04 Jan Ditch the resolutions and start making life better
It’s that time again when almost everyone is half a stone heavier from litres of liquor and mountains of mince pies.
No doubt most of the festive stodge is now consumed, but you can bet well into 2013 there will still be reminders of your gorging – a few of those horrible Quality Street toffees and maybe half a block of stilton stinking out the fridge.
Anyhow, real life has recommenced and now the talk is about New Year’s resolutions.
Well I have one resolution, which if you stick to it will make you happier…… don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
I’ve never made them and that generally makes me feel much happier by about the 15th January when everyone else has broken theirs.
My beef with New Year’s Resolutions is most people who make them are seldom talking turkey , please excuse two festive meet dishes in one pun.
These annual resolution rituals are almost always debilitating to those who set them. What they do is set up unrealistic goals, which based on their past habits they can’t maintain, and habits have an almightily strong hold on us.
If you don’t believe me ask anyone gripped by smoking. They know it’s not good for them, but they just can’t help themselves.
What about those wanting to lose weight too. I put myself amongst them this year. On New Year’s Day I weighed in at the bottom range for a heavyweight boxer for the first time in my life (that’s 14st 4lb).
However, I am comfortable about this, despite slipping slightly into the overweight category for my 6ft 1 frame. I know I will shift the excess weight naturally just like I do every January. It won’t be by munching lettuce leafs and drinking only water, but by eating healthily again and doing some exercise, which I’ve neglected this past month.
Far from being debilitated by the fact I’m now able to be a contender on the scales only for one of the many heavyweight belts, I’ll improve my waistline and my life by the Slight Edge.
The Slight Edge is what we all live by and what drives nature. It is also a very short and easy book to read by Jeff Olson. In it he explains how repetitions of good or bad habits repeated over time will lead to success or failure.
To give an example take two friends who when they are 18 years old weigh the same, but then one spends 30 years walking most days, eating healthily and playing sport. His pal gets a lust for fast food and devotes his days to watching TV.
At 48 one of them will be happy, look years younger than he is and the other will no doubt have low self-esteem and when the emergency services arrive to lift him out of his bed a crane and a glazing company will be needed.
In this book Jeff Olson shows how we can all make tiny little adjustments to get us on the right track in life. For instance how reading 10 pages of a good book a day, about 20 mins, will mean you have read about a dozen life-transforming books a year.
Also, in this want it all now age, The Slight Edge shows how patience and belief in a worth process will get you to your goals in a sustainable way.
So I hope this has explained why you too should resolve yourself to ditch resolutions and instead set realistic small targets. It’s amazing where the tiny steps can take you.