New Year Resolutions : Aim for an Open Goal

... and take small steps to reach them :

Resolutions : Aim for an open goal next year. Did you know the failure rate for New Year Resolutions is reckoned to be around 97%. Yes, only 3% of us make it. So why start in the first place, when statistically you are doomed to fail from the outset? We come up with every excuse under the sun, and probably a few more too. Yes, we have just emerged from a eating enough food to feed to small village over the Christmas festivities. And yes, its cold, dark and wet outside your cave. There is never a good time to start anything new, and the beginning of January is probably one of the worse times of the year.

But, how do we turn our excuses around to something positive? Simple, with small steps. And we are talking really small baby steps too. Most people set massive goals, that in reality are nigh on inpossible to complete. That’s why so many of us fail even to start our New Year’s resolutions in the first place. That first step is far too high.

Food for Thought :

Let’s take one of the most popular New Year resolutions - loosing weight. Just as we are sitting down for our Christmas feast, already the TV adverts are promoting weight loss in the New Year. Before you can get that fork full of turkey and stuffing close to your mouth, they are sub-consciously making you feel very guilty. We all know these adverts; join a weight watching group, drink diet supplement drinks or buy a machine that gives you a six-pack while you doing the weekly ironing.

So, feeling guilty for downing the average massive 7,000 calories on Christmas day (did you really eat & drink that much), we sign our soul away to the devil, and vow to loose at least 28 pounds by Easter. That’s two pound lost every week for the next fourteen weeks. While it’s not impossible to do, it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication, more than most of us can commit to. It’s a step too far for most, and most of us give up, or not even start in the first place.

Weight Loss Open Goal :

If you have an open goal to weight lost, you cannot fail to score. Your first target after Christmas and into the New Year is not to put anymore weight on. We all buy too much food and drink for the Christmas festivities, and we all tend to carry on using it up well into the New Year. This year, give away any extras you have left after the 01 January. Take all the chocolate and goodies to work and let your colleagues eat them. Now go back to eating what you normally did prior to Christmas.

Now, with your weight stabilised, you can start to tip the scales back the other way with very small steps. Cut down ever so slightly on your meal time food portions, nothing too obvious, but just a little less. Remember your stomach muscles expand over Christmas to fit that turkey and all the trimmings in. So, it takes a little time for them to contract back to their normal state. As you get use to the slightly less portion size, cut them down even a bit more.

Exercise : Take Small Steps

Don’t go mad and join a gym. It is basically a recipe for disaster and failure, and will sap your bank account even further after all the Christmas purchases. One of the most simplest and cheapest forms of exercise is plain good old fashioned walking. Yes, this is one of the best exercises you can do. You don’t need any specialise expensive sports clothing, you don’t need any training as you have been walking all your life already, and you can do it without looking stupid and feeling embarrassed. Nobody will know you are exercising, they just think you are out of for a walk.

Get walking daily. 15 minutes at first, then extend to 30 minutes as you feel slightly fitter. This light exercising and reduced sized portions will tip your own personal weight scale, and ever so slowly your weight will start to reduce. It sounds simple, that’s because it is, and it’s really small baby steps we can all take. Your goal was not to put on anymore weight, and loosing some more is a bonus. Your first target is to get to your pre-Christmas weight, then anything after that is a plus.

Take Small Steps to Controlling Your Finances :

The same applies for your finances - the goal is to get back to the pre-Christmas balance first. Anything you save after that is a bonus. Find ways to tip the balance of the financial scales too. Similar to the food portions, find ways to ever so slightly reduce your outgoings. Take pack lunches to work instead of buying food while you are out. That walking you are doing could save you money on gas/petrol too. Again, the small baby steps will help you tip those scales.

Improve Your Love Life :

You want to improve your love life this year? Instead of going on a massive man/woman hunt, looking for Mr or Mrs Right, try tipping the romance scales slightly in your favour by just trying saying simply ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ to two new people every day. Do this without any expectations of getting a reply. Some will reply, while others will simply ignore you. Don’t worry about it. You have an open goal. By saying ‘hi’ changes the dynamics/energy between you and the other person. This is a basic connection, which can lead to lots of connections with time, and possibly even romance. As with the weight loss and saving money, small baby steps will eventually tip the scales of romance in your favour.

Success :

A small closing tale: Every morning on the way to work, while walking, I use to pass this pretty woman going the opposite direction. As we seen each other everyday, we would simply say ‘hi’ as we passed or a quick comment on the weather. “Isn’t it cold today” or “it’s too nice to work”. This went on for over several months. Then one day, right out of the blue, she stopped me, and ask if I would like to go for a coffee and a chat? Over ten years later, we are still happily married.

Aim at open goals and take small steps to reach them.


© David Lloyd-Jones 2010


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