The new year is fast approaching and people’s lists of resolutions are growing. From launching a business idea, to finding love or losing weight, we all commit to resolutions in pursuit of happiness or a better life.

But is there a scientific approach to happiness and what do the happiness experts have to say?

If you are serious about your resolutions this year, here are some Ted talks that might give you an advantage in 2018.

1) The happy secret to better work
We can all be happier in 21 days, Shawn Achor, the happiness scholar (Length: 12 minutes)


Achor is an US happiness researcher and author known for studying happiness at Harvard University and coming up with a 21 day programme which helps people become happier and more successful in their work and their lives.

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His 2011 Ted talk has been viewed 16m times and he works with big corporates and Fortune 500 executives on reprogramming happiness levels.

2) All it takes is 10 mindful minutes
Being in the here and now, mindfulness guru and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe (Length: nine minutes)

Humans spend an average of 47 percent of time lost in thought and Puddicombe tries to make people less distracted and more focused.

With 10 minutes of mindfulness a day, he says we can clear our thoughts and embrace the here and now, which will help us see more clearly.

With over 12m views of his 2012 Ted Talk and his simple meditation method, Puddicombe is one of the leading well being and mindfulness influencers.

3) The surprising science of happiness
Happiness can be synthesised, Harvard psychology professor Dan Gilbert (Length 21 minutes)

Over 15m people have watched this talk, which tells us that that the external environment does not dictate our happiness and years of research flipping our view of what makes us happy and how we should think when things don’t go as we have hoped.

4) The power or vulnerability
Numbing vulnerability numbs joy and happiness, Researcher and story-teller Brené Brown (Length: 20 minutes)

This 2010 talk is one of the top five most watched Ted talks ever with 36m views. It features researcher and storyteller Brene Brown, who has been investigating how the happiest and most content people fully embrace vulnerability and their sense of worthiness.

Brown believes that as a society we try and numb vulnerability in different ways from over-spending, overeating to drug abuse, which also makes us numb the feelings of joy and happiness.

According to Brown the feeling of worthiness and “I am enough” is key to being kinder and gentler to ourselves and others.

5) Try something new for 30 days
Try a 30 day challenge, Google engineer Matt Cutts (Length: three minutes)

If you are not in the mood to fully embrace a mindful and soulful existence, then perhaps 30 day challenges are more for you.

We have all wanted to do something and just never got round to do it, Cutts says you should just try it for 30 days, which is enough time to make it a successful habit and see if this really is for you.

The hard part is to not let yourself watch TV or check social media until you have done your daily goal.

Cutts says that doing these challenges has enriched his life and made his days far more memorable and meaningful, though he will never try quitting sugar again.