Five steps to getting the most out of life

Duncan Goodhew, an Olympic swimming champion, shares his secrets for feeling good and getting motivated to achieve more. And his key tip: swim more, of course!

You can do it: Duncan Goodhew with sporting soprano Laura Wright (front row) with staff and volunteers at the Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead

“As the end of January approaches, are you reflecting on your New Year resolutions and what you want to achieve this year? Perhaps you want to create more special moments in your life, or feel more connected to the world around you?

If that’s what you’re looking for, here are five simple steps to get you going: 

Do something that makes you feel like you’re contributing to your local community.

Find a cause to support that touches you emotionally and has an impact on the greater good of your fellow human beings. Do something big and meaningful together with others, something that gives you a sense of belonging.

Breaststroke: Duncan does his Olympic gold medal-winning style

Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone.

Why not take on a new and exciting challenge? Choose an activity that will occasionally give you sweaty palms and a reason to bounce out of bed in the morning.

Every now and then, escape the pressures of your life.

Do something that makes you feel your heartbeat and the air you breathe. I like to find a calming environment to break away from the drag of gravity, and going for a swim helps greatly.

Duncan loves swimming: Great for the body and mind

Learn from your experience and be positive about yourself.

Try coaching yourself or be coached by someone else – this will help you to train, improve and control your inner voice, so you can be kinder and more understanding to yourself and others.

Get fit, be healthy and look after your wellbeing.

Swimming is often regarded as one of the best forms of exercise for fitness and mental health resilience. So get into the pool and get swimming!

Now for my top tip:

Start fulfilling the five steps above by signing up for Swimathon   this year and help support Marie Curie Nurses working in communities across the UK. It’s a great challenge for a great cause!”