After all, no-one else has a clue what they’re doing, either.
It’s seems it wasn’t all cocktails and parties in the Playboy Mansion…
Their worth is in their suffering — and in the praise that’s a by-product of it.
Because working out what you want to do after highschool can be terrifying.
“Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all” – Whitney Houston, Greatest Love of All
Learning to love yourself as the imperfect being you are sometimes ain’t easy to do, but do it we must for the sake of healthy personal relationships and our ability to make smart, healthy choices.
After all, if you can’t love and respect yourself, how can you expect others to do it?
And I’m not talking about vanity or narcissism, I’m talking about the kind of self-love that spurs you to make healthy life choices and treat yourself with loving kindness. Experts say developing a healthy level of self-esteem will help us to be less sensitive and more able to accept constructive criticism, express ideas in a calm way, be less dependent and more likely to have our needs met.
We’ll also inevitably be much healthier, happier humans, thus improving and strengthening our personal relationships. Maybe it’s a hard life lesson that comes in your 30s – at least, it was for me.
The minute I truly learned to be comfortable in my own skin and accept and enjoy my singleton status, I met my husband soon after.
Coincidence? I don’t think so. But it was a hard-fought lesson; instead of looking for someone to fill a void – a self-love deficit, if you will, as I had done in the past – I made the conscious decision to really work on developing my inner happiness and self-love on my solo journey.
A clinical psychologist, who wishes to remain anonymous, says our level of self-love is inevitably shaped by childhood upbringing and experiences, as well as personality traits.
“Life can be difficult for someone who has low self-esteem, for example: someone who doesn’t like him/her self, judges him/herself harshly and expects bad things to happen often. Expectations of negativity can be self-fulfilling, so if you anticipate that there will be lots of criticism and stuff-ups in your life, then these things will often happen. You’ll question your own judgement and will consequently make poor decisions that lead to negative outcomes,” she says.
“Conversely, if you have a healthy level of self-esteem, you’ll be able to face the challenges and difficulties that life throws at you in a positive way. You’ll have more faith in your own choices and decisions. You’ll be able to assertively stand up for your rights without being aggressive and without allowing yourself to be taken advantage of or pushed around. You’ll feel comfortable with who you are and like yourself, so you’ll be less susceptible to depression and anxiety.”
But how do we foster such self-love and inner confidence if it’s lacking? Here are some handy expert pointers:
- Be kind to yourself. If something goes wrong, don’t beat yourself up. Ask yourself what you could have done differently and determine to do better next time.
- Avoid people who pull you down – those who are critical and negative towards you. Seek out people whose company you enjoy and in whose presence you feel good about yourself.
- Give yourself positive messages, don’t self-criticise. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, such as: “I’m always messing up, I’ve failed again”, challenge this and change your thinking to something more positive like: “I’ve made a mistake, but what can I learn from this? How can I do better in this situation next time?”
- Learn to see difficulties as problems to be solved rather than catastrophes. Develop your problem-solving skills and you’ll have more confidence in yourself and your ability to cope with difficult situations, thereby developing your self-esteem as a result.
Of course, if this all seems too difficult to achieve on your own, seek help from a professional relationship counsellor or psychologist.
Images, in order, via www.thetruthaboutbeauty.co.uk; www.freespiritgirl.com and pixabay.com.
Are you stuck in a rut in a job you despise and/or suffering under a moronic, lazy boss who is literally sucking the life out of you? Are you half expecting to wake up with a grey patch in your hair from all the stress?
If you answered yes, you might need to find your self-belief fast, sister, in order to take a leap of faith and achieve your full careers potential.
When *Sally, 35, (not her real name) was retrenched from a major media company, she felt sick to her stomach, shocked and utterly lost. What’s more, her former bosses were anything but enthusiastic about her unique skills set, so her self-esteem also took a giant hit.
But as the weeks ticked by and Sally regained her inner strength, composure and sense of humour, she realised being made redundant was actually the best thing to have happened to her in ages. She was bitterly unhappy in her job anyway, detested her misogynistic, bullying middle-manager bosses and felt she’d never really reached her full potential. Redundancy was just the push she needed to achieve her goals.
So, never doubting her abilities, she realised she could now look forward to the future with hope and bag that exciting, new career. She started applying for jobs, and mere weeks later, Sally landed a dream marketing position at a major property firm, thereby doubling her annual salary.
