dotted line. It's not that I think gym membership is a waste of time, far from it.

The more we can do to keep ourselves healthy and fighting fit the better.

But there's something about receiving these sorts of messages at this time of the year that makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

For me, they serve as dismal reminders that, only a few days into the New Year, I'm already failing to live up to my potential.

Everywhere we look we're bombarded with instructions for fast-tracking our way to leaner, meaner, improved version of ourselves.

You can't move for the myriad of schemes to lose weight, tone up and get bikini ready. It's all enough to make me long to crawl back under my duvet and hibernate.

I don't want to be constantly told that I could be doing better and achieving more.

Who made it law that the New Year means it's time to try to become a new person anyway? I think they should be strung up.

I, for one, never keep any resolutions I make. There was the year I resolved to run every day.

That pledge lasted less than a week. Worse still was the year I decided to give up chocolate for good and ended up gorging on my sleeping children's selection boxes less than 24 hours after I'd sung Auld Lang Syne.

It's pitiful, even shameful, that I have no willpower but I also know it's not just me who finds the crippling pressure of January hard to bear.

A quick straw poll among my friends and family revealed that the majority buckle under the stress to become a new, improved version of themselves just because a new year has dawned.

'It always starts off well,' one stressed-out pal said, 'but then I fail and end up feeling even worse about myself that I felt before.'

It's the same old chestnut – we put such onus on ourselves to succeed that we set the bar far too high and inevitably stumble at the first hurdle.

Then we throw our hands in the air, wonder why we ever bothered to try and slope back to our slovenly ways – or at least I do.

This year, I won't be resolving to give up chocolate. I also won't be pretending to myself or to anyone else that I will run a marathon come the Spring.

My only resolution – if you could call it that – is to live in the moment.

If that means deleting useless emails that make me feel bad about myself the very second they land in my inbox, then that's what I will do.