It’s the time of year where every one’s talking about their New Year’s resolutions. Everyone promises that in the New Year they’re going to run more often, read more books, or go on more vacations to far off lands.
I was thinking about what I resolved to do last year and it got me thinking about the bigger issues around my resolutions, as well as everyone else’s… discipline.
Discipline is what you need to take something from a resolution that lasts a few weeks and that you’ve stopped feeling guilty about by February and turn that resolution into something that’s actually part of your lifestyle.
I’ll dive into my actual resolutions in another post but I want to work on my discipline in a few different areas like writing, reading, and exercise.
So… what’s the answer?
Well I’ve come up with three tips that have helped me as I’ve tackled other challenges in my life.
Set Measureable & Manageable Goals
It’s impossible to hold yourself accountable to something that you can’t obtain or that you can’t tell when you’ve obtained it. You need to set goals that are possible and you need to know when you’re finished.
You Need a Community
You’re not going to be able to accomplish your goals by yourself. You really can’t do much of anything by yourself. You’re always going to be living your life within the context of a greater community. So… find a few trusted friends or even use your social network of choice (and all your friends on it) and have them keep you accountable. This has made all the difference in the world with my experience with running.
You Need a System
You need some way to track your progress with your goal. It doesn’t need to be super elaborate. It’s actually probably a lot better when it’s simple. You just need some way of writing down what you’ve been doing and how it’s getting closer to your goal.
So… these are just some tips that I’ve learned. What have you learned that’s helped you stay disciplined when you have a task at hand?
One thought on “Discipline in the New Year…”
George Will had a less-practical, more-philosophical column
on the subject:
Community point is good. Practical goals that I can work on during
the “gaps” of my day (for example, long metro rides) are good for