In homes up and down the country people are making resolutions and the inhabitants of Chingford, Woodford and Loughton are no exception. But “people often set themselves up to fail by setting themselves impossibly ambitious targets,” says one leading London therapist Shomit Mitter who trains sportsmen to be in the zone.
“In fact, it is the accumulation of tiny bits of progress that gradually coalesce to generate a true sense of achievement” Mitter point out, citing Sir Dave Brailsford, the cycling trainer, and his “marginal gains” theory. As Mitter sees it, marginal gains apply not just in the world of elite sport but in the fabric of our everyday lives. He says. “Positive change is really about tiny improvements which, when put together, add up to the difference between winning and losing,”
The really good thing about this is that there is nothing to ban yourself from it is all about introducing small pleasures and making tiny positive adjustments. Mitter suggests an exercise he calls “the three legs of the stool”, which involves answering three questions positively at the end of the day: “What did I do for my body,” “What did I do for my mind?” and “What did I do for my soul?”
“For your mind, instead of trying to learn a new language or beginning to play a musical instrument – both far more stressful undertakings than people realise – you might spend 10 minutes a day on a brain training app like Peak,” suggests Mitter. “And, for your soul, instead of booking an expensive retreat to learn things that most people forget days after getting home, perhaps focus on doing one pleasurable thing with every day, like cooking a meal instead of sticking something frozen in the oven.”