Set your New Year targets

OK, now that the hectic period of Christmas has finally ended, we can all look forward to the end of January and the credit card bills!

Well I suppose that’s one thing to focus on, but for many it will be keeping New Year’s resolutions for as long as you can or planning out the brand new year ahead with ambitions and targets in place.

It doesn’t matter what sport or activity you participate in it’s always good to have something to strive for. For me it’s getting my golf handicap down to single figures, (some hope!) but for others it could be a multitude of things.

What a New Year offers us is a starting point and a chance to plot successes throughout the coming year.

In the world of football, many managers have keeping their jobs as their main objective.

For others it’s about winning trophies and titles. For individuals it’s about performances and improving standard, even if you feel you’re ‘top of the tree’ you can always seek improvements and personal bests.

Locally, football is in a good state, but once the teams return to competitive action I’m sure their management will have new targets in place for the players to strive towards.

Not all will succeed, factors will emerge that they have no control over, but not to use this time of year to take stock would be an opportunity missed.

We should all note that many sports are played for fun and recreation and winning is not everything (is this me writing?).

So why not make it a target to enjoy your sport more, enjoy the company the pressures and the challenges.

Give yourself the satisfaction that this year is going to be your best, remember you cannot change the past but you can certainly influence the future.

One man who will be hard pushed to improve on last year is my friend and colleague, Howard Webb.

By refereeing the biggest club game (Champions League Final) and the biggest International game (World Cup Final) in the same season, he was awarded a gong in the New Year’s honours, an MBE.

As you could imagine he received many suggestions as to what the initials stood for. Quite a few cannot be published but Brendan in my local came up with ‘most bookings ever’, referring to Howard’s 14 or so yellow cards in the World Cup final.

As you can see it doesn’t matter how high you rise, you’ll always be the butt of a good joke. Enjoy 2011.