Welcome to a new decade. How can you make this year your best so far? Here are 10 small challenges to make within your day to day life. Guaranteed to make a big difference.
1. Start the day with some inspiration.
Whether you sign up to a free online daily guidance site so that your first email at work can put you in the right frame of mind, or you flick open a book of inspiration at random while you have your morning tea, that 1 minute can change the other 1439 minutes of your day.
2. Make goals, not resolutions.
Set your mind to what you want to achieve this year, concentrating on the positive not the negative. Thinking 'I want to be a thinner, happier, more active person' will inspire you to take a lot more action than 'I want to stop being fat, miserable and lazy'.
3. Make exercise fun.
Decide with a group of friends what suits you best and then whether it's Salsa or Break dance Mondays, five-a-side football Fridays or weekly boxing/yoga sessions, make an event of it. This way it becomes something social to look forward to each week and you can support one another to keep going.
4. Learn to master our mind and do not let it master us.
In the not-so-secret 'The Secret', it is suggested that the universe responds to our thoughts but does not know our intentions, so if we are thinking 'I must get out of debt' it hears 'debt', whilst the positive 'I want to make money', it hears 'money'. Small changes in the way we think can have huge effects on the way we feel and behave.
5. Enjoy the moment.
Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh writes that it is better to enjoy doing the washing up and take a little longer than to rush it and waste the moment wanting to be doing something else. If we are always thinking about the future or what we want to be doing next, we can lose sight of the happiness that can be felt right at this present moment.
Go somewhere you've never been before and explore. Whether it's Cornwall, Paris, or Thailand be adventurous and book to stay away from the main English tourist resort, get a great guide book and learn how to say 'please,' 'thank you,' 'help,' and 'could I have a glass of wine please?' in the local language.
7. See the happiness of yourself and the happiness of others as the same thing.
One person's happiness can never be at the expense of someone else's. If someone gets a promotion that you wanted, really trust that that was right for their life and that something else fabulous is right for yours. Envy is just fear that our own lives will not be wonderful. Likewise, happiness derived from the exploitation of others or your environment will be short lived. Trust that happiness can be created, not just traded from one person to another.
8. Learn something new.
Take a deep breathe and an honest look in the mirror. What is that secret thing you've been yearning to learn for years? How to write a script, speak Italian, sing, play the violin, rockclimb or dance the tango? This is the year to really go for it. Have a look on the internet and at local gyms or colleges for classes. If you're feeling shy see if you can join the class as a spectator for the first week.
9. Take some Me-time.
Make it a priority to do something you find relaxing once a week; go for a massage (or even better, book a mobile massage therapist to come to your home or office,) read a book, go for a walk in the countryside or have a long relaxing candle-lit bath.
10. Give three compliments a day.
To friends, family, your partner, colleagues or complete strangers; strive to search for people's positive qualities and to let them know. Try this everyday and see how things subtly change within a week, month or year. If you get home and realise you've missed one you can give it to yourself, but make sure it's a sincere praising of something fabulous about your self!