We are less than four months from finishing this year. While at the start of the year we had great resolutions or goals this would be a good time to take a strategic time out. We can really assess whether we are on track or need to make some course corrections. We also want to make sure this excitement that we have at the start of the year doesn’t just last for two months but lasts for the entire year. So how do you keep this excitement going for a long time? To me the answer is one word which is discipline. It is discipline that will keep you going for the long haul and continue to keep your resolutions and goals in focus. This quote is great “Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” Roy L. Smith
Creating a vision for our lives will propel us through any loss of momentum. The other way we can reinvigorate ourselves is by clarifying our mission. All this takes time but it is worth working in a journal on this. Of course it is not easy to create this but if we do then the path towards goals and resolutions become effortless. Research has shown that willpower never lasts and only thing that lasts is to create a personally exciting vision for our lives.
Here I expand the word discipline and this will keep us on target to continue the momentum in 2019. Here are the 10 ways to stay disciplined in 2019 for the rest of the year.
Dedication – You need to be dedicated to whatever goals you have set for yourself. Write down what benefits you will get by achieving your goals. This will propel you and also keep you energized for the long haul. Dedicate yourself to your work and again write down all the good things about whatever you do for a living. Dedication to your life is the true barometer of what you will achieve in 2019. Gratitude is the starting point of dedication. We cannot start with a feeling of lack and it is better to start with a mindset of abundance. So re calibrate your goals and write it again at this stage of the year based on the progress made thus far.
Inspiration – Inspiration is the fuel you need to accomplish all your goals. Decide on things that keep your inspired. It may be reading a motivational book, for others it may be when you spend time with people who are inspiring, or it may be playing the sport you enjoy. Whatever it is make sure you stay inspired and it is something that has to be planned. When you are inspired it is easier to follow through with discipline. Schedule some form of inspiration every week. The other method I have found useful is to jot down all your accomplishments for this year and your life thus far. Whenever you feel down at any time look back at how far you have come. It will keep you inspired.
Success – This is a very important step to take. You have to define what success means for you not what some bestseller says. Your goal has to be your own otherwise it is tough to be disciplined. What do you want to achieve by the end of 2019 or to put it another way what would 2019 look like if you achieved what you wanted to. Again this definition is critical to keep the momentum going and it has to be truly your own. It also requires discipline not to deviate from your own definition of success.
Count your blessings – The problem with resolutions is we are trying to want something we don’t have or removing something unpleasant. This sometimes can result in us feeling a little inadequate when we don’t follow through. I would suggest count your blessings instead. Irrespective of whether you stick to your resolutions or not you already have a lot to be thankful for in your life. This will ensure that any setbacks will not derail you completely. Your happiness cannot be dependent on a goal or resolution.
Initiative – You need to have a bias for action to achieve all you want in 2019. Personal initiative is a key success quality and you need to take action towards fulfilling your vision. For example if you want to learn a subject get all the resources needed to become an expert on that and take the necessary action to put it into practice. If you want to lose weight exercising more and eating healthier is the best long term option.
Perseverance – The one thing that is certain in our lives is roadblocks on the way to our goals. As the saying goes when the going gets tough the tough get going. Never give up and always keep the prize in mind. Keep your long term vision always in focus while you encounter short term setbacks. Never give up on your vision. Perseverance is truly the winner’s edge. Yo-Yo Ma in one of the interviews on Harvard Business Review said “So, basically, to be successful, you actually have to welcome the totally unexpected.” So we should always be prepared for unexpected events and flexibility is the key to persevere. Another example is Gail Devers who was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in 1990 and underwent radioactive treatment which did not go well. She could barely walk and had to crawl. A doctor even considered amputating her feet. However Devers recovered after the radioactive treatment was stopped and unbelievably started training. She won a silver medal in the 100 m hurdles during the 1991 World Championships. This is truly a great example of perseverance.
Love your life – You need to love your life to get the most out of yourself. Forget time management because if you truly love and value your life you will automatically manage yourself better. Get excited about your life and its possibilities. It is a great opportunity to be alive in our current abundant world. Develop an abundance mindset as there is enough credit to go around. You can love your life in spite of your achievements. This detachment will actually help you achieve your goals faster as you are not focusing only on the outcome.
Imagination – Napoleon said imagination rules the world. Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Develop your creativity by capturing all the ideas you get and then take action towards those ideas. Another way to unleash creativity is to spend some time alone and ask the big questions of life. Exercise is also known to enhance creativity and stroke your imagination to greater heights. Keep track of all your goals in your journal.
Now – You have only the present moment so don’t spend time looking at the past where you may not have had what you wanted. We have to completely let go of the past to move forward and concentrate on the present moment. Have a future vision but ensure you take daily action towards the vision you have for 2019. It is now or never. You can achieve all your goals only if you take action now. As John Maxwell says “You cannot change your life unless you change something you do daily.” Your daily agenda is the key to your success in 2019.
Set the example – Finally think of yourself as the example that everyone has to follow. This will put internal and external pressure to follow through on your commitment. For example we all know exercise is good for us but follow through is the key. Imagine you are setting the example for your family and work out daily. Get up earlier if you need to. This is the best way to develop the discipline muscle. If you want to exercise more make this goal public which will put more pressure to achieve and you are more likely to follow through.
There you have it the 10 keys to stay disciplined throughout the year. Take one goal or resolution from your list and just focus on that one. Once you have established that as a habit you can move to the next resolution or goal. Having too many goals or resolutions can wear us down. We can make 2019 a year we won’t forget.
Thanks for reading this post. The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.