“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.”
~Sammy Davis Jr.
Commitment is easy. I know what you’re thinking: this statement is a bunch of bologna. If commitment was easy, then why is so it so hard for ninety five percent of people to accomplish their goals? If commitment was easy, then why do I need you here, trying to convince me of the fact? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The truth is that commitment isn’t the hard part. It’s the steps before the commitment that are most difficult. And the problem is that often people are skipping these steps, going right to their list of things they want to get done. It’s all about action, implementation, go, go, go!
They want to lose weight, spend more time with their kids, write that book, start a business, etc. But what happens? That spark burns out just as fast as it was lit. What was once a dream is shot down by the simplest of obstacles. And thought the dream is still a mere coal in the fire, the happenstance of everyday life keeps it from lighting a fire it so longs to create.
So we have to ask, why is commitment so difficult, and what if we could simplify the formula to make it, dare I say, easier?
The key to this isn’t the goal itself. Rather, it is restructuring the foundation of the intention itself to be stronger and clearer. In this way, we are not avoiding resistance, but better able to handle resistance when it comes. And resistance will come, from both the inside and outside as any worthwhile goal will have with it a personalized set of challenges. But when that foundation is strong, what was once a paper sign in a windstorm is a brick building against a light breeze.
Pillar number one: Why do I want it?
The why behind our goals is perhaps more important than the goal itself. Our why speaks to our values, what we care about most in the world, and to the bigger picture we see for our lives. In knowing the why for our intentions, we give those intentions meaning. And by giving them meaning, we give them power. Imagine that every why you have for your goal is a root. The stronger your whys, and the more whys you have, the stronger your roots.
The best way to do this is to visualize these roots by mapping it out. Grab a piece of paper (or the suggested long term utility, a notebook) and jot down the habits or commitments you’ve been meaning to implement, but have fallen by the wayside. Once you’ve spent about ten minutes doing this, feel free to organize your list into categories such as Fitness/Health, Relationships, Fun, or Financial. Depending on your lifestyle, these categories help you organize your intentions. When you’ve finished doing this, organize everything into categories. Find out what your time period is for each goal. I would suggest breaking it up into one, three, and five year periods. By doing this, you are zooming in your focus to know what goals you can set out on first.
If you don’t know why, that’s great too! Perhaps you haven’t thought about it yet. Most people haven’t. The important thing is to acknowledge the importance of this step and to take time to think about it. Establish your roots and get grounded in what you want.
Stay tuned for the June Issue where I will discuss The Second Pillar of Commitment: The Power of Scheduling.
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