Hello 2016 and Happy New Year!

And with the New Year comes the obligatory New Year’s resolutions.

Lose weight, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, spend less time on Facebook and Twitter – all very worthwhile resolutions for sure.

As we looked through our New Year pics and bid farewell to a brilliant 2015, our thoughts turned to our own New Year wishes to make 2016 even better.

And instead of promising to do less of something in 2016, why not pledge to do more with life instead?

Forget worrying about a few excess Christmas pounds to lose and instead make this year the year you ‘take life higher’.

Here are some of our New Year’s resolution ideas on how to do just that in 2016.

See More Of The World

At some point, we’ve all dreamed about packing up and leaving ‘Real Life’ behind for a while to travel the far corners of the world.

But with a worldwide cruise out of reach for many of us, it’s possible to experience the world like never before right here in the UK with one of our unforgettable hot air balloon rides.

See more of the world right here on your doorstep and enjoy our beautiful landscapes from 2,000 feet, with stunning views stretching for miles above rolling green hills, dramatic city skylines and endless countryside.

A flight in one of our hot air balloons really does mean you will have the world at your feet.

Be Healthy and Happy

How many of us make the New Year resolution that THIS year we will finally get rid of that last half a stone we’ve been trying to shift for years or that we WILL squeeze into the dress we accidentally bought a size too small but never got round to taking back?

With ‘New Year, New You’ and promises of the latest ‘miracle’ diet splashed across the front pages of glossy magazines since before Christmas, it’s no wonder weight loss is one of the most common New Year resolutions, especially after the excess of the festive season. (And we’re just as guilty of this as anyone else!)

But let’s be honest – how many of us actually stick to a new diet beyond January, especially those that deprive us of the things we really love to eat? Will squeezing into a size 10 by 14th February really make us happy if all we have eaten is brown rice and steamed kale for six weeks?

So this year, instead of a New Year resolution to lose weight, we’re promising to simply be ‘healthier’, forgetting the faddy diets and instead aiming to eat a healthy, balanced diet while being more active in day-to-day life.

There are some great tips on the Hungry Healthy Happy blog, with blogger Dannii Martin a great example of finding that balance of being both healthy AND happy in life.

Jemma, who blogs over at Celery and Cupcakes, might just be our spirit animal with her delicious dessert and cake recipes, many of which are even suitable for special diets such as gluten-free and dairy-free.

Because how can any of us be truly happy without cake? Everything in moderation – it’s an oldie but still a goody.

So enjoy a chocolate brownie every so often but balance it out by getting active and heading out and about to enjoy the great outdoors – even if it’s just for a 20-minute walk to the local park.

Not only is a walk in the fresh air good for your physical health – it’s also good for the soul, especially when you have views like this on your doorstep.

The NHS’s ‘Change4Life’ website is not just a great resource for families with children but has some great and simple swaps and tips that anyone can work into their diet and lifestyle.

A Year Of Giving

Our charity partnership with the British Lung Foundation will be a big part of 2016.

Our aim is to raise both awareness of lung disease – which affects a huge one in five people in the UK – and £27,500 for the charity by the end of the year.

The fundraising ‘Big Breakfast’ we held in November was a great success, with more than £200 in just a few hours when we sold bacon and sausage butties, cakes and muffins to both our own staff and those at neighbouring businesses.

And we will of course be holding plenty more fundraising events as the year progresses (with plans already afoot for our staff to ‘face their fears’ in of them but shhhhh, they don’t actually know yet!).

Each of us has a charity that is close to our hearts so why not make at least one of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions to raise as much money as you can for a good cause?

You could even get your friends and work colleagues involved or even combine a fundraising event with a healthier you and hold a sporting or fitness challenge.

Last year the Virgin Balloon Flights team raised more than £500 by cycling 260 miles on spin bikes and it was great fun. Or why not relive your childhood with a sponsored hula hooping or skipping event?

Your First Time

In the spirit of doing more with life this year, our motto for 2016 is ‘Take Life Higher’ – and trying something new is a perfect way to do it.

Whether it’s one big experience or something small each month, life is all about trying new things.

It could be something as simple as trying a new kind of food or visiting a city you have never been to before.

Or you could become a true thrill-seeker and do something that really gets your heart racing.

With more than 2,000 experiences to choose from, from high-speed track days to wakeboarding or even skydiving, Virgin Experience Days has a host of adrenaline-packed adventures.

What New Year resolution have you made for 2016? Will you aim to #TakeLifeHigher this year? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!