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New Year again and naturally we’re recalling our, ahem, ambitious resolutions from last year but trying to focus on our upcoming ambitions for 2018. Last year I vowed to write a book and I did, somewhat. Thing is when it comes to writing, something like a book it’s all to do with wordcount, an ambitious writer would scribe two thousand words a day, one thousand words is a standard enough target, five hundred for the less aggressive and a hundred and eighty on a good day for those with a toddler. Nonetheless, I managed a good thirty thousand words before summer but the road to Ireland is paved with good intentions and once I landed in Ireland the laptop was cast aside for family and friends. The book continues this year and will end in 2018, seems my friend Enda Waters had a point when she alluded quite pointedly that I’ve made a seven-year career out of one book!

I also vowed to lose 5kg. I did this. The scales read nicely until… that’s right, I went home for summer, the fourteen hundred calorie a day with the recommended calories deficit achieved by the ten thousand steps a day exercise was flung aside when the Pat the Baker bread and Kerrygold was on the table in summer. From that point on the scales started moving in the other direction and whilst the 5kg isn’t fully reinstated, I reckon it will take 2 more chocolate biscuits and one more spoon of stuffing before I’m back to exactly where I began a year ago. What the heck, I enjoyed the journey and this year, 2018 I plan on doing things a little different.

2017 was a year of counting, a thousand words a day for the book, 700 words a week for the Echo, 10,000 steps a day for the heart, 5,000 metres a day for the waistline, 1,400 calories a day for the saddle bags, 15 minutes hit training, 10 reps for toning, 5 fruit and veg a day, three meals, 2 snacks and 8 glasses of water. I drew the line at a kindle when I realised it said things like, you have now read 12% of this book, that was just too far. Quite frankly I got sick and tired of walking around like a human calculator, I wanted 2018 to be different

My plan was in the process of being worked out when on Christmas morning I received a long slim box. A bracelet, a necklace, a beautiful pen? Yes, exactly what I had hoped for, something timeless, countless, number free. All in line with my numerical free approach to 2018, I would write from the heart, regardless of wordcount, walk for enjoyment, eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m dry, look to the position of the sun for the time, that sort of thing. I would be Zen.

I unwrapped the gift, prepping myself for the slow sigh of appreciation I would express. The long white box, wasn’t velvety or padded, it didn’t have gold script writing on the lid or two gold coloured hinges making the case as lovely as what was within. No, it was a smooth white box, tightly wrapped in film and when I turned it over, I could see the symbol that means you are no longer your own keeper, you are tied into life with Apple. An apple watch.

The kids were ecstatic, you’ll love it Mammy, it will track your steps, your heartbeat, even if you’re away from the phone, it will ring on your hand, you’ll never miss a phone call again, notifications will appear, the temperature, and look at this, only 157 days until we go home for summer! It’s all there, everything you ever wanted.   I could feel the walls closing in, I could no longer lie to MyFitnessPal about what I’d eaten, the watch would see!

Days into 2018 and already my new year’s resolution is in tatters, I haven’t reached my step goal any day and the watch tells me I’ve 37% chance of reaching it today.

Available Apple Watch, free to collect from Doha, will swap for nice pen and paper.