Happiness doctor Andy Cope hopes to bring a smile to your face in 2019 by revealing the tricks that could help you make it your best year to date.

TOO many resolutions are hard work and, let's face it, you're never going to stick to them if there's too much effort involved. So says happiness doctor Andy Cope, who has spent ten years researching positive psychology and delivers courses, centring on themes of happiness, in businesses and schools across the world.

Minute changes which you can realistically stick to will make the difference, he says. "Small habit changes are like compound interest. They add up. For example, let's imagine that instead of salad you sneak a burger. On that day, there is no difference. You won't notice it in the mirror. But in 12 months, the habit of salad after salad after salad will have made a compound and noticeable difference (as will burger after burger after burger)."

Cope, whose book Happiness: Your Route Map To Inner Joy, is now out in paperback, offers ten realistic resolutions to make 2019 your best year to date...

1. Commit to doing some exercise: Don't kill yourself. Thirty minutes a day is fine. It might feel like a chore at first, but it releases all sorts of lovely chemicals which will infuse you with a Ready Brek glow. It doesn't have to cost anything. A brisk walk at lunchtime is fine.

2. Make time to sleep: Commit to getting your full eight hours of shut-eye. A University of Warwick study calculates that good sleep is worth £200,000 to your wellbeing. So treat yourself to a lottery win.

3. Develop good eating habits: Live by the Japanese concept of Hara Hachi Bu. It means stop eating just before you're full. It's the smallest change of habit that will have the biggest impact.

4. Celebrate stuff that didn't happen: Sadly, unless you're a black belt happiness ninja, your mind doesn't sit in traffic thinking how lucky you are to have a car. It curses at the long meeting instead of rejoicing that you have a job. It tuts at the crumbs on the worktop instead of being grateful you've got wonderful children.

The opposite of savouring good experiences is to notice the many things that could have gone badly, but didn't. Hence the mind-bending question, what hasn't happened, that you didn't want, that you haven't celebrated?

I woke up and didn't have toothache. I got to work without crashing my car. I haven't got diabetes. My children aren't poorly. I haven't just stubbed my toe... Have a go, it's fabulous fun. In fact, it's one of those mental muscles that gets stronger the more you exercise it.

5. Savour the f-word: Make 2019 the year of the f-word. The word? Failure. Dirty, rotten, despicable failure.

Not failure the result: Losing the business, losing the relationship, failing the interview. But failure the process: Learning, improving, becoming fighting-fit, installing effectiveness, broadening, widening, gaining wisdom, picking yourself up and smiling and trying once again.

Failure, yes. But stay in the game. If we're unwilling to fail, we're unwilling to succeed.

6. Celebrate your plot twists: You are a storyteller. Stories link us to our ancestors and to those who don't yet exist.

And don't we just love a tragedy? If you're not careful, problems loom large and they can dominate your back story. It's easy to become the victim. But, of course, you're the author. You might not be able to change the events that have happened, but you can re-cast yourself as the hero. So, when something doesn't go according to plan, it's not a nightmare, crisis, challenge or problem, it's merely a plot twist.

7. Get huggy: The average hug lasts 2.1 seconds. However, for the love to transfer, a hug has to last seven seconds or longer. There will be about 12 people in your life who are emotionally close enough to warrant a seven-second hug. So hug your 12 and hang on for the full seven seconds. Hugging releases feel-good chemicals and when you feel great, life gets a whole lot easier. Two notes of caution: This is not for strangers in the park, and don't count out loud, it spoils the effect.

8. Enjoy more moments: Write a list of the top 10 happiest moments of your life. The general rule is that happiness comes from doing stuff, rather than accumulating stuff. You'll realise that most of the things on your list are 'experiences' rather than 'products'. In 2019, set your stall out to have more experiences.

9. Make Monday the new Friday: Here's a terrifying fact - a seventh of your 2019 is going to consist of Mondays. That's too much time to simply write off. So dare to stand out by celebrating Mondays. If you think about it, Friday's a nightmare, another week closer to death. Mondays are a chance to get stuck into a new week and make a dent in the universe.

10. Cut down on anti-social media: Cut your tech time by a third. We're not saying you should cease screen time, merely that you will glean more happiness from real people, real relationships, fresh air, views and actual eye contact.

  • Happiness: Your Route Map To Inner Joy by Andy Cope with Andy Whittaker and Shonette Bason-Wood, from Wynyard, is published in paperback by John Murray Learning, £9.99.