Happy new year!

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I love new year – the symbolic idea of a blank slate to build on is very appealing to me and new years give us time to re-evaluate what has been working in our lives, what has perhaps not been working quite so well and where we can add in some new challenges and enrichment. New year’s resolutions are a great way to focus the mind. I don’t mean the clichéd, half-hearted ones that always seemed based in negativity (“start a diet to lose 40lbs” which ends up as “eat a whole cake the next day” or “take up jogging” followed by “give up jogging a few days later” etc.) – but the ones that take unique stock of where you are in life and what you want more of (not less of!).

Thinking in terms of “more” is so much more effective than trying to deny things – on the subject of weight loss for example, surely it’s more motivating to say that you want “more health and fitness” not “less of you”? That way you are always adding to your goal and directing your mind into looking for ways to do so. And importantly, thinking this way you cannot fail and throw the towel in if you slip up occasionally.

I make it a priority to look after my health – particularly after a health scare a few years back – and good food and fitness are built into my life. Lorna and I ski regularly, play tennis and we are of course training for the London Marathon in March, which we are running for charity [LINK]. So improving my fitness and weight are not one of my resolutions – but I have plenty of others!

Setting goals, challenging ourselves and moving ourselves forward are so important to keep positive energy in our lives – even if that challenge is just to read more books or listen to more music. If you want change in life you have to think differently, do differently…and then see where the adventure takes you.

Here are some of my resolutions/new paths for 2016…what are yours? I’d love to hear – tweet me or leave me a comment. And I hope you all have a very happy, healthy and productive 2016.

In 2016 I will:

Listen to more jazz… I love jazz as an art form and although I listen to a lot of it already…I think there is always time to listen to more! I love trad jazz particularly – but I would like to explore new forms and new musicians and am going to seek them out actively this year. If you have any tips then I’d love to hear them!

Start surfing again… Growing up in South Africa surfing was an everyday part of my life – every time I see a surfer out on a wave I wonder why I ever stopped. So I think this year will be the year I finally get back on the board.

 Spend as much quality time as I can with my family… I am above all a family man – my children and grandchildren mean the world to me and I would like to spend more time with them. As they are dotted around the world, from Sydney to New York, that may mean more travel – but I love globetrotting so it’s a win-win situation!

Complete the London Marathon in under four hours…Lorna and I are doing the training, and with the right mind-set I think the sky’s the limit. Or at least the four-hour mark. I am really looking forward to running the marathon – I’ve heard it is an incredible event, and the atmosphere and crowds quite something. Plus, we will be raising money for a good cause – which makes me happy.

Give back…On that note, contributing to causes I believe in and giving back are something that I would like to continue to do and build on in 2016. One of my chosen charities is Help for Heroes and have done various challenges to raise money for it in the past – perhaps it is time to plan a new one!