At the launch of 2017 my wife and I chose a focus word for the new year. Our friends Olive and Tim modelled this practice and we thought it would be a good idea to emulate it.
Anne’s word was stillness. My word was discipline. Why did I choose discipline as my focus word? One of the reasons was that I tend to procrastinate. I demonstrated a proclivity to postpone, delay and defer. To be perfectly blunt though those words are kind.
A better word that fits is lazy. I have had a tendency to be lazy around the things that were not a priority; at least in my own mind. Even though I knew this, I really did not make an intentional and active effort to improve on my discipline.
Looking back over the year, I have made progress. I am not perfect, yet I am now more aware of my tendency to procrastinate. I feel that now I am able to catch myself and for the most part follow through on doing the things that previously were not a priority.
A strategy that has been very helpful is that when I know I have to do something, or that I have been asked to do something, I do it right away. I don’t delay because if I do, I will probably not get to it. That has helped.
I have learned that this strategy works. Tackling those things I don’t feel like doing right away actually helps me to get to the things I really want to do. It has taken me a long time to figure this out. Also, because I am more attune to being more disciplined, I have become more proactive and have actually completed tasks and projects without being asked.
One of the areas that I have particularly benefitted in is in making sure that I am disciplined in getting exercise. In the past few years, my procrastination has directly affected my fitness and health. My lack of discipline in getting regular exercise had the potential to cause problems with my health.
Fortunately, with my wife’s encouragement I have made a concerted effort to increase my exercise. I play soccer twice a week and walk with my wife at least three to four times during the week. Tackling procrastination around exercise has had a definite benefit. I am in better shape, I feel better and instead of being reluctant or find excuses to not exercise, I participate willingly.
I know that I will have to continue to be mindful of being disciplined. I can be lazy like some and I do tend to procrastinate. But I am trying.
So as the 2018 approaches I am starting to think about what my focus word will be. I am determined to not put it off.