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Happy new year!

We’ve reached (another) new decade. If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking about the joys and trials and changes of the past 10 years, and wondering what is to come.

None of us knows what the next 10 minutes or 10 hours holds, much less the next 10 years. That doesn’t mean we are helpless victims of fate, though. If we follow these four steps we have everything we need to have a positive new year, this year and every year.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Who we interact with

Our relationships are the single biggest factor in determining our happiness and contentment. When we have loving, supportive, respectful relationships it gives energy and meaning to the rest of our life. If we allow ourselves to get bogged down in relationships that drain our energy or confidence we find it that much more difficult to move on with anything else.

If you do one thing in 2020, spend it with good people. You know in your heart, and your gut, the people who lift your spirits, who challenge you, who help you be your best self. Embrace them, cherish them, share your life with them. They won’t fail you.

What we focus on

It’s true in yoga class, and in life: where your mind goes, the rest follows. If you focus on positive goals, on good things, on empowering relationships, your life will move in these directions. If you focus on clarity, mindfulness and love, these will be abundant in your life. There are always obstacles and difficulties, but don’t let them define you.

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

When we speak

It is so easy to open our mouths before we study our minds (and hearts). We live in a world of instant communication, where we can share our ideas and opinions with the push of a button. This power brings responsibility. We need to remember that our words have impact, whether we’re talking or Tweeting or anything else. Taking time to consider our words is a sign of self-respect, and respect for others.

How we react

Life will bring surprises — not all of them welcome. The train will be late, the friend will disappoint us, the boss will be thoughtless, the partner will be difficult. We can’t control circumstances, but we can decide how we respond. When we pause and take a deep breath we give ourselves space to choose how to react. We don’t have to be a victim of frustration and irritation, we can opt to be calm and remember that this too shall pass.

Read more: 3 ways to free yourself from frustration, 3 yoga poses for sharper focus