As an expert with more than three decades of experience in making (and breaking) New Year's resolutions, I have come to the conclusion that the whole system is seriously flawed.
Nobody needs that kind of pressure.
Why take on the burden of self-improvement, especially when one is not in any particular need of improvement? These pacts aimed at achieving a healthier body, a calmer mind and a more fulfilled existence - they sometimes lead to feelings of immense guilt.
And that is why I have decided that 2013 is a good opportunity to shake things up a bit and present New Year's resolutions the way they should have been all along - made by an individual on behalf of other people, thereby ridding one's self of the responsibility of complying as well as the guilt resulting from the failure to do so.
Below are a couple of resolutions I made on behalf of people who could use some improvement.
For drivers with no road sense: I will try to remember that those white dashes painted on the road indicate that I must stay on either side of them, within an area regarded as a lane. I will also try my best not to straddle those white dashes for 500-metre stretches.
For smartphone fiends: I will try not to lose myself in BBM and Facebook newsfeeds trawling at red traffic lights, because the traffic light turning red is an indicator for me to stop the car, not for me to start using my smartphone. When out with friends, I will resist the urge to check my BBM every 30 seconds and instead give face time to people who give me face time.
For the fashionably challenged: An ugly article of clothing costs money. That money can easily be spent on decent articles of clothing. I will try to keep that in mind the next time I go shopping.
For parents with annoying children: I will not take my child to a movie for grown-ups. But if I do, and my child starts talking or crying during the movie, I will escort the child outside, because I know that if I stay in the theatre, at least one member of the audience will embarrass me by shouting at me to shut my child up. I will also come to terms with the fact that the child I find so adorable might be a little less so to other people.
For people with no sense of personal space: Physical contact with strangers in a queue is not everyone's cup of tea. I will try to maintain respectable distance. Realistically speaking, I know I will still lean into the back of the person in front of me, so I will try to make this experience less traumatic for them by maintaining good personal hygiene.
And last but not the least, a New Year's resolution on behalf of the Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling: to make more frequent visits to Dubai and befriend a certain Desi Girl.
Happy New Year everyone and please try to stick to your resolutions as long as you can. Especially you, Mr Gosling.
Ujala Ali Khan is an honest-to-goodness desi girl living in Dubai