Have you ever failed? I sure have. For years, I dipped tobacco. I started when I was in 8th grade because it was the “cool” thing to do. I attempted to stop dipping at least 20 times over the years until I was able to finally kick the habit. In pondering why I had failed so many times, it occurred to me that the reason was mostly due to my lack of commitment to the process of quitting. To be certain, I had all of the usual excuses – stress, timing, peer pressure, etc. At some level, I saw myself as a dipper. Now it is clear that my lack of commitment & limited field of view were my downfall. Stress is an excuse that we all love to latch onto. From my own experience kicking the tobacco habit, I quit the day I left Michigan to move down to South Carolina with my wife to start a business. It was incredibly stressful but I was committed to changing my life and that made all the difference.
Commitment: 1. The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
- An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
Lack of commitment can show up everywhere in our lives – health, home, work, church, friendships, etc.
Here are 5 Ideas to help us follow through on our commitments:
Accountability Partner – Having a person that is willing to hold you accountable to your commitments is a powerful thing. There is also great satisfaction in helping & encouraging another person that is striving to improve their life.
Announce the Commitment – When we proclaim our commitment to those around us, it can have a significant impact on our mindset. As members of the tribe, we naturally don’t want to let the other members down. When we proclaim our intention to the tribe, we are much more inclined to stick with it.
Write it Down – The written word is powerful. It is especially powerful when it is with our own pen. Also, post it in a place that can readily be seen by you and potentially others that will help to remind you of it. Read it before you go to bed and every morning when you wake up.
Read/Study – Whatever challenge or cause we may have committed to, it is highly likely that others have been there, done that, and written the book. Authors are generous in sharing their personal experience with us or consolidating the personal experiences of others. Reading their stories can help give us ideas about how to stay on track.
Don’t Overcommit – Ok…this one I am personally guilty as charged. It is tough to say no – especially when you have an opportunity to make a difference or have a little fun! Overcommitting can lead to resentment. Resentment can lead to regret. Regret leads to unhappiness. The key here is to stay committed to only a few things at a time. Finish one before starting the next. This will help you avoid letting your mouth overload your back.
When we don’t follow through on our work commitments, it will show up in our personal lives as well. Our actions & efforts toward our commitments are a direct reflection of our character.