So, it’s almost the end of January. How are you doing with your goals for 2016? Have you stuck to them, slipped a little bit, or totally abandoned them?
Every year, so many people struggle to stay committed to their goals. What is it about commitment that is so difficult? I’ve run a lot of online accountability groups, and I’ve seen people struggle and succeed. I have a few thoughts on why committing is a challenge:
1) Commitment happens daily.
You set a goal. Awesome. It probably only took you about 5 minutes to write it down and hang it on your refrigerator. But now, EVERY SINGLE DAY, you have to actually demonstrate commitment to that goal. It’s hard! That’s why I like to post my goals in various places, so that every time I see them, I mentally recommit. I know our lives are busy and sometimes things get in the way. But try this – next time you say to yourself, “I don’t have time for this,” replace it with “I’m not making this a priority right now.” See how that feels. Sometimes it will feel ok (prioritizing healing from an injury? good choice!), but sometimes it will point out that you’re slacking on your commitment.
2) You subconsciously give yourself an “out.”
What will happen if you don’t stay committed? If there are no consequences for backing out on your commitment, you’re less likely to keep it. That’s why things like signing up for a mud run with a friend are such great motivators to keep your commitment strong. There will be consequences if you don’t stay committed – You’ll be out that money you spent to register, your friend will probably be disappointed if you bail – and if you’ve been sharing your journey online, those friends will probably be disappointed too. There’s a saying that goes, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.” Meaning that you can’t allow yourself an out if you want to stay fully committed.
3) You have a perfectionist mindset.
So you had to work late and missed exercising. You had too many drinks at happy hour. Are those small slips going to destroy your commitment? Saying, “Oh I had a donut for breakfast, I’m already on the wrong track. Guess I’ll just eat crappy for the rest of the day” – that’s like saying, “Oh I dropped my phone and cracked the screen a little bit. Guess I’ll stomp on it and break the whole thing!” Doesn’t make sense! It’s ok if you don’t do it PERFECTLY. The hard work you put in isn’t undone by a few mistakes. You can recommit any minute of any day.
I also have to point out – support from others makes commitment SO MUCH EASIER! The best tip I can give you to keep your commitment strong is to connect with people on a similar path. You’ll have someone to support you when you’re not feeling it, someone to commiserate with, someone to celebrate with! If you can’t find someone in your physical life to be your commitment buddy, look online. I’m always running accountability groups, so contact me via Facebook!