Monday, December 8, 2008

Word of the year - Discipline

Or as my niece used to say when she was 5, "Didiplus!".

Why is it that the simpler solution is so often the better one? I was introduced to the concept of choosing a 'word of the year' from the blog of a wonderful artist, Tina Mammoser. She in turn got the idea from Christine Kane's Blog. And I find myself sitting here a few days later thinking 'that's a really good idea, I want to share this'.

I urge you to check out both of their blogs - they are full of interesting material! But to summarize for those of you who's clicker-finger is broken.. the idea is to choose a single word that will be your 'guiding light' for the year. Rather than the typical list of New Year's resolutions (which everyone knows are forgotten by spring) this is a way to address all those 'I should's that seem to come up this time of year. But the approach is not to list what you should do on the surface - but try to get to the heart of it.

So what would my usual "New Years" list consist of this year?
- More regular exercise
- Less time frittered away on the internet
- Set and stick to a daily schedule
- Set and fulfil goals with my art
- Lose weight
- Keep up on the housecleaning

That's a reasonable list. I'm sure many people have some of those items on their list. I hold absolutely no illusions that I'll actually do these things any more than I already am - which is why I don't officially make a New Year's Resolution list.. what's the point?

So I read Christine's blog and no one word jumped out at me (I liked Tina's idea of 'Structure' but didn't want to be a copycat.. but also, although disorganization is is one of my issues it's not the heart of the problem - in some areas I'm extremely structured and organized). So I scrolled down to where she had the list - and I had read through maybe ten words before 'Discipline' popped into my head. I read further and sure enough it was in the list (not that your word has to be in the list - but it made me feel better about choosing it).

So why discipline?
First - positive reinforcement. I have been working very hard the past 3 months on developing business and marketing plans and really applying myself to my art. In short, being disciplined. And I feel great about it - I feel in control, and I can see the improvements in my art already.

Second - negative consequences. Look at my list above.

1. More regular exercise. Why don't I? I love getting outside, I feel great when I do, we live in the middle of the freakin' mountains! It's just that I need to respond to this post, and I'd rather be painting, and it's damp out there.... if I implemented a little discipline I'd get over all of those tiny impediments and go do what my body longs for. And you know what? I'd feel great!

2. Less time frittered away on the internet. (She says as she blogs). That is completely a choice. In fact when I pull myself away from the computer I not only get more 'real life' things done but I approach the internet with a bit of a plan... I need to do this, and this, and this.. and lolcats will just have to wait today (then invariably someone sends me the funniest lolcats so I have gotten more done *and* not had to slog through the cute-but-not-that-funny ones). It just makes sense.

3. Set and stick to a daily schedule. This seems great on the surface - with my current status of being a "budding entrepreneur" (nice spin on that eh?) that setting a schedule would be a good thing. But when I thought about this a little further I realized that on days that don't go 'as scheduled' but that I get a tonne of stuff done, I feel great. Some days I check everything off my list but I still feel at loose ends. It's not the lack of structure specifically that bothers me - it's when I reach the end of the day and think 'I could have gotten so much more done if I'd just not (insert time waster here)'. Apply discipline and *poof* - I don't dally on things that are really unimportant and I get off my butt and get done the things I need to do. I feel good at the end of the day.

I could go on, but I'm sure you see the point.

(er.. Discipline!)

I urge everyone reading this to read Christine's blog and think about your own Word for 2009.

I'd love to hear what word you choose! Leave it in the 'comments' section below!


Tina Mammoser said...

Yeah for discipline! Glad my post inspired you, though I feel slightly guilty about piggy-backing off Christine's idea. But I'm a spur of the moment kinda gal so had to blog about it then and there.

The question is: if you have discipline, will you have an artist's naughty step for when you misbehave? ;)

Adriana Meiss said...

Thanks for the link. What a great idea. I sure need discipline too, but will have to look at that list again to chose the right word for me.

kaslkaos said...

My word is 'illuminate'. Obviously, this is what art can do, but also a desire to set an example. It's not that I think I set a good example for how to live, but it's something to strive for. When looking for goals why not look up at the stars?

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam...interesting blog entry. I will diffidently give this some thought and check out Tina's blog. Love your artwork.

Cat-in-a-Box said...

Whoo - holidays! I haven't checked back on this post for awhile!

Tina - I think if I misbehave there will have to be a public flogging!

Adriana - I hope you come back and let us know what word you choose!

Ingrid - Illuminate! That's a fabulous goal (I think you started with your Christmas tree and post!!)

Scott - Thanks! I hope you find your word! I think it's such a great idea!