This is a true story, with only the person’s name changed to protect their privacy.
Psychologists say self-belief is vital in achieving our career goals in 2015 and living our best life, with passion and gusto.
Why? Because if you truly believe in yourself and that you can achieve what you set out to do – ala Sally – you will have the motivation to move forward to achieve your goals and the determination to overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way. Conversely, if you don’t believe in your ability to achieve, you’ll give up when the first hurdle arises or worse – you won’t get started at all.
What’s more, calculated risks can really pay off, just like Sally’s, and really help you achieve your goals.
But, of course, with great change comes unease. It can take a lot of courage to embrace change because it’s often challenging to move out of our comfort zone, but for many, it has proven to be well worth the effort.
Before embarking on a new career, job experts say to carefully research your options and think about what you really love doing – find a job that excites you. And, if like Sally, you’ve encountered some “haters” along the way – bosses who undermine and underestimate you – you gotta rise above, the experts say.
After all, most of us at some stage have come across someone who, for their own reasons, wants to put us down. Maybe your bosses feel threatened by your potential success or just don’t want you to succeed?
Self-belief will also get you through this. If you believe that you can achieve something you will be able to ignore the nay-sayers and achieve your goals in spite of them.
And one final bit of advice from careers experts: do all you can to avoid these people as much as possible and instead seek out positive mentors and friends who will inspire you and encourage you to achieve your full potential.
Go get em’, tiger!
Main image via www.cseba.eu; secondary image via www.renewable-health-site.com and final image via www.thegrindstone.com
Stress is primarily what takes over when you don’t have effective time management skills. It’s highly valued and millions of people find this skill is thoroughly tested toward the end of the year. For example, at work everyone wants everything yesterday, social engagements are ample, interactions with others increase substantially and if you’re lucky enough to have an upcoming holiday planned, add that variable as well!
If you have kids, triple that load. They have their own social calendar and end-of-year events, plus the long summer holidays are at your doorstep. Without effective time management skills, you are at risk of making yourself physically and emotionally sick, plus you won’t have the capability or capacity to accomplish anything.
Luckily, that doesn’t have to happen and it all boils down to perfecting this essential life skill. You can use it all year round and the beauty is, the more successful, busy and responsible your life becomes the better it works!
So, what’s the secret? How do successful people manage to consistently meet deadlines, have high-pressure jobs and breeze through periods which would have most peoples brains in a tangle and stomachs in a knot! Lists. Lame right… But very effective!
As lame as you may think the proposal of lists are, just think what life would be like for CEOs, executives and professionals without organising appointments, having a vision and being able to break things down to achieve their objective. They brainstorm detailed ways in which to work toward some of the incredible things they envisage and are able to keep stress at bay whilst achieving it.
Why then should avoiding stress and getting the most out of each day look any different for you? Here’s a tip, it doesn’t! You might have career aspirations, run a home and family, have a job and a thriving social life and be in the midst of organizing events for the family. With this effective tried and tested skill, you can do it all without overwhelming, self-destructing stress rearing its ugly head!
Now, successful people have more than one list. They generally have a life plan of things they hope to achieve. Can you imagine Richard Branson’s list! Take over the financial sector, initiate a global warming solution – there’s nothing some people can’t achieve. This is the primary list. It includes aspirations, goals and always includes a deadline. It might have 100 things on it or 1000. You can add and remove items at will and make adjustments.
When you visually see what you want done, it can be overwhelming. Imagine if you had all that stuff on your mind each day, without a plan of attack. In effect, that’s what millions of people have going on at the finalé of each year. Talk about a road rage recipe and mental breakdown!
This is where list two, three, four or more, come into play. Breaking the primary list down into small achievable parts, based on priority is the key to achieving anything. Successful businesses have a plan and develop several others which provide guidelines for achieving it.
Breaking items down into yearly, monthly or daily tasks enables several things:
- Work out priorities of a goal
- How much of the load to take on yourself
- How much of the load to allocate to others
- Avoid overload
- Avoid stress and stress related illness.
The ultimate goal is to achieve and remain healthy. Highly ambitious people can often burnout, take on too much and succumb to stress-related illness.
The ultimate thing to remember about time management lists is this:
They are reminders of your primary focus and based on priority.
That folks is the essence of success!
