When I led canoe trips for a living, one of the first things we taught is that you don't need to put that much pressure in your strokes to change the direction you're going. A little does a lot. And the same thing is true for goals.

Have you made a resolution or goal for this new year? Most resolutions fail because they have too many rules for success. Here's a classic: to lose weight you need to exercise five times or more per week, stop eating carbs after lunch, cut out cheese and saturated fats, drink lots of water, don't drink caffeine, chocolate is out, only one free meal per week, don't eat any starches, avoid white foods, avoid processed foods, avoid non-organic foods, avoid animal products, and the list goes on and on.

There's nothing inherently wrong with these suggestions, and indeed if you DID follow through on all the rules no doubt you'd drop the extra bubble wrap.

But if you need to reverse everything you are currently doing just to comply, then it will feel like liposuction on your whole life, or backpaddling upstream with a toothpick.

And that's plain 'ugh'.

And unnecessary.

You don't need to apply that much pressure when you're paddling a boat to change its direction.

Making one small change is often enough to send you on the path you desire.

This is what I call the "Just One Thing" Principle. It's about underwhelm instead of overwhelm. It's about making promises that you can keep. It's about proving your own personal power.

So this is what my Mum and I did. After a week of Christmas indulgences (cookies, wine, trifle, croissants, cheese, chocolate, and thankfully no trainer to report to) we needed to get nutrition and fitness back on track. Trying to get off the indulgence bandwagon ain't easy, as all my fellow cookie monsters will tell you. So we did step one - just one thing - and implemented the 2 litres (2 quarts) of water per day program. That's it. Just focused on getting the water back up there to the right amount. We each had a jug which showed how much we'd drunk that day.

The cravings dropped away, I felt healthier and more vigorous, the dark rings under my eyes disappeared.

I felt good. And when you feel good, you want more feel good. Like attracts like, right? So I started exercising again. THAT felt good too. And this led me to healthier lighter meals. THAT felt good. And this steered me to meditation and creativity. And THAT felt good.

Just one thing. That's it. Just one thing that feels good. That's all you need to steer your boat in the right direction. [Big Tip here: it's got to be something that actually FEELS GOOD, not something that is 'good for you'. The latter is an obligation and that will act like an anchor instead of a rudder in your flow).

Coach's Challenge: What one thing are you going to pick this week that feels good? Just one thing!

Author's Bio: 

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Author Zoe Routh works with women in business to enhance their personal effectiveness and leadership capacity for global effect. For free tips on how to become a more effective leader that will save you time, money, energy, and stress, go to http://www.innercompass.com.au