Still deciding on your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019? Let our list inspire you – from being savvy when shopping back in Blighty, to enjoying the cooler weather while it lasts – and make a vow to have your happiest year yet…

I promise:

 I will make the most of the cool weather. This year, I will make the most of winter. I will not complain about flies buzzing around my head when I am trying to eat my lunch al fresco, nor about discovering sand in unexpected places for days after visiting the beach. I will make the most of being outside in January, February, March, and a good chunk of April – and when the warm weather returns (and oh, we know it will return), I will have a plethora of amazing winter memories to soften the blow when we have to crank the air conditioning up to max once again.

I will not get carried away by too-good-to-be-true deals. I will not be lured by amazing Ladies Night deals (cue bleary eyes the next day on the school run), nor vouchers that promise the cost of my dinner will be slashed in half (it never is, as we always over-order). I won’t pause by the promotional girl in the supermarket who promises me the exceptional deal on a block of mature cheddar cheese is far too good to be missed (my fridge will not notice its absence), nor the stall at the market that promises me all kinds of health benefits if I spend the equivalent of a term’s school fees on their wares (my kids enjoy school, after all).  And I will not stuff my wallet with vouchers that expire before I set foot in the venues (it just makes my purse heavier until I sort through and ditch them). This year, I will resist temptation.

I will pay less attention to brunch and more attention to bounce. I will spend less time hanging around at extravagant brunches in dresses and heels – and more time hanging out at the gym in my trainers. And whilst the studio at my local gym seems infinitely less attractive than the chocolate room at my favourite brunch, I will not let it lure me back to the dark side. Too often, at least…

I will plan my UK shopping. I will not stuff my suitcase full of crumpets, tampax, and Rowntree fruit pastilles after my trips to the UK. No. I promise that over the year ahead, I will be more organised when shopping on my trips home to Blighty. I will study the school calendar and make note of all the dress-up days – from book days, to pink days – and I will head back to the desert armed with everything we need from the aisles of Tesco and Primark. My child will be the best-dressed when Halloween ticks around again – and when it gets to National Day, they will be dressed in the colours of the country they grew up in, purchased for half the price from the country I grew up in. I am going to be savvy in 2019.

I will stay calm on the school run. As the new year rolls around, I promise to bring some zen to the school run. I will take deep breaths as fellow drivers forget to indicate, try to cut into my lane at the last minute, or tailgate me whilst flashing in the fast lane. I will not shout, use my horn, or teach the kids bad words at 7am.

I will count my blessings. Most of all, I will count my blessings in 2017. The kids that drive me to distraction at 7pm when the husband messages to say he’s stuck in traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road (again), the sand between my toes on the beach in January (even if there’s as much sand in the car when we eventually reach home), the warmth of the expat community that surrounds me (even if that means I plan our weekends around picking up the bunch of purchases I bagged through British Mums in Dubai during the week), and the friends I have made since moving here  (even if I do have those friends to blame for the bleary eyes after all those Ladies Night I’ve been trying to avoid). I will count my blessings for all of these things – and I can’t wait for the calendar to flick over to another year in this wonderful part of the world.