At only 25 inches long, I wasn't entirely surprised when it barely reached round both sides of my torso! For me it was better emplyed for examining neck, biceps and such like, but it did provoke a discussion about what was important. In the midst of this we started to wonder about the value of a stretchy measuring tape. If we want to be a 25 inch waist, how brilliant would it be if we had a device that would unfailingly peg us to that standard, particularly in the post-Christmas expansion phase that we are about to embark on. One of my friends posted a status that said, "stomach now waiting to be filled repeatedly to well past its normal 'full' limit over the next few days" and I'm sure he's not alone in thinking like that. I very much doubt though that he will be joining the ranks of those concerned about the consequences.
I started to wonder how often we try to fool ourselves into thinking we have met the standard by simply changing the measurement to match where we have got to - stretching the tape to fit round us no matter how many mince pies it needs to girdle.
Whilst it would be great to know we will meet our targets, if we can only do it by cheating then it devalues our efforts entirely. A stretchy measuring tape might sell well to the self-deluded of our nation but I would far rather help folks to really get where they want to be.
So I trust that as you sit down over the Christmas period and recognise your achievements for the past year, both large and small, that you will do so with an air of celebration for something measurable and that you will set realistic goals for 2012. Enjoy what time you have to pause and reflect and I wish you all a very happy Christmas!