I decided to start the New Year as I mean to go on by sharing with you some gifts, some salty pretzels of wisdom, that I hope will help you fine tune your kindness muscles and sharpen up your niceness skills.

The idea for my first gift of 2016 came to me whilst I was standing in a queue in Debenhams the day after Boxing Day taking back an unimaginably offensive jumper that Santa had brought me. I realised, standing there, that I wasn’t happy!

The queues, the crowds and the overwhelming desire to be somewhere else – I actually chose to do this! So that got me thinking about New Year’s resolutions – dry January..? Er no…not likely, healthy January..? There’s still room in these Lycra pants, so no! Use my gym membership..? HA!

So my friends my gift to you this year is a New Year’s resolution you can keep, my gift to you is a suggestion: Make a seriously huge effort in 2016 and choose to be happy. Underwhelmed? Don’t be! Some great brains agree with me. An ambitious Harvard study about happiness that was conducted over an impressive 75 years concluded:

“Love is really all that matters for humans to be happy.”

So here’s my gift, 5 great ways to help you to choose to be happy this year…

1. Get some oxygen down your neck!

Get outside more – as little as 20 minutes outside can boost your positive mood, and *science alert* – broaden your thinking and improve your memory.

2. Put down your devices

Leave your technology alone for a bit each day give yourself some quiet time and time to actually speak face to face with people.

3. Do stuff for other people

Fundraise – Donate – Volunteer – feel the benefit – doing stuff for other people makes you feel better than doing stuff for yourself.

4. Spend more time with people you care about

*science alert number 2* – A study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics estimates that your relationships are worth around an additional £91,514.65 a year!

5. Be thankful for the simple things in life

Be thankful of the every little thing in your life, because there are a lot more people that are not as fortunate as you.

Go on then, off you go. It’s quite simple really. It’s your choice.

Choose happiness. Be kind people.