The turn of the calendar year creates new ideas and excitement about how we can become a better version of ourselves. Companies set new goals and people make New Year resolutions to set goals for financial wealth, health, happiness, and spirituality.
Did you ever wonder why people set a date into the future like January 1st to begin doing what they want for themselves? For example, “I will begin walking each morning for 30 minutes come January 1st”, or “In the new year, I will begin eating the way that I know I need to eat to maintain better health”. Why do we decide to make a change in our lives, but put it off to a later date, knowing full well that it is in our best interest to start immediately?
The truth is that change is uncomfortable. Passing on the Christmas baking and seasonal treats takes will power, self-discipline, and the ability to communicate our intentions with others so that they can support us. Perhaps that is one reason why we wait until the turn of the New Year to take action on the changes we wish to make. Perhaps it is also because we procrastinate.
Procrastination means worrying about the things that you are not getting done. If you are not worried about it, then you are not procrastinating. Fear, doubt and procrastination cause us to delay acting on things. Would you agree that we just need some self-discipline?
There are strong ties between self-discipline, self-control, and happiness, but most people don’t want discipline. For example, North Americans spend over three hundred billion dollars per year on diet products1, but the only diet that most people need is a little bit of discipline. Yet in an effort to avoid discipline, many people buy the gadget that makes them think that owning it gives them some shortcut to get the results they are looking for. Just watch the TV channels selling food, diet and health products as band-aid solutions for better health; presenting get rich quick techniques; or offering 1-900 numbers as cures for your relationship woes… (don’t get me started)
We cannot be happy without discipline, nor can our careers and organizations be successful without discipline. If you have been putting things off that you know you need to do, today is the day to take action and make a plan to ensure that the tasks get done regularly.
What will you do to make 2009 your best year ever?
p.s. When you reach your goal, please write to me and let me know because ……. I care about YOU.
Penny Tremblay, ACG,CL
Tremblay Leadership Center