The word “Commitment” often invokes hesitance, resistance, & fear in so many of us.
I have spoken, listened, and worked with dozens of people who freight when it comes to making a commitment. Most people are rather unconscious of this and instead make excuses for why they are unable to follow through with specific lifestyle changes. They often blame a lack of time, resources, or knowledge; they find mistakes in other people for why they cannot date them (even though they had a really great time together). Many of those people are dissatisfied with how their lives are going, yet they are afraid of committing –and I mean really 100% committing- to something that promises relief, improvement, and happiness.
Because the word “commitment” immediately makes so many of us feel like we are “caught.”
Like we will have to live up to some enormous task or otherwise we are a failure.
The voice of the commitment is more like that scolding 8th grade teacher or that horrifying boss than our own best friend’s. This inevitably leads us to look at commitments as an opportunity to fail or an infringement on our freedom, instead of as an opportunity to grow and rise beyond anything we ever wished for.
In this post, I am going to suggest a new, different, and may-I-say-so-myself REVOLUTIONARY way of looking at commitments.
Are you ready?
Step 1 (hint- this is the revolutionary part!): Realize that your commitment is YOUR commitment. You are the boss and that means that you can formulate and establish the subject, scope, and timeframe of your own commitments.
Step 2: Only make commitments that YOU (not your mom!) actually want to make AND to things that you know will bring you closer to being the person who you truly want to be (remember that sometimes we make commitment for other people like our family and friends. While we might not love every second of those commitments, they do allow us to be the loving friend, parent,… we want to be). So, ask yourself honestly if making this specific commitment reflects your personal values and will bring your closer to leading the life you want? If not, you might as well drop it now. If yes, move on to step 3.
Step 3: When you enter a commitment, honestly think about how much of it you can actually manage before it becomes a drag. Don’t commit to something that you will start to hate because your scope and time expectations are unrealistic. I cannot tell you how many times I have made this mistake and how many times I have seen others make it. For example, if you want to become a yogi, don’t start out with making a commitment to attend five 2-hour Bikram classes per week. Instead, perhaps start out by exploring two different types of yoga by September 1st. That way you give yourself room to play while fueling your explorative instincts; ultimately helping you find that perfect long-term fit.
*** In other words: Set yourself up for success right from the start! ***
Step 4: Keep your long-term objective in mind. Once you decided you want to commit to something –that exercise class, a healthier way of fueling your body, a kinder way of speaking to yourself and your loved ones- write it down on a piece of paper following the outline below. Then place it in an area where you can see it, absorb it, and thus live it daily.
I am committing to __________________________________________________________(be specific!).
I am doing this because____________________________________________________________.
By doing this I will be one step closer to being who I want to be and living the life I dream of living!
This week’s challenge, therefore, is plain & simple:
Be the boss!
Re-construct your commitments so that they can be your friendly allies.
Set yourself up for success right from the start.
Get on the road towards your ideal life.
Until next time, xo
Oh and by the way, if you havn't signed up for my upcoming free conference call Find YOUR way to a Healthy Body and Happy Mind with wellness coach Nadya Andreeva, you can do so here. (Hint: even you cannot make the live event, sign up anyway and we will send you the recording afterwards!)