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Updated 30 December 2013

Top 10 ways to avoid the mistakes of the last year

As the delight of Christmas begins to fade, our minds turn to the new year. If you want to shake things up and have a wonderful 365 days take a look at these top 10 tips.

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As the delight of Christmas begins to fade, our minds turn to the new year. Will we be bigger, brighter, and better in the New Year, or will we just repeat the same mistakes that plagued us in this year? If you want to shake things up and have a wonderful 2365 days ahead, take a look at these top 10 tips.

Laugh

Laughter is great; it can lower blood pressure, stress and boost the immune system. Yet it can sometimes feel like we haven’t laughed properly in days, or even worse, months. So how do we get more laughter into our lives? An easy way to get laughing is to go and watch a comedian, or a comedy. A great way to laugh more is to spend time with young children or animals. 

 They are often full of life and unintentionally very funny. Another way to bring more laughter into your life is to spend time with people you find funny, or when at a party move towards those who seem to be laughing lots.

Target

If you want to avoid the mistakes of 2012 you must first target and identify what areas of your life you want to change. Do you want to be more skilled, be healthier or have more money?  Once you know what you want to change it’s easier to move forward.

 Take a large piece of paper and in the centre of the page write down one or two things you dislike about your life. Then write down six possible ways that you could overcome this problem – no matter how minor or ridiculous they seem. Facing your issue directly will make it seem less daunting.

Quit

One in four workers in the United States are unhappy in their job. Are you one of them? If you are maybe it’s time to check out what else is available. Firstly, take a look around the job market. Pull out your contacts book and call people in your field that may be able to help.

 Make sure your CV is up-to-date. Although it may take time, when you do eventually get an interview make sure you smile, maintain eye contact and boost your credibility by mentioning any obvious weaknesses towards the start of the interview.

Enjoy your commute

A new study has said that commuters can experience greater stress than riot policeman or fighter pilots. If you find yourself angry and frustrated when travelling there are a few steps you can take to combat the stress. 

Firstly, if you drive, is it possible to park a little way from work and walk the remaining distance? If you take the train can you escape with a good book, catch up on work or listen to music or a radio show? Avoid morning naps as they have little benefit and often make you feel drowsier.

Say yes

Although you cannot say yes to every opportunity, being open to new environments and situations could have a positive impact upon your life.  For example, why not take a dance lesson, even if you have no rhythm, or try ice skating, even if you have shocking balance. 

Doing new things will allow you to meet new people, learn new skills and it will give you pleasure. Facing a fear is another great way to feel good about yourself and it will enable you to overcome other obstacles you would not previously have faced.

Get promoted

Obviously, to get promoted you need to be good at your job and work hard. Yet there are a few other little tricks that may help you step up in 2013. Next time you attend a big meeting, gain advantage over colleagues by sitting in the middle of the group. 

If you’re a guy looking to get promoted, think about bulking up. A 25 year study conducted on 11 253 German employees and 12 686 American workers found that men who are 11kg lighter than the average male earn a whopping £125,5000 (R13.7M) less over a 25 year career that those men of a typical weight.

Get hitched

If you’ve been feeling lonesome in 2012 and want to find that special someone take our advice. When on a date, start by being friendly, but do not be too keen; become more positive as the date progresses. Also, although it seems odd, don’t talk about the things you both like, talk about the things you both dislike. 

Another key dating technique is about the way you use your body. Did you know that 90% of meaning is derived from non-vernal clues? Use your body to build a connection by mimicking your date's body language and maintain eye contact.

Experiences not goods

What do you spend your money on; new gadgets, the latest cosmetics or plush items for your home? This year break the 2012 habit and buy experiences, not goods. Go to a concert, the beach or ride a rollercoaster. 

People often think of experiences as being expensive, but they don’t have to be extravagant. Buying a bus ticket to a visit a new place can still be exciting.   When you’re 80 what do you think you’ll remember as you reminisce; how great that lip gloss was or how fabulous that skydive felt?

Get lucky

We all know someone who seems to live in a cocoon of good fortune. If you are not one of these people and luck dealt you an ill-hand in 2012 then pay attention. Think about who you are and how you react in certain situations. If you are an anxious person, try to relax. 

Anxious people become too inhibited and miss out on opportunities. According to Professor Richard Wiseman, those people who are lucky also have a resilient attitude and can turn bad situations into good opportunities through positive expectations. Lucky people also use their intuition.

Improve your home

When you get home do you feel safe and comforted, or is it another source of stress in your hectic life? There are several easy ways to give your home a makeover. Firstly, invest in some more lighting. Swap your main ceiling light for several lamps.

 If you have too many bare walls hang up some photographs of happy memories. Research has shown that pictures can positively affect ones mood. Another budget way to makeover your home is to add some house plants to every room and put a herb box in your garden, window sill or balcony.

   (Realbuzz.com, December 2012)

(Picture: Woman laughing from Shutterstock)



 
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