BIRMINGHAM. People making commitments to change their behaviour in the New Year should aim for trivially easy targets to increase their chance of success, a local taxi driver told relations today.

Peter Oldham, 48, was helping himself to an additional portion of parsnips during his families traditional New Year’s Day roast when he offered the unsolicited advice to a gathering of seven or eight relatives.

“These people want to bring about serious change in their lives, for example losing lots of weight, smoking less or giving up some kind of vice”, Mr Oldham explained. “Those kind of resolutions actually require a bit of effort and that’s why people fail. They should aim for things they might actually be able to pull off, like giving up some food they don’t like.”

The opinion appears to have been prompted by Auntie Doris’ earlier revelation that she planned to quit smoking for the New Year; the eleventh time she has made the same commitment, so far without success.

Mr Oldham went on to explain how people could fool friends and loved ones using his concept of “resolution offseting”. “Basically, what you do is you pair up something you’re not supposed to do with something you want to do more of”, Mr Oldham explained. “For example, if your missus wants you to watch TV, tell her you’ve made a resolution to watch less TV. Then whenever she has a pop at you for watching too much TV, you get up and go the pub. You don’t break your resolution, and you get to go the the pub. It’s a win win.”