Image via Virgin.com
For many women creating and running their own business provides greater flexibility, independence and fulfilment than a traditional 9-5 job. The great thing is that anyone with an idea and the determination to pursue it can become a successful entrepreneur if they take the right steps. Finance entrepreneur Michael Kodari, founder of stockbroking experts KOSEC-Kodari, shares his top 5 rules to success in business.
- Integrity – Do as you say
If you ever commit to doing anything make sure you act on it, whether it is big or small. We have to act upon the promises we make, otherwise we become powerless.
- Trust Yourself – Believe in your vision
Be certain and confident, trust is the first thing that has to be established within yourself and others to move forward.
- Who do you want to be?
Your presence is shaped by your inner thoughts. Have a winning mindset.
- Don’t be afraid to fail – To become successful you might fail many times
Success will bring challenges and will continue to test you, be ready for it!
- Do not listen to others that are negative or may put you down
Do not ever listen to people that say you can’t, prove them wrong! Do not allow others to suck the energy and life out of you, surround yourself with positive individuals that add value to your life and get the best out of you.
- Work extremely hard
Be intense! Focus your energy on one task at a time! Have complete focus and confidence in what you do and I will guarantee you will succeed.
- Help others get to where they want to be!
Do not be selfish, give as much as you can to family, friends and society. By doing so, you will receive more than you could ever imagine. Have good intentions and treat everyone with respect!
By Michael Kodari, founder of KOSEC-Kodari Securities, and one of Australia’s prominent experts in the stock market.
January 11, 2005
We show you how by conducting a personal stocktake, deciding where you want to be, making a plan and staying on track with that plan you can increase your career success.
Conduct a personal stocktake
Assess where you are and what have you achieved in the past 12 months. Make a list and consider: What were the highs? What were the lows? What did you enjoy the most? What did you achieve career-wise? Have you achieved a good work/life balance?
Where would you like to be?
Now that you have assessed your progress, start to think about where you would like to be in your career and personal life. Be completely open and honest with yourself by listing all of your dreams and goals. Even list the things that may be out of your reach.
Set about making a plan
Now that you have assessed what you have achieved in the past and what you want to achieve in the future, start to make a plan of how you can get to where you really want to be. Consider what steps you have to take from where you are today in order to get to where you ultimately want to be.
Work out what you have to do to get to the position you desire in your career and life. Then think about how long it will take to get there. Plan out what you have to achieve in the year and then break it down to what you have to do each month, and even each week.
How to stay on track with your plan
We all know from experience that it is one thing to have a great plan but a whole other thing to actually stick to the plan.
The following are some tips to keep you focused on your plan and ultimately achieve your objectives:
- Make it fun – As Ita Buttrose once said: “If you love your job, then you never have to work another day in your life.” Use this concept when setting goals find fun ways to achieve the things you want to achieve
- Get a coach – Hire a professional coach to keep you on track. If you can’t afford a coach right now then get a friend to help, someone who is creative and motivating, and someone who will keep you on track and help you to enjoy the process
- Set achievable goals – Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are too high. Start by setting small goals and reward yourself each time that you achieve one of the goals
- Remember it takes 21 days to form a new habit. If you remember this then it will help you to get through those tough days
- Self-analyse – Each day analyse your progress, what did you do well what could you have done better. Be kind but thorough in your self analysis
- Visualise success – Imagine yourself having achieved the goal or objective. Think about how you will feel
- Assess your progress throughout the year
This article was written by Lisa O’Brien from Careerscoach, which specialises in career coaching, interview training, corporate coaching, life coaching and job seeker applications
“You can do anything if you put your mind to it.” How many times have you heard that in your life? It’s usually from older relatives, who you don’t want to admit have life experience and may actually be onto something, but if you’re looking to motivate yourself to achieve a particular goal, you should listen to their wise words.
Whether it’s getting back into the gym, renovating your house or changing your career, motivation can often be hard to gather, especially when you’re tired, busy or comfortable. But we should always be challenging ourselves to go above and beyond, so here are our top tips to get motivated!
Write it down
Write down what it is you want to achieve so that you have a clear goal in mind. Once you’ve written that down, add in smaller steps that can build up to your goal, for example, if you’re looking to lose five kilograms, your steps would start with things like easing yourself off naughty food and going doing some form of exercise three times per week for one month. When you break down a bigger task into smaller ones, it makes it more manageable and you’re more likely to try and complete the steps.
