First of all, a very happy New Year from everyone at the Chippendale school.

It promises to be a big year at the school, with 2018 being the tercentenary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth – after whom the school is named.

Our resolution for the year is to celebrate the great man’s achievements and instil in our students the ethos that made him so successful.

We think that’s a good resolution to have made, because most New Year resolutions are about giving things up.

Eating less to lose weight, giving up alcohol for January, or quitting smoking.

Sometimes, of course, our resolutions are about taking things up – starting to jog regularly, or deciding that we’ll absolutely and regularly go to the gym.

But the trouble with most resolutions is that they involve doing things that we really, hand-on-heart, don’t particularly want to do.

It’s why we’re such failures at sticking to them.

UK research backs this up.  80% of people making resolutions will have fallen by the wayside in less than three months.  86% in less than a year.

The most common reason for failure is setting unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% don’t keep track of their progress and a further 23% simply forget about them.

A common mistake seems to be over-ambition.  About one in 10 people claim they make too many resolutions.

For example, gym membership.  About 12% of new gym memberships start in January and a high proportion of gym income is from members who sign up to lengthy contracts and then attend irregularly.

So why do we keep on making resolutions that we know we won’t keep?  The tradition seems to go back to the Babylonians who made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.

The Romans also began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.

So why not, this year, resolve to do something that you’ve always wanted to do, but have never quite got around to?

In other words, to do something new rather than give something up.

If woodworking is your secret passion, why not enrol on one of our week-long “taster” courses? You’ll learn a great deal in that week, meet like-minded woodworkers, and have a great time.

Also, if you later decide to enrol in our immersive 30-week course, your course fees for the “taster” week are refunded in full.

More information on our short courses for 2018 can be found here.