“I caught up with your blog last night,” my friend told me this morning. “It’s very self-serving.”

“Well yes it is,” I replied. “Because I’m writing about myself. That’s the point. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m self obsessed and somewhat neurotic. Write about what you know, they say. And I know about me.”

Although I tried to sound indignant, as though I didn’t care for his opinion, I was actually a bit upset to be honest. I thought I was providing a service to the nine people who’d read my recent New York travel guide posts. They contained links and everything.

“It amused me that you’ve put links to places you visited in New York,” he continued. “It was as like you thought you were writing a proper travel guide that people might use.”

Rather than be put off by his disparaging remarks, they have only made me more determined than ever to continue writing about myself and my experiences. I know of at least three people who’ve enjoyed reading my offerings, so I’m doing this to make them happy. Granted, one of those three people is me, but I’m not entirely selfish. I’m not a bad person. I’m allowed a hobby. Other people do things they enjoy but are crap at: Halliwell, Hart, Harkishin. If I enjoy writing about myself, then I shall continue to do so.  I’m not hurting anyone or anything, other than perhaps my future career prospects if I inadvertently link this blog to my LinkedIn profile. Nobody wants to employee someone who freely admits to shitting themselves in the street. Unless that’s part of the job description, I suppose.

OK, I accept that travel writing isn’t my forte. And as someone who is fast approaching forty, perhaps I need to make a decision about what it is I should concentrate my written efforts on. And so I will. Right now.

From this day forth, this blog is going to attempt to help others who, like me, suffer from neurotic tendencies and self obsession and are reaching an age where they should know better. And would like to change.

Last Friday I turned 38. I have two years left before I reach the age where they say life begins. I’m good at simple maths. And talking about ‘them’ saying things. I realise that I’ve pissed about for too long now and there’s no excuse for it anymore. And, if I can make a success of this mission, then let me assure you that anyone can.

By the time I reach my fourth decade, I intend to have turned my life around. To have become a better person. To be calm, controlled, confident and caring. I am committed to leading a healthier lifestyle. To losing weight. And giving up smoking. And taking more exercise. And having a successful career I enjoy. And being less highly strung. And taking my make-up off at night. And visiting my friends who I haven’t seen in ages. And moisturising daily. And moving house. And drinking more water. And doing charitable acts. And swearing less. And a whole host of other focused, positive things. Oh yes. I’m on a journey of self improvement.

If you know me, you’ll know that tend I make these kind of wild claims at the beginning of most weeks. And will have usually failed in my efforts by Tuesday afternoon at the very latest. But not this time. I’ve already made it through to Wednesday. Yes, I had six mini flapjacks at work on Monday. But I only had one biscuit on Tuesday. Apart from the two real ones I smoked on Monday morning, I have only used my electronic cigarette since then. Oh fuck, I did have another on Monday night, but hey, it’s still only three.  I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol – possibly the biggest achievement of the week so far, although I am booked in for a big session on Friday. But that’s practically the weekend and I can’t completely deprive myself of nice things. Plus, if I get completely rat-arsed, it’s unlikely that I’ll eat much on Saturday and, all being well, will probably throw up what I eat on Friday. So that’s a double win in many respects. I’ve also used my cross trainer. And looked on Right Move. I think it’s fair to say I have made a reasonable start.

I started my plan by writing a ‘TO DO’ list on Sunday for the week ahead, which is something I’d highly recommend. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and achievement when I tick off the missions I’ve completed. I’ve already managed to do fourteen of the twenty three things I am committed to achieving during these initial seven days. Granted, I ended up delegating some of the duller tasks to my mum – she likes mopping floors and worming dogs. I imagine. And some weren’t particularly taxing – ‘Get rid of ‘tache and pluck eyebrows’, for example. Which is actually two tasks, so I’ve done myself out of an extra tick there. I suppose they’d come under the heading of ‘Stop fucking looking like Teen Wolf’ though, so perhaps it is just one task after all. I’m flattering myself there as I look nothing like a teenager. I’m nearly 40, as I’ve already pointed out.  

So, to conclude, I will continue to write about my two year plight on these pages, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. My determination has already been tested.

“It’s a bit shit,” my other half just said. “I suppose it’s ok if it’s just an introductory piece, but it’s not funny. And who is Hart? People won’t know who you mean. Tony? Joe? I wouldn’t post it if I were you.”

Well you’re not me, sunshine. And it’s Miranda, of course. Who wouldn’t realise that?