Lorraine Kelly
Lorraine Kelly

New year: new start – what are your resolutions?

Follow in the footsteps of these Scottish stars and make a fresh start for 2020.

1. Give up the booze

Scotland may be known for its hard drinking but you’d be surprised at how many hell raisers have now given up the booze. Ewan MacGregor, the Star Wars actor, went teetotal in 2001 after his partying spiralled out of control. He says he has no regrets because drinking is a ‘self-centred’ activity. Comedians Billy Connolly and Frankie Boyle, who both make jokes about drinking, have also given up the booze.

2. Run a marathon

Foul mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is a regular runner of the London Marathon, although running is not just a post-Christmas fitness fad for the multi-Michelin starred TV star. He trains all year round and runs with his wife Tana (who in the past has beaten him to the finish line). Ramsay has also competed in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

3. Be more spiritual

Scots actor Gerard Butler vowed to ‘explore his spiritual side’ after seeing his life flash before his eyes in a surfing accident in 2011. Since then, he says he has had ‘a greater appreciation of the moment’. For help getting into your spiritual side go to Findhorn or join a retreat in January ‘to create the 2015 you deserve’ at Garleton Lodge in East Lothian.

4. Lose weight

Lorraine Kelly

Scottish TV presenter Lorraine Kelly often releases weight loss DVDs to help people looking to lose the pounds, but she revealed last year that she isn’t a fan of diets. She attributes her own weight loss to portion control and having an active lifestyle.

5. Read more Scottish literature

Surprisingly, the most popular New Year’s Resolution is not losing weight but reading more. Award-winning crime author Stuart MacBride has resolved to read lots more books. Scottish classics to explore include RL Stevenson, Walter Scott and the Scots Quair trilogy by Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Don’t forget more modern novels like Buddha Da by Anne Donavan, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, The Glasgow Coma Scale by Neil D A Stewart and any AL Kennedy.

6. Bag your first Munro

Scotland is home to 283 Munros, or mountains with a height of over 3,000ft. Scottish broadcaster Muriel Gray is so keen on hiking up hills that she has written a book on the subject, The First Fifty: Munro Bagging Without a Beard. VisitScotland recommend starting off with Schiehallion or Ben Chonzie before building up to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

7. Cut your carbon emissions

KT Tunstall (Photo: Piper Ferguson)

Scotland has a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2020. Follow in the footsteps of singer/songwriter KT Tunstall, who travels by biodiesel-powered tour bus, has a solar energy powered and super insulated home and even plays an eco-friendly guitar made from recycled whisky barrels.

8. Do at least one good deed a day

(except on Sundays and public holidays) Sandy McCall Smith, the Edinburgh author, admits to forgetting what last year’s New Year’s Resolutions were. But when he does remember, he says doing good for others is a fine way to start. After all, where would the characters of Scotland Street be without the odd kind deed?

9. Go vegan

Scots actor Alan Cumming decided to give up eating animal products after being inspired by Mike Tyson. The US boxer went vegan to ‘flush out the drugs’ and soon lost weight. Cumming said he simply does not like the taste of meat and claims cutting out dairy makes for a far more healthy diet.

10. Try a new sport

Getting fit doesn’t have to be boring. Scotland has many opportunities to try something new from surfing, to climbing and golfing. Why not try some extreme cycling, like trials cyclist Danny MacAskill who recently cycled the Cuillin mountain ridge on Skye, or throwing yourself down a river (canyoning), crawling underground (caving) or scrambling over rocks (bouldering)?