THERE’S not much you can say about Covid that’s positive.

It’s hit us hard and we can’t wait to see the back of it.

But this year’s ordeal has brought about some changes for the better - it’s actually helped us to fulfil our New Year Resolutions.

For many of us, our pledges don’t even last until February, with the majority being broken during the second week of January. But this year was different. Due to the pandemic, most of us fulfilled our resolutions. Even I was successful, and that’s saying something - I usually crumble by January 3rd. These are among the top ten we make - and usually break:

*Getting more exercise

With gyms having to close for much of the year, you’d imagine that for many people exercise would be put on the backburner, but three-quarters of us have taken up new forms of exercise since the first lockdown. Walking became the most popular new activity with three in ten people introducing it into their lockdown regimes and carrying on with it afterwards.

It has certainly seen a surge in popularity where I live - there were days when the river footpath was thronging like never before - in a socially-distanced way, of course - and it has continued to be busy. As well as walking more regularly I brought my bike out of retirement during the first lockdown and still use it most days

* Saving money

For many of us, this is an impossibility, with every last penny of our wages soaked up on mortgages, bills, general shopping and leisure activities.

But this year, although we’ve still got to fork out on bills, we’ve saved a lot of money.

Shopping for non-essentials, eating out, holidays, commuting - it’s all money we haven’t spent. According to research 71 per cent of families saved cash during the 13 weeks of quarantine, with an average of £2,879, or £221.50 each week.

I can’t say I’ve seen savings of anywhere near that magnitude but, thrillingly, my account hasn’t gone into the red for six months - there’s only so much you can spend on groceries. I barely opened my purse at Christmas - if I’m honest I wish all Christmases were as low key.

I'm not forgetting those who have lost jobs and haven't been able to save a penny. Let's hope things improve for them next year.

*Setting aside some ‘me time’.

I hate this expression, but, like a huge swathe of the population, I’ve had plenty of time for myself this year. Like many others I was furloughed and spent much of it in my house and garden. I don’t really know how you’re meant to fill ‘me time’ - I imagine it’s meant to involve bubble baths, face packs, fluffy towelling robes and prosecco - but my ‘me time’, spent clearing out the inner recesses of my cluttered house, was equally satisfying.

*Learn a new skill

A survey of 1,000 UK women revealed that half of them had taken up a new hobby since the pandemic began, with 67 per cent practising it at least once a week. Cooking, baking and gardening came top of the list of the most popular new pastimes - the very things I took up this year. I’ve made so many cakes, not all a success - my flapjacks could double up as Tarmac - and to my surprise enjoyed it.

*Read more

Last January almost a fifth of us made a resolution to curl up more often with a good book. Since then, the nation has increased the amount of time it spends reading from around 3.5 hours per week, to six. Research found that 41 per cent of people are reading more books since the first lockdown. I know I am. Reading and re-reading. I’d forgotten just how good Great Expectations is.