I sat in front of the TV yesterday, sound off, images blurring in my head and I thought, ‘I survived’. I wasn’t just talking about Christmas (I had a lovely time with family and friends), but the whole 12 months. My head was spinning and I looked at the year and thought, ‘how did you make it through?’. As I sat alone in front of my beautifully burning log fire, I wondered if this was the first time I had truly, truly stopped (I keep thinking I’ve stopped, but have I really?). Phone off, nobody around, to do list app on ZERO (for today at least); and if I am honest the only reason this was occurring was because a poorly friend had been forced to cancel our annual festive luncheon. I wondered how as Head of Happyness (well as we know that’s what the team calls me!) I had really got here.

The thing is it has been a happy and positive year. I feel grateful that, for a whole 12 months, I have been following my passions with both the Happynesshub and Sixth Sense TV, and my year has been full of friendships, family and love. I have so much to be grateful for.

However, it’s been so busy. So very, very busy. I repeatedly chat to you Hubbers about this subject because I know in today’s busy world, full of technology which means everything moves so fast, our brains and senses continually bombarded, choice everywhere, daily life can be challenging.

So surrounded by my many happiness gifts I had kindly been given for Christmas (thank you everyone) I decided to follow the theme and watch a film called “Happy”. It was a gentle, delightful watch following a number of people in different parts of the globe who were truly happy, often without any material wealth at all. Different academics popped up, many of whom you Hubbers will be aware of, and as I absorbed and pondered I thought, ‘but can you really be like this in Western cultures where the expectations are different; society is different?’. What struck me was the high rate of suicide and death in Japan where working hours are now literally killing people, so much so they have a name for it: Karoshi (translated as death by overwork).

Now for fear of being miserable at New Year (which is simply not my intention!) I’ll get to the point of all this. I’ve decided on 31st December to sit down quietly, do one of Magical Marta’s meditations, and look at what I truly want in my heart for the upcoming year. I’ve decided it’s up to me to make better choices, it’s up to me to empower myself to use my time differently. I am going to do a visualisation, close my eyes and ask my intuition what I truly desire for the months ahead. Some things in life you simply can’t change and I’ve learnt so much about ‘acceptance’ this year and understanding that sometimes you really just have to run with things. I’ve learnt to let go (somewhat) of my perfectionist approach and embrace the beauty of imperfection. Time to now learn about time, and its good use thereof.

So that’s for me; but what about you? How has your year been? How have you grown? What are your wishes, dreams, hopes, desires for 2017? Can you empower yourself during the year? Can you make different choices? Address certain mindsets? Are there things it would be good to ‘accept’? And what did you write in gratitude diary over the past weeks and months? Take a look (or burst open your jar) and go through the many things that you are grateful for. And be grateful all over again.

As I sit here in the coffee shop, the sun is shining and I am having a naughty cappuccino in a very large cup with Christmas pannetone. And I am grateful for all you Hubbers being in my life. I am grateful for the Happynesshub. I am grateful for the simple beauty of the world. And for my gratitude diary which I shall climb into bed with on the 31st and have a good old paw through.

So wishing you Happnesshubbers a very Happy New Year! Let’s make it a good one together, whatever the world and life throws our way. Appreciate the small things. Smile. Be kind. And love. Love deeply.