YOU can always rely on Facebook to make you feel bad about yourself. When I logged on this morning, the social media giant was kind enough to remind me through its Memories feature that I have failed to stick to even one of last year’s New Year resolutions.

Exactly a year ago, full of hope – and, if I remember rightly, a good few malt whiskies – I posted plans to read a book every week, cook more meals from scratch and improve my tennis serve.

I failed to reach any of these life targets; in fact, if I’m honest I have actually regressed in all three. I wouldn’t want to see the pile of recycling created by my consumption of Waitrose ready meals over the last 12 months.

Perhaps my only crumb of comfort is that I’m not alone in failing to reach my goals. In fact, according to research only eight per cent of New Year resolutions are achieved; in other words, we are a nation of quitters and failures who can’t even help ourselves, never mind each other. Yes, Happy New year to you, too.

Interestingly, psychologists believe making resolutions is a good thing, even if we don’t achieve them. Each new year brings renewed impetus for change, they say, which can help us see that this can apply to every new day. And where there is a new day, there is renewed hope of change.

With this in mind, I propose a new strategy for 2018: let’s come up with some shared resolutions for the whole country and help each other to keep them. Let’s share the burden in the hope that for every lazy quitter like me there will be a more driven type who can pick up the baton. We can use social media - #ScotRes? – to keep up with progress, though it might be nicer if we created neighbourhood networks to provide face-to-face support when motivation levels drop around the one week in mark. And it is in this spirit of renewal, this sincere hope of improved health and wellbeing, quest for personal and national fulfilment – can you tell I’ve broken open the malt again? – that I put forward the following five New Year resolutions for consideration.

lReplace the word Brexit with something else

It has become the word that dare not speak its name. My blood pressure simply can’t take it for much longer. From today onwards I’m going to start saying “kittens” instead of Brexit. It might not change the awful economic, social and intellectual consequences, but it will at least evoke a cuter, more comforting image than Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson. Other suggestions welcome.

lIf there are any elections or referendums this year, let’s just toss a coin

Related to the last one, let’s take a new, more random approach to voting in the hope that it will start to return better results. Let’s be honest, it couldn’t’ make things much worse. While we’re at it, let’s make sure we persuade our American friends and relatives to do the same.

lOnly drink booze made within a one-mile radius of our homes

I accept that this one could backfire if you live on Islay or near the Tennent’s brewery in the east end of Glasgow. For the rest of us, meanwhile, it would likely mean a return to days of home brewing and thus an instant reduction in consumption. Anyone over the age of 40 is probably still haunted by their first experience of trying home brew. The younger population, meanwhile, who drink less and are more accustomed to the DIY craft beer ethic and taste, will strive for and expect better from the off, grasp the entrepreneurial thistle and hopefully create a successful network of micro breweries and distilleries. Also, a geographical curb would cure Scotland’s Buckfast addiction overnight.

l Read only misery memoirs

Following the death, destruction and uncertainty that have prevailed over the last couple of years, it might seem odd to advocate reading about nothing except the distress, sadness and hardship of others. But I always find that if nothing else a good misery memoir at least makes you feel a whole lot better about your own life. Conversely, it might inspire you to write an account of your own past - the sadder the better, obviously. This in turn, could get you a publishing deal and make you rich. At the very least, it would probably be cathartic. Imagine we did it as a nation; never mind Scandi Noir, we could be known Tartan Agony.

lLearn more maths

As someone who didn’t pay attention in maths at school and has always regretted it, I still hold out hope that the mysterious world of numbers, formulas and patterns holds the key to a more logical and fulfilled understanding of the world around us. If this turns out to be the case, maths could make Scots the most zen people on earth. If not, we’ll at least become boffins who are cleverer than everyone else, better at problem solving and invent the best technology in the world, thus making us wealthier post-Brexit, er, kittens.

So, what do you reckon, shall we at least give these shared resolutions a try? Well, they’ve got as much chance of success as vowing to join the gym. And they would certainly be more fun.