Jeanette Winterson, author
My new year’s resolution is simple: you don’t have to play by other people’s rules but you have to play by your own. I want to be clear about what I believe and uphold those values in private and in public. This government is so shoddy and the ethos of the time so self-serving. It is important to work out what is important. Living consciously has never mattered more.
Bridget Christie, comedian
I have only one resolution this year: to reserve judgment on a thing or a person until I have tasted it, read it, heard it, seen it, used it, done it or met them personally. Things/people exempt from this are jellied eels, George Osborne, Katie Hopkins, Kim Jong-un, Boris Johnson, boiled rat and colonic irrigation.
Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company
Tens of billions of pounds is set aside to defend the country, but are we preparing for the right kind of war? When children at Kids Company were interviewed by UCL researchers, half said they had witnessed shootings and stabbings in the past year. They describe themselves as soldiers, surviving their childhood in violent neighbourhoods where firearms are as accessible as a cup of tea. Some 3.5m children fight a war on want.They lack the basics – a winter coat or a bed to sleep on. Guess my wish.
Caroline Criado-Perez, campaigner
My first new year’s resolution is to know that it’s OK to say no, to realise that I can no longer control my “image”, but have to let it all go sometimes and not panic so much about the fact that people who don’t know me hate me. My second resolution is more ideological. Over the past year there has been an increasing split in the feminist movement, accompanied by frenzied attacks on women who don’t toe the arbitrary invisible line. This has led to feminists standing by as men verbally abuse the “wrong” feminists under the guise of progressiveness. My feminism is about recognising that all women are oppressed by virtue of being women, and that abuse from men is unacceptable under any circumstances. My feminism is not about denouncing other feminists, so I resolve to stop engaging with those who do.
Suzanne Moore, columnist
My new year’s resolution is to get up.
Yas Necati, campaigner and student
This year I want to meet as many new feminists as possible. We all have different ideas about what feminism means to us. I hope to listen to, and understand, as many different perspectives as possible, because we’re only going to win this battle if we all learn to accept one another’s differences. That way we can all move forward together.
Nicola Horlick, financier
The only way that I can totally forget about work is when I am skiing. The beautiful vistas and fresh air leave me totally reinvigorated and mentally fitter to face all the business challenges that I have to deal with over the rest of the year. One year, I was too busy to get really fit for skiing and I managed to snap a ligament in my knee on the first day of a two-week holiday. Reconstructive surgery followed and my knee still aches at the end of a busy day. I have learned my lesson and the exercise regime that is necessary to get fit for skiing will be top of my agenda on 1 January.
Natasha Walter, Thandie Newton and Caroline Criado-Perez.
Natasha Walter, writer/director of Women for Refugee Women
I always make new year’s resolutions; I love feeling that I can make a new start. In 2014 I am going to be focused on challenging the detention of women who come to this country to seek safety from persecution. Thousands of women are being traumatised and tormented by being locked up in the UK for no reason. My resolution is to end the detention of women seeking asylum. Failing that, I’ll settle for opening more people’s eyes to this scandal. I am also resolving to spend more time with my children and my partner in the open air – in the park, by the sea, in the hills. No screens, no tweets, no headphones, just sun and rain and fun.
Thandie Newton, actor
My resolution is to help create a platform for One Billion Rising For Justice on 14 February – V Day’s global day of action – in an effort to end violence against women and girls.
Katharine Whitehorn, writer
Having got a bigger and bigger handbag as time goes on, the time has come for reform. In the brave new year it will always have: my glasses in the pocket where they are supposed to be; the keys ditto, and that small disapproved-of tiny bottle of … oh well, you know. But also something – anything – to read. I want never again to have to borrow something on a train from a stranger in the next seat who has nothing but impenetrable stuff about things in the City going up or down. When you find yourself reading the stuff on the back of a sweet packet you know that, in the next year, Something Must Be Done.
Bim Adewunmi, writer
Mine is to do more, away from my keyboard, in the community. I want to get involved in literacy programmes in my east London neighbourhood, rather than just write about library closures and cuts.
Martha Lane Fox, Harriet Harman and Bim Adewunmi.
Harriet Harman, deputy Labour leader
The same as everyone else’s: take more exercise, drink less alcohol and eat more healthily. What’s really good about these resolutions is that I can do the same again in 2015, as I won’t have achieved any of them.
Miriam O’Reilly, campaigner
To continue campaigning with Labour’s Commission on Older Women to get broadcasters to do more than just talk about the fair representation of women over 50 on our TV screens.
Michele Hanson, writer
I haven’t bothered with resolutions for years, but time’s running out, which adds a sense of urgency, so this year I’m going for all of it: practise piano and cello for hours every day, including tons of sightreading; then finish the history book I’ve been fiddling with for 30 years, with efficient notes and filing and cross-referencing, on screen and on paper. Quick, before I peg out. No more fiddling with Twitter, emails, the dog, no more afternoons and long evenings blobbing in front of the telly, no afternoon kips, no staring at nothing – off to the library instead, then sitting up properly at a desk. It’s going to be work, work, work. Then the book on sex, quick, before I forget what it is, and in between, I’m going to prune, weed, fertilise and plant the garden properly, replace the lightbulbs, wash and tidy up regularly, and brush my hair at the back every day, so I no longer look bald, and last of all, I shall never, ever use the word “issue” instead of “problem”. That’s it. A breeze. I hope nobody doubts me.
Justine Roberts, co-founder Mumsnet
This year I’m resolved to go to bed earlier. They say an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after and that really we should all go to bed at sunset. Clearly at this time of year that would pretty much mean going to bed straight after lunch, tempting but not overly practical. So I’ll stick with a midnight curfew, and never mind what my other half does.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty
From Liberty founding member Vera Brittain to education activist Malala Yousafzai, women have proved extraordinary champions of human rights across time and continents. In 2014 I want to draw inspiration from amazing women like these to make Liberty’s 80th year our best ever.
Jack Monroe, food blogger
My new year’s resolution last year was to say yes more – and look where that’s got me! My resolution for 2014 is to learn to play the guitar I’ve been lugging about with me for the past 10 years, to stop checking my emails after 8pm, and to enjoy the ride.
Martha Lane Fox, digital pioneer
It’s the 25th anniversary of the invention of www [the world wide web] and, using the platform of the Lords, I want to try to encourage more debate about its development in the next 25 years.
Ronke Phillips, ITV newsreader
I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions but, as Oprah Winfrey has said: “Here’s to a new year and another chance to get it right.”