Write down why you want to achieve your goal as well. You could accompany this with pictures that you find inspiring. This may help you when you’re a bit lost and feel like giving up. Knowing why you want to do something and having this written down reminds you of the end result and how you’ll feel, which is the most important part.
Get a planner
Planning your day is a key part of achieving your goal. Putting a small amount of time, even ten minutes into working towards your goal makes you focus on it more and can make you want to work harder. Planning your day also gives you better time management which will give you more free time to work towards what you’re after and also have some me-time.
Leave some time to enjoy yourself. What you are motivating yourself for should be your passion, but you still need time to relax and recuperate. Letting go and having fun will help you to unwind, which will make you available to work harder to achieve your goals.
Make healthy decisions
No matter what your goal is, you should always be treating your body with respect and fuelling it efficiently for you to function. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly will make you feel great, improve your energy and get you in the great mood that you need to get working.
Invest in the right tools
Make your environment supportive of your goal. By investing in the right tools, such as a computer or a gym membership, you are empowering yourself to go ahead. A great environment will have you itching to use your great tools, which will in turn, achieve great results. Not having efficient tools can kill your motivational drive.
Image via motivateplay.com
Social media went into a frenzy over the weekend as ‘unretouched’ images of Cindy Crawford surfaced from a three-year-old shoot the model did for Marie Claire magazine in the US.
The photographs of the 49-year-old mother-of-two went viral after being leaked on Twitter and showed the ’90s supermodel to have the lumps and bumps that the majority of middle-aged mums have on their bodies.
SHOCK HORROR! Cindy Crawford is human! The fact that the internet went with images only goes to show how desensitised we are to heavily photoshopped images bombarding us at every turn.
The fact that a relatively normal, yet still quite stunning, human being has some cellulite and a little padding is shocking to us is reveals an interesting swing.
It is the honest depiction of women that is shocking to us. We are no longer up in arms about heavily retouched images and the portrayal of ‘perfect’ female forms. But the exact opposite.
In a world where teenage girls can photoshop or ‘facetune’ their own selfies, it seems nobody wants to expose or see ‘real’ images – where does that leave the unreal expectations that all women and girls are now subject to?
Where do you see this unreal perception of women heading? Tell us your thoughts.
Let’s be honest here, New Year’s resolutions are pretty damn hard to keep. It doesn’t matter how many gym sessions you promise yourself you’ll do or how much money you’ll put aside for a rainy day, the motivation wears thin for most after the first month or two.
According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. For many, most of these goals aren’t realistic and thus, it makes it near impossible to achieve them. For others though, it’s simply a matter of setting New Year’s resolutions that they don’t enjoy enough to complete. Here’s a set of goals for this year you will actually enjoy – and want to make them happen!
1. Create a skincare routine
Skincare regimes should already be part of your daily routine but let’s face it, life gets the better of us and just like those New Year’s resolutions it gets shoved to the side. For this year, make it a goal to create a skincare routine that works for you. Whether it’s a fresh routine because you’re old one just didn’t cut it, or you try a new range of skincare products – it’s an easy way to feel and look fantastic.
Different skincare routines work for different people so if something isn’t fitting for you and your lifestyle, the New Year can be a great chance to try something different. If you do decide to test a new range out, it may take a while for your skin to adjust – so be patient. Sometimes a change in one or two items in your make up range or skincare products can add a little excitement into that daily routine.
Because there’s so many products out there, it can get a little confusing what’s best for your skin type. Trial and error tends to be the most common way to test products, or speak to a day spa or skin and makeup professional to get some tips. As a rule of thumb, there’s some ingredients you should avoid altogether – especially if you have sensitive skin. This article provides some great tips about what your skincare should include to keep you glowing and looking beautiful.
2. Live and eat a little healthier
Healthy living and weight loss is one of the top five most common New Year’s resolutions. Every year we promise ourselves we’ll get a gym membership, quit smoking and cut back on alcohol and sugar. The reality? A bunch of empty promises and a “don’t worry, there’s always next year!”
The best way to live and eat a little healthier is to not over commit. By creating a healthy goal that’s realistic for you, you’re more likely going to want to do it. Start by making small swaps as opposed to waking up one day and believing you’re never going to touch a candy bar again. Swap sugary treats that give you empty energy for smarter choices like sweet cacao powder nibs. As you start to feel and look healthier or have more energy, you’ll find it easier to commit to bigger health goals.
