29/12/2016 06:28 GMT | Updated 30/12/2017 05:12 GMT

The Eight New Year's Resolutions You Will Want To Keep

When you're training for the 2017 London Marathon, getting married at 7.30am the same day and then trekking the Great Wall of China just a few weeks later for your honeymoon - and doing the lot for charity - you need resolutions.


Photo: Jackie Scully

But while mine may be slightly more extreme (increasingly long runs, extra foam rolling, alarm clocks set for what seems like the middle of the night), I thought I'd share a few of my favourites from the last decade that you really will enjoy making (and that require very little effort).

When breast cancer comes along - as it did for me in 2014 - and tries to take your life away, you are reminded that that life is way too short to not do at least some of the list below. It's also way too short to set overcomplicated resolutions that will last as long as your festive selection box.

So, here are 8 of the resolutions it would be wrong not to keep:

1) Smile: according to Ron Gutman's book on the subject one smile gives as much joy as 2,000 chocolate bars. All the fun - and none of the calories. 

2) Stop saving everything for best: I used to have a cupboard full of candles that were too important to burn and a pile of beautiful notebooks that were always too beautiful for my ideas. Not any more. When I was going through treatment, I began to realise that the best may never actually come. 'Best' is a word that is almost impossible to define. Just saying it takes away the hope of there being something better in the future. Good days can be great days if you fill them with your favourite things.

3) Look up: If you've ever watched the film About Time, you will appreciate the joy that comes with looking up at the world around you. Easy to do, but hard to remember when the busy-ness of life gets in the way.

4) Start a never list: What's the easiest thing to do? Not do! I no longer dry dishes (they drain), iron clothes (they crease) and drink milk in my coffee Mon-Thurs (makes Friday a treat). Make a rule and you'll find more time to do the things you love.

5) Write your dreams: Sounds more profound, but having a list (a brighter life not bucket for me) of all the things you want to achieve really does help make them happen. And make sure you have a few quick wins on there (such as making crumpets or watching your favourite film once a year).

6) Have a date in the diary: Expectation is often the best bit, so get planning.

7) Tell people how much they really mean to you: I lost a friend this year before I had chance to tell her how she had touched my life - and the lives of others. I won't make that mistake again.

8) Be grateful for the bits that work: we only ever really think about certain body parts when they fail to work. So, make 2017 the year you thank the bits that do - while they still do!

And mine? Apart from the insanely early mornings, my main resolution for 2017 is to #makeitmeaningful.


Photo: Jackie Scully

Every day, I want to do something that makes a difference. I want to make every day count. And not just the one day I get to run 26.2miles to chase the love of my life to the finish line (if you want to sponsor us, we'd be grateful for any pounds you have to spare)

Good luck! Let's hope 2017 is a great year that gives us all something to smile about.