Sunday, January 1, 2023


I have made no new year’s resolutions for 2023, having realised that creating a slogan to encapsulate your hopes could be far more effective. Unsurprisingly, this comes from listening to “My Brother, My Brother and Me” [talked about in loving detail here: link], whose first episode of each year has become an hour-plus record of brainstorming. Previous highlights include “Twenty Grift-Teen, The Con is On”, “Frankenstein-Teen: Become the Monster” and 2013’s “Twenty-Dirt: Dig It up, Get It Out”. Each slogan has come to inform the tone of that year’s episodes and live shows, and is a perfect way to focus your mind on what kind of year you want.

“Twenty Twenty Free: You Have Arrived at Your Destination” is a slogan I arrived at very quickly, though a long time passed before accepting that my first idea was the best one. The only acceptable goals are achievable ones, otherwise you are constantly setting yourself up to fail, so if you really need to resolve anything in 2023, make it something you will give yourself a chance to achieve.

The age-old adage in advertising that “you don’t sell the sausage, you sell the sizzle” is what you are looking for – you are effectively selling your own possibilities to yourself. Thomas Watson coined “Think” in 1911 as the slogan for what would become IBM as he wanted his salesman to take everything into consideration, not just do what is expected in their role. Their eventual computer competitor, Apple, effectively replied with “Think different”, tying it to images of people who did just that, like Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart and Alfred Hitchcock. Instead of the closed question posed by resolutions – you either achieve them, or you do not – the possibilities posed to yourself could inspire bigger achievements, or at least that should be the hope.

For obvious reasons, New Year’s resolutions were far harder to follow and achieve in 2020 and 2021, and 2022 has its own set of concerns. In the UK, the economic forecast is turbulent, with both inflation and energy bills to remain high, productivity weak, and consumer spending and business investment falling – no growth in the UK economy is expected until 2024. This is partially coming from Russia’s war in Ukraine, but also inflation that has led to strikes over pay taking place across the NHS, train companies and Royal Mail among others. No General Election is expected in the US or UK until 2024, unless the current British Prime Minister decides to hold it earlier, which is, depending on your political leaning, either a welcome relief or a missed opportunity.

Reading this gave me the impression that 2023 will effectively be overlooked in the grand scheme of things, a fallow year that will have to be worked past somehow. This isn’t really good enough, especially when I have previously talked about how the “Roaring Twenties” still haven’t really got started [link]. The year 2023 will really be what you make of it, and what better way to add charge to that journey by applying a slogan to it? Happy new year, everyone.

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