A NEW YEAR brings with it renewed hope and expectation – a chance for change and a fresh start for all.
Whether it be giving up smoking, cutting down on the booze or landing the top job you’ve had your sights on, the start of a new calendar year is a time to resolve to turn those long-held dreams into a reality.
But will those fledgling resolutions be thrown out along with the Christmas tree and decorations when 2014 has barely even begun?
Or is this finally the year when those lofty targets are reached?
We took to the streets of South Shields to find out what the next 12 months has in store for the borough and its residents – and found a town packed with a steely determination to ensure new beginnings don’t go to waste.
Clare Bailey, 26, owner of Unique Footwear and Accessories in the Denmark Centre, South Shields, has a sole target for the 12 months ahead – to finally light up her final cigarette.
She said: “I do sometimes do New Year resolutions.
“This year, I just want to give up smoking.
“I wish that I had never started.
“I smoke about 20 a day. I am really determined to give up.
“I also hope that sales will improve for shops all over the town.”
Eleanor Ronete Parchment, from Cheviot Road in South Shields, is starting her resolution a week late, but has vowed to stay the course throughout the year.
The 51-year-old said: “My resolution this year is to lose weight.
“I will be starting on January 8, as that is when my Weight Watchers class starts. I am determined to stick to it.
“My hopes for the town in the New Year are for some new shops. We need a greater variety of shops in South Shields.”
Valerie Ridley never fails to make a New Year’s resolution – but often fails to keep it!
The 73-year-old, from South Shields, said: “I always make a resolution at the start of January and it is usually broken before the end of the month.
“I do it every year, it’s a tradition.
“I usually say I would like to smoke less and eat less chocolates.
“I try to gobble up all my chocolates by the end of Christmas.”
Glen Ridley, 23, is setting his sights high for the year ahead.
Mr Ridley said: “I would like to give up chocolates as well, and get fit as I am aiming to climb Ben Nevis.
“It is something I would like to do and I will be training every day in 2014 to get ready for it.”
Audrey Aggas’s resolution for the year is just to have more resolve.
The 53-year-old, a nursery nurse from South Shields, said: “When I say I am going to do something, I want to make sure that I actually do it.
“So when I say I will make a pot of jam, I will then go and do it.
“I would like to see more shops in the town centre, so people don’t have to go out of town.
“I would rather the money stay in the town, but people have to go outside to places like Newcastle.
Lucy White, 42, a training and development worker at South Tyneside District Hospital, said: “My goal is to get myself fit.
“I started before Christmas and I will be keeping it going throughout the year.
“I will definitely keep to it.”