12 Simple Ways to be Happier in the New Year

brooke florence gardens
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately (as you do at the close of the year) about my last year’s resolutions and how they went. Instead of making typical resolutions like the popular “lose weight” or “earn more money”, I chose to pick 29 small reminders to be happier that year. Some of them were sensible, others a little silly (like eat cereal for dinner if you want to), but all of them were important little reminders to make better choices in that year. So for this year I’m narrowing it down to 12 simple ways to be happier in the New Year – all of which I believe will help us worry less about those things that do not matter at all and subsequently spend all of our energies on the things that do matter: loved ones, seeing the world, being successful in your own interpretation of the word and being happy in your own interpretation of the word.


1. Spring out of bed each morning

One thing I will not be doing in 2016 is spending any more time than necessary in bed. The important message here is to always get a good night of rest and keep a good system going, but never spend too long getting up in the morning – CARPE DIEM!

Alila breakfast buffet

2. Eat like a king for breakfast

This year I ate like a king for breakfast and started eating less during the day (usually snacks throughout the day and skipping a set lunch), followed by a light dinner around 7pm so that I had digested before bed in the evenings. This has helped me to be more productive throughout the day and nourish my body instead of worrying about every little thing I put into my mouth. I found that I was less hungry throughout the day anyway, so I was less likely to crave bad food.

Brooke Saward scotland

3. Walk whenever you can (with a beat-driven soundtrack)

There’s walking and then there’s walking like you own it. Time by yourself should be enjoyed, not feared… so this coming year I pledge to spend more time walking everywhere to have that alone time where I can escape into my headphones and switch the world off, even if its only for a half hour each time.

walking brooke

4. Eliminate toxic people from your life

Every year (or most of us more often) we tend to go through our belongings and throw out all of the things that no longer serve a purpose to us. I think its also important to have a “clean out” of the people we surround ourselves and just ask ourselves “are they still a good friend?” or “do I get as much as I give from this friendship?”. Even if you’re just taking a break from someone, it is more important to spend all of your time and energy in a few people who are genuine, lifelong friends than to spend all your energy so sparsely that you don’t have people you could rely on no matter what. That’s my logic anyway!

brooke saward

5. Listen to your heart & your head

Someone once told me: “Brooke you need to listen to your head instead of your heart” in reference to a break up. Looking back she was probably right, but I think what is even more correct is to listen to both and consider what it is prompting you to make a decision: are you acting on impulse (heart) or are you overthinking it (head)? Consider why you’re feeling the way you are and make a rational decision that considers both. They’re both important in the long run!

brooke saward

6. Accept yourself (& own it)

One thing I can say for certain is that the last couple of years have been incredibly refreshing in terms of self acceptance. As a confused teenager who never really saw where she fit in, these last couple of years travelling the world solo have taught me that the only way to figure out who you are is to spend time with yourself, accept yourself, and be proud of who you are – quirks and all!


7. Stop skipping meals

One thing I struggle with travelling so much is consistency. If you have a similar trait whereby you often skip a meal, lets try and combat that together. It is always best to nourish your body and give it what it needs, when it needs it… you’d be surprised how much more productive you are when you are treating your body right! On that note, I pledge to drink more water in 2016.

Skydiving Vegas

8. Make each day count

Just. Fricken. DO. IT. It was a couple of years ago that I sky dived, a year ago that I bungy jumped and a few weeks ago that I swam with a crocodile. ALL OF THESE THINGS TERRIFY ME. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from travel it is the more we push ourselves, the more we realise the only boundaries we have are the ones we set for ourselves.

Beach crop 4

9. Work Hard, Play Hard

Spend more time with friends. Have a glass of wine on occasion. Make a day trip to the beach. Dance the night away. The calculation is simple: work hard, play hard. You’ve gotta earn it to enjoy it.

smiles in Fiji

10. Be selfless

It is good to spend time with yourself but it is also good to spend time with others. A helping hand can often make someone’s day – be that a neighbour, family member, or a stranger on the street. Always give more than you receive. My favourite quote of all time by J.K. Rowling: “If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals”.

