It’s the start of a new year and it’s normally a time of year when many of us set ourselves new goals and challenges. Here’s how to feel positive about the new year.

This year, you may be feeling a little less motivated due to the stresses of 2020. Will this year be any better? A positive outlook will help you feel more motivated and fortunately, it’s not difficult to get your brain wired in the right way to feel happier.

Despite the challenges of 2020, there are some things you can do to boost your mindset and be more positive, though it’s important of course not to try and fake a good mood and acknowledge how you are feeling. Here’s our top tips on getting through these challenging times with a brighter outlook…

Distance yourself from negative people

It’s a known fact that the more time you spend around those with a negative attitude, the more likely you are to be affected. Keep your distance. If it’s someone you live with and that’s not possible, you could be honest and politely tell them that their negative outlook affects your mood as well.

Remember you have some degree of control

Don’t focus on what you can’t do during these current restrictions – focus on things you can change. It’s tempting to overeat or drink more alcohol as a way of coping, but remember you have complete control over what you put into your body and whether or not you exercise. You can choose to work out or skip a session – it’s up to you. Remember you have full control over how you treat your body.

Acknowledge the things that are going right

Even during these troubled times, there must be something good in your life that you can be grateful for. Maybe you have a job you enjoy, or a good partner or family at home or you’re healthy and able to exercise. Find the positives.

Happy couple

Get outside and enjoy nature

New research from i2 media research at Goldsmiths University of London on behalf of plant brand Veggie Bites, revealed that the following can increase positive emotions: water (sea, lakes and rivers), waterfalls (73 per cent of participants felt more creative after watching them), woodlands, mountains and hills and meadows and fields. Spending time in any natural setting can boost your mood, wellbeing and creativity. If you’re unable to leave the house, take a few minutes each day to watch a video of natural landscapes as these can have similar positive effects.

Work on your self-belief

As Oprah Winfrey once said: ‘You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.’ The more you believe in yourself, the more things you will be capable of achieving. Maybe you can learn a new skill or retrain during the current restrictions rather than just sitting at home feeling frustrated?

Don’t deny your fears if you have them

Accept that it’s perfectly natural to be scared sometimes. High achievers aren’t fearless – they embrace fear and accept it’s there but don’t let it hold them back. Susan Jeffers’ famous book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, talks about getting on with achieving your goals even if you feel scared. So if you are fearful, accept that’s a normal emotion and it’s just your mind’s way of trying to protect you – then get on with your life.

Listen to music

Music is known to boost mental wellbeing and will help you feel happier in the moment. Put on your favourite songs and you’ll feel better. You might also want to compile some new workout playlists for your new year workouts.

Know that this will pass

Finally, it may not seem like it now, but this rough patch we’re going through won’t last forever. Things are already starting to move in the right direction and there will come a time in a year or two, or maybe even sooner when we’ll all look back on the pandemic and say: ‘thank God that’s over’.