“Dear God, my prayer for 2013 is a fat bank account and a thin body. Please don’t mix these up like you did last year.”

It’s a famous, anonymous quote, but do women in East Lancashire feel the same way? It’s that time of year where you pledge to start afresh and wish for a new and improved you... Seven women reveal their New Year’s resolutions to IRMA HEGER

MEMCHU ROUILLON, 50, from Blackburn: I’ve been poorly and had an operation on my eyes. It has been a hard time but I want to get back to work and maybe lose some weight. I used to work at Woolworth’s and I used to teach Spanish. I’m from Madrid, married an Englishman and have lived here for 24 years. You need a lot of confidence for teaching and I am working on that again.

ZARA KEEN, 22, Green Lane, Blackburn: My New year’s resolution is to find a lad who appreciates me. They all just do what they want, when they want. They need to look after the kids they produce. I’m not giving up smoking but I would like to lose weight — two stone. I’ve got two kids, one is nearly five and one is four months, and I have put weight on. Doing some exercise would be good, too.

MARY HYATT, 80, Intack, Blackburn: I would like to see new places. I’ve been to Bulgaria, Romania, Mallorca, mainland Spain, Tenerife. I’d like to go to an island in the Indian Ocean. I won’t give up drinking. I do drink every Saturday night when I go out and I have one whisky every night. I’ve no beauty secret, but I’ve always used moisturiser.

JACKIE FARRELL, 53, Feniscowles, Blackburn: Dieting and getting fit would be my thing. I’d feel better if I’d lost weight, and when you exercise you get more energy. When you do nothing you get lazy. Women of my age get weight around the middle, which is quite dangerous. I went swimming a couple of weeks ago, 34 lengths — half a mile — and I’d like to do more in the New Year.

COUN STEPHANIE BROOKFIELD, 51, Earcroft, Darwen: I try not to make resolutions as I always break them, but I want to try to be more tolerant and patient and caring, because sometimes things wind me up in my professional life. In my private life, I couldn’t ask for better. I have two wonderful children and three grandchildren — they are my world. I do have a really bad back, so I should try not to lift things I shouldn’t lift. The trouble is that I live by myself so I don’t have much choice.

RITA DAVIES, 50, Blackburn: I’d like to diet and eat more healthily — lose two stone. I’ve lost a little bit recently. I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions but this year I am. I would also like to save money, because I am a spender rather than a saver. I would like to go on a cruise and take my husband.

VANESSA MARSDEN, 24, Intack, Blackburn: Last year my resolution was to stop smoking, and I did it. I was ill at Christmas last year and couldn’t smoke. I did smoke again for a short time, but then I just thought: ‘What’s the point? It’s a waste of money.' Then I just stopped. Smoking makes me feel sick now. 

Sticking to your promises . . .

Almost 80 per cent of us fail to achieve our New Year’s resolutions, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Here are the charity’s tips to achieving your goals this year.

  • Be realistic. Unattainable goals are often the enemy of achievable resolutions. Change one small thing at a time.
  • Develop a support network. Friends, family and colleagues can all help you. Talk about what you're doing how they can help.
  • Measure your successes. Stay motivated by measuring how far you've come each week. You’ll see small changes can make a big difference.
  • Reward yourself. Celebrate success with a suitable treat, a night at the cinema, for example — or even a short holiday!
  • Treat failure as a small setback. If you slip up, don’t despair. Learn from the setback. Can you avoid it next time? Don't obsess, don’t give up and do start fresh.
  • Make your resolution stick. After a couple of weeks, your resolution will be a habit but you may still find things difficult. Stick to it — things will only get easier