Brooke Saward in Jersey

11. Talk yourself through it

I’m still unsure why talking to yourself is frowned upon. Quite personally, I love it. Sometimes you’ve just gotta talk yourself through it (out loud), take a few deep breaths and get over it. Is it really worth wasting your energy over anyway?


12. Dance like no one is watching 

In the mirror, in the street, in your knickers… just dance because it feels – so – good.

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    January 15, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Well said Dulce. No comment Brooke?

    January 13, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I love every single thing about this.

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    January 8, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    […] 12 Simple Ways to Be Happier in the New Year, from World of Wanderlust. […]

    January 7, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Really great reminders and tips for happiness!

    January 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm


    January 4, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Just when I needed to know how to be happier, and I found this article! Thank you very much.

    January 3, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks again for another motivational post. Yet again, I have gotten just the dose of inspiration I needed 🙂
    Check out for more travel inspiration!

    Suzanne Holt
    January 3, 2016 at 12:44 am

    What great reflections! I think if we followed even half of your suggestions, the world would be a happier place. Especially if we managed to think of others first a little more often.

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    January 1, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Brilliant post and all of these are so true! From breakfasting well to never skipping a meal, these have made huge changes to my daily life, I have so much more energy when I eat regularly and well than ever before! Seizing the day, just going with the flow, doing things even though they scare you, these are the decisions that can lead us to HUGE adventures that we might never have had a chance at if we had turned tail and ran!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

    Elizabeth Rebecca
    January 1, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Wonderful post! Walking more is definitely one of my goals.

    Lizzie Dripping

    January 1, 2016 at 2:15 am

    I love both this post and the post about being more adventurous in the new year. The positivity and optimism are inspiring, as well as the proactive attitude. Looking forward to see what’s coming in the new year for you (and for myself, of course)!

    January 1, 2016 at 1:33 am

    This is some awesome advice, thank you for sharing! <3


    January 1, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Go girl, what a great list! 🙂 Life is so much better when you keep focusing on its nice things instead of the annoying ones.

    I’ve never met you Brooke but I wanna thank you hundred times for this blog. You’ve inspired me a lot past this last year. I found your blog when I was on a holiday in Greece. It was my very first solo trip and I was a bit scared. But then I run into an article about you. And realised that if I wanna go and see the world, I should just go. No matter that I don’t have anyone to travel with. Because in the end, that was my dream so why would I need anyone else to make it true. So after Greece I traveled almost two months in Europe all alone and well, that was best ever.

    Safe traveling for the year 2016, maybe our paths will cross somewhere in the world, you never know 🙂

    -Sanni /Finland

    December 31, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Your post puts me in such a good mood this morning ! 🙂

    Doing the number 4 change my life ! It’s insane how you keep standing next to toxic people in your life.

    Have a wonderful new year eve.

    Kenza from

    December 31, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I love this post! I will listen more to my heart and head in the new year!

    December 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Almost a perfect post, but if you talk about being selfless, don’t quote JK Rowling with “how treat their inferiors” because that mean that you think you are superior that those people in the picture, while you have more privileges than them, they should be your equals, not inferiors

    December 31, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I have the seen many NY resolutions posts, and this completely resonated with me. My main objective is after college ends- travel for a year and be happy I guess. Happy New Year Brooke 🙂

    • Brooke Saward
      December 31, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      I love that: “and be happy I guess” – that is the only priority we should have in life!! 🙂

    Brittany Justham
    December 31, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I loved this Brooke! You are such an inspiration 🙂

    December 31, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Absolutely love this post! Very similar resolutions & objectives as mine for 2016 🙂 xx

    December 31, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Oh I love this!! I agree with all of these! I’m not sure I would be able to spring out of bed every day though – I’m definitely not a morning person.

    December 31, 2015 at 8:34 am

    This is such a great post! I especially agree with the first idea–I struggle so hard trying to get out of bed!

    December 31, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Thanks for this wonderful and true post! And after I read what you wrote I’m confident that my new year will be happy as I’m doing already most of the things you recommend here including jumping out of the bed 🙂
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena