We are on the cusp of a new year and the possibilities are endless. A new year never fails to bring a breath of fresh air for most of us, a clean slate. All those bad habits we bemoan throughout the year will be taken in hand. We pledge our resolutions and swear that we will see them through. This year, there is no room for failure.
Like many Januarys in the past most of us will kick the booze, sweet treats and make an attempt to pound the pavements to shed a few pounds, at the very least those we gained over a very jolly Christmas season.
The new year does seem like the perfect time to make changes for the better and to look at our lives and the direction we want to take them in. While we all have our personal goals there are also a lot of resolutions we could make for the better as individual communities and as a country.
All the experts seem to think we are out of recession and that things are on the up but for countless people life is harder than ever. Only recently has the issue of homelessness been given any proper attention and sadly because someone had to die to get us all to wake up to the issue.
The problem hasn't become this bad overnight so for how long have people been crying out for help without any adequate supports and changes being put into place?
We think of homeless people as those who are lying in doorways but the problem it seems is even more widespread than this with individuals and many families left with no roof over their head due to housing troubles and spiralling rents.
The health service could also be given the administrative equivalent of a full medical such is the awful mess it is in. When A&E departments are turning people away just like a busy nightclub we are in trouble.
The hospital staff must be at their wits end to have to try and operate a functioning service with such a lack of resources.
This is a situation which does not have the luxury of taking time to clean up as people's lives are at risk and the longer it takes the higher the risk.
With these issues only a serious and focused approach by political leaders will do, not the half-hearted January diet.