Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fishing for new ways to meet old goals

I hate anchovies. I just wanted to get that out in the open so there is no confusion. So why on earth would I be eating those disgusting little aphids or whatever genus they sprang from?

I guess I should explain, so let me start from the beginning.  I am a hopeless self-help addict. I’ve read literally thousands of self-help books, articles, Web sites and other resources. All this reading/research was geared toward helping me to work smarter, get healthier and become a better guitar player. I worked on becoming a better writer, better husband, son and earthling.

Some books are far superior to others, but I normally find a nugget of wisdom in almost every thing I read. In 2007, I read a book on how to set goals successfully and how to attain them. That caught my eye, because I’ve written goals down in my journal for years only to read through them on Dec. 31 the following year and kick myself for missing too many important goals.

The book I read suggested that you write down a goal that you would like to achieve and add a penalty for not achieving the goal.

That sounded like a great idea for 2008. I’ve wanted to lose 20 pounds forever, so I promised myself on New Years Eve 2007, that if I didn’t lose 20 pounds in 2008 that I would eat an anchovy.

I know some of you may say, well what kind of penalty is eating an anchovy? Well as mentioned right off the bat, I HATE ANCHOVIES. I’d rather donate a kidney than eat an anchovy.

I dug the hole a little deeper when I shared the hair-brained goal setting technique with Jilda. She was all ears and made a mental note to remind me in case my memory got a little fuzzier toward the end of the year.

I checked a few diet books out of the library in January and upped my exercise the first few months of the year and even went so far as to physically get up and change the channel on the TV instead of using the remote control. I was sure that would be just the ticket.

But in the words of Bob Dylan, “Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast,” so by the beginning of football season, I was beginning to fret when I stepped on the scales and they seemed to be going in the wrong direction.

Jilda asked me if I preferred the extra fuzzy anchovies or the regular kind. My stomach lurched involuntarily. I struggled through the holidays and gained four pounds, but the bottom line is, I didn’t lose any weight. As a result, I found myself sitting at my table on New Years Eve staring at an unopened tin of disgusting little hairy fish.

I thought about wimping out, but I knew that path would be rocky because I knew my wife would not have forgotten. So at the stroke of midnight, I popped the top on the tin and wolfed down a few. I can promise you, it was not a high point in my life.

So this year, I ditched the penalty clause in pursuit of my goals, and simply put more focus on the ones that were truly important. I pushed away from the table, drank more water, stuck to an exercise plan and as a result, I lost my 20 pounds.

I hope 2010 is the year you all reach your goals.

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