3. Book frequent massages
Sounds horrible doesn’t it? Massages aren’t just some luxury item you can only treat yourself with once in a blue moon, it’s actually the perfect way to relieve stress. And it gets better! Once your stress levels are maintained, you’ll have more energy and look and feel fantastic. Plus, they feel great too.
This year, boko yourself a massage every month. Make it part of your ‘me’ time or pamper yourself on a date night with your other half. For many, massages are one of those guilty pleasures, but the therapeutic benefits it offers should make it a priority for everyone.
4. Indulge in a new experience
Everyone thrives on indulging in something new. Whether it’s as simple as new dinner spot, a different hobby or an adventure to make you feel alive, new experiences can be really refreshing. Whilst most people will complete a new activity throughout the year, it can make your New Year’s resolutions even more rewarding to make a goal of it.
Perhaps there’s a band you’ve always wanted to see, but haven’t yet or a sports game you’ve been hanging to watch but always too busy. For the thrill seeker, trying sky diving for the first time can always make for a fun New Year’s resolution. Maybe you want to learn a language, attend a dance class or participate in a cocktail making or cooking class. Whatever it is you chose make sure it’s fun for you!
By changing your New Year’s resolutions to ones that are enjoyable and stimulating, you’ll be more likely to tick them off throughout the year.
“Every artist is a cannibal/every poet is a thief/all kill for their inspiration/and then sing about their grief” – U2, The Fly
Life is short, run your own race, so the saying goes, but what if someone makes like a copycat and steals your thunder? What if you’ve spent hard work and toil crafting up the perfect piece of prose (at least, in your own mind) and some bastard comes along and plagiarises your words?
Or, say you’ve spent hours problem-solving at work, only to fix the issue and then your heinous boss swoops in and steals all the credit from management above? Oh, the rage! Oh, the vast and infinite horror.
Related: How To Cope With A Bad Boss
One thing I’ve learnt the hard way in life is that just because you have personal ethics and a moral code, it doesn’t mean others will behave accordingly. Plagiarism in the digital age is seemingly both widespread and very difficult to prove. It’s unethical and lazy at best and it really hurts when it happens to you, trust me.
A common explanation of what constitutes plagiarism is: “using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own”. Unfortunately, as in my case, there’s no copyright in an idea, unfortunately. Only the expression of an idea. And it’s certainly no fun having your ideas stolen at work and your good efforts eroded by an unscrupulous boss, either.
This is an all-too common workplace conundrum: the boss who doesn’t offer anything by way of praise or acknowledgement, and whose utter ruthlessness means they will constantly seek to bask in the limelight of your brilliance. Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that’s not much consolation when you’ve been blatantly ripped off. So, what can you do about the problem? Is it best to confront your thief?
Or would a better approach be to rise above this cowardly crime against humanity, secure in the offending person’s bad karma? A more zen Buddhist approach, if you will? And what motivates the ideas bandit? Is it a lack or original ideas, or just plain laziness? So many questions…
Psychologists say while it’s normal to be inspired by others’ work, it’s highly unethical and unprofessional to plagiarise. My go-to clinical psychologist source, who wishes to remain anonymous, says plagiarists are driven by the desire to be seen to have original ideas, the wish to not appear to be a copycat and good, ol’ professional laziness, as I picked.
Also, it’s far easier to rip off someone else’s work than come up with your own ideas.
“If your ideas are plagiarised it’s hard not to feel ripped off,” the psych says. “However, mental health workers recommend that, in the interests of your own mental health and well-being, you deal with the matter by firstly expressing your outrage in a calm, non-confrontational way, and then let it go.
“If necessary, do some positive thinking, for example: ‘It’s a compliment and an indication of high regard for my ideas/work’.”
What do you think?
Main image via indiereader.com and secondary image via cimethics.blogspot.com.
With it being halfway through January, most of us have already made our New Year’s resolutions – and promptly started to neglect them. So rather than sweating over the guilt from breaking our own half-hearted promises to look like Lara Bingle by March, why not use this year to improve yourself in a less predictable fashion. Here are my top suggestions for self development – no diet required.
