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Motivation & Movement
Interested isn't Committed
29th November 2019

COMMITMENT IS WHAT TRANSFORMS A PROMISE INTO REALITY - ABRAHAM LINCOLN

WORDS BY GREG SELLAR

We can get caught up in the emotions of wanting to make change in our lives, so much so, we forget it takes time and commitment to create long-lasting change.

There exists a trend perpetuated by social media and endless motivational quotes suggesting behaviour change is easier than it is. When people are carrying around a lifetime of baggage with them from their past, it’s ridiculous to think we can look at a few quotes or read a book on happiness and expect things to stick long term.

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If you’re doing all of the above expecting your life to be significantly different, you’re in the ‘interested’ in changing for the better category, but the commitment will only be tested over time and when the going gets tough.

INTERESTED ISN'T COMMITTED. Interested is what we have done time and time again over the years, wishing our life was different, being envious of those who seemingly have it all, and falling off the wagon only to write ourselves off as failures.

Interested is saying to yourself, “I could do that” and then doing nothing. It’s short-term, it lacks consistency and it’s where many of us are at, simply because we don’t have the tools to navigate past it.

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left. It’s easy to get fired up when you see an ad, or read something that motivates you in the moment, but sustaining it over a longer period is where most fall. You know by now that with any change process, you will periodically fail.

People who are committed realise that the gap between those failures and the longer-term success they seek isn’t necessarily a massive chasm – it could be only the tiniest of gaps.

To create change, you must be prepared to lay all your cards on the table. Brutal honestly is required to identify what’s necessary to transform. If you don’t feel like you can be brutally honest with yourself, seek help from someone – a coach, a trusted advisor, or someone you trust - to share honestly with them.

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HERE ARE FOUR KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP YOU DRIVE THE CHANGE YOU DESIRE:

What is it you want?
If you just know you don’t want things to be the way they are, you’re destined to remain the same. You have to Future-focus the question, looking towards a better life. Instead of saying what you don’t want from the past, try declaring declare exactly what you DO want in the future.

This is an important question that most people don’t ask of themselves often enough, if ever. We blindly go from one day, week, month and year to the next ‘living’, but really we’re just surviving most of the time. By clearly identifying what you want, at least you can start to formulate first steps.

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How will you get it?
Write definite actions that move you towards your vision. It’s necessary to devise the game plan from point A to B. This creates the roadmap for success. In doing this, we may identify capability and skill deficits that potentially could stop us from achieving. How can we overcome those and close the gaps in our plan? What might we have to do or who might we speak to for help?

Once you have the action plan, you’ll need to prioritise according to the actions and steps that will directly move you forward versus the time-fillers we can often convince ourselves are important but aren’t. Determine what would be the one thing that by doing that, all other subsequent actions that might follow would be exponentially easier. For example, if you want to build a business, you could spend way too much time doing a website, developing marketing materials and getting business cards, but if you don’t pick up the phone to set meetings for potential customers, or spend time networking with those who might be future clients, the rest is meaningless. Start with the top thing that will make everything else underneath it easier when the time is right. What’s your one thing?

What stops you from having it right now?
Are you committed to something that is actually achievable? What’s realistic for you in your current circumstance, economic status and networks. It’s not to say all of these can’t be improved drastically with effort, but you need to start with a realistic goal and work upwards from there.

It’s not very prudent to set a commitment around being an Olympic swimmer if you haven’t been spending hours in the pool each day and you don’t like early mornings.

Choose wisely and ask yourself what has been the thinking or behaviour that has stopped you from already having what you want. Why aren’t you already succeeding in the way you want?

Do you need to surround yourself with different people who support your change journey? The answer to getting it lies in your answer to this question.

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How will you know you’ve got it?
Too often we change the goalposts and diminish our achievements. We strive so hard to get ‘there’, that when we do, many of us can’t celebrate the successes we’ve already achieved and simply move onto the next milestone. It can lead to being very dissatisfied with life as we’re always searching for bigger and better.

Part of your commitment to a goal or vision is to set measurable parameters around achieving them. When you’ve reached those markers, do something to celebrate your success and achievements, otherwise what’s the point? Give yourself permission to celebrate how far you’ve already come. Most of us have relationships and family who love us, jobs that provide shelter and warmth, and whilst we could always seek to better in many aspects in life, we’ve come this far doing a pretty good job.

Define what success looks like for you and enjoy the journey getting there as much as you think you will the end destination. You’ve got plenty to be grateful for right now and the best is yet to come if you’re prepared to put the work and effort in to be committed.

Commitment means being able to make the promise to yourself that you will see things through. It won’t always be easy, but the more you start to witness change in your life, the greater your motivation will be, to do and be more. When you can get some momentum behind you, you’ll love the ease with which more and more success comes your way.

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