What is it about the beginning of the year that makes us feel so renewed? The feeling of being given an opportunity to begin again, to put the past in the past and move forward, is extremely seductive. We are drawn in time and time again to making resolutions and setting goals and making decisions for the new year ahead. And these are all valuable processes. But what makes us, three days in, behave exactly as we had been at the end of the previous year, and mentally abandon all those great ideas we’ve just had? And most importantly, what can help us keep the motivation going?
There is a term that describes the perfect process. It is used very little in our modern age of quick fixes and always passing the buck, but there really is no replacement for it. It is called….SELF-DISCIPLINE. This is a concept that is drummed into us at school, and yet, as adults, for many of us it’s the thing we lack the most. All the personal development books say it though. No amount of goal setting or visualisation or putting together vision boards can help you unless you are disciplined about following the process. Like playing the piano – progress is never made by looking at the instrument sitting in the corner and wishing you could play that piece of music you heard on the radio. Positive progress is only made by sitting there on a regular basis, and learning by baby steps first. So if you really want to be successful in 2011, you have to do more than set a goal and stick a picture on a boad. You have to consciously and regularly review your lists, and keep track of the progress you make.
So best of luck for 2011 – and remember that discipline is your friend!