From making you more empathetic to staving off Alzheimer’s disease, regular reading does wonders for your brain and state of mind. Studies have shown that reading can be therapeutic by assisting in the reduction of stress, while improving your mood; so rather than trying to switch off after a big day by watching telly, curl up with a good book – evidence suggests you’ll sleep better for it too. And it’s not all rest and relaxation, despite being a super soothing pastime, your brain is actually hard at work. Reading improves your memory, expands your vocabulary and builds your analytical skills – all while you’re chilling out. So for a brain boosting resolution, get between the covers.
Learn to cook
For me, learning to cook not only established my independence once I had moved out, but also became a creative outlet. Learning new dishes expands your knowledge of cultures and tastes, but is also a great way of gaining an understanding of nutrition and health. Nurturing yourself and the people around you with home cooking is a wonderful way to bring people together, but also expand your skills. Currently I’m loving When French Women Cook, a gastro-memoir by Madeleine Kamman.
Create a savings plan
Savings is an essential element of a working life. Whether it’s about putting pennies aside for a dream holiday, or starting your own nest egg, savings can make a huge difference. As a general rule, putting ten per cent of every paycheck aside is a perfect start; it’s too little to feel you’re depriving yourself of your hard earned funds, but enough to build upon. It’s a fact of life that there will be unexpected costs, having savings works as a security net to save you from hitting the credit cards too hard if things do go belly up, and are a brilliant motivator to help you achieve your goals. Try setting up an automatic transfer every time you get paid, then before you know it you’ll have a reserve.
Learn a language
Besides being somewhat sexy and exotic, a new language can give you an all-round better brain. Studying a language means you’re better able to understand the subtle nuances of words that can sway our feelings. This means you’ll be able to make more rational choices and, as studies have shown, build more sophisticated decision-making skills. Bilingual people have been shown to be superior at multitasking and focusing too, so odds are you’ll be better and more effective at work (and play). You’ll have a sharpened grasp of your first language too and significantly reduce your likelihood of dementia. Organised and sexy? Can’t wait.
What new goals have you set for yourself this year?
Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.
Dr. Mary Casey, author of How to Deal with Master Manipulators says: “The reason we make resolutions in the first place is to be happier, more creative, more aware of our direction in life, and improve our sense of wellbeing. December and January are the perfect months for detoxing our emotions by reassessing our relationships and living decisions we make daily.” Dr. Casey’s 7 New Year’s resolutions for 2012: 1. Prioritise your happiness and health It’s important to decide for your health and happiness as number one. As simple as it sounds, if you don’t have these, you are not in a position to contribute to others or yourself. Everything stems from here. 2. Spend more time with the right people Rather than resolving to spend more time with everyone – which can be exhausting – spend time with people who are naturally positive and uplifting, and who are going in the direction you want to go in. You’ll find these people have an energising effect on you. 3. Deal with toxic relationships You can identify the relationships by the way they make you feel. People who are controlling, overly emotional, or in blame put everyone else in a negative state. Stand your ground, set your boundaries and make it clear to them what behaviour you won’t accept – even with family. You may need to disengage altogether from particularly toxic people. Your health will thank you for it. 4. Reassess your happiness at work This is must for those in negative work culture that’s leaving them feeling overworked, uncertain of their future, anxious or stressed. It’s important to know that as an employee you can address the issue with your manager. If you know you can’t, it may be time to look for a healthier work environment. 5. Review your daily routine It takes courage to admit there are decisions we ourselves make that deflate us emotionally – from accepting a job with a long work commute, to running around too much, to not giving ourselves enough ‘down’ time every day, to spending too much and putting ourselves in financial stress. By resolving to develop a strategy to solve them, you can be in an entirely different place by the end of 2012. And you’ll be glad for it. 6. Don’t let any negative emotions control you Negative emotions – however small – can overwhelm anything positive. Resolve to develop awareness of when you’re feeling upset or frustrated before it spoils your day. Examine your part in this. What can you do personally to make yourself feel better? Each time you begin to feel down, take a walk in the park or go out in the sun to help centre you. Nature and movement nurture positive emotions. 7. Strengthen your relationships Deep and meaningful relationships, not just with your life partner but with all those close to you, are important for a fulfilling life. Make a list of all the factors you need for a meaningful relationship, identify what you do not want, and stick to your guns. You can also find deep fulfilment and connection in philanthropic or charitable work, so try getting involved in a community group, nursing home or the like, and volunteer some of your time. Do you keep New Year’s resolutions? What are yours for 2012?