Commitment is defined as 'the state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action.' When must decide to take action or we fail to act - the outcome is enivitable to produce a specific result
Show Up. Stand Up. Step Up.
You show up when you make a commitment.
You stand up when you refuse to let yourself (and your excuses) stand in your way from taking the first step.
You step up when you level up and become the person who overcomes the obstacles that would otherwise stop you.
What am I committed to today? Whats the one thing that matters more than anything else? What is most significant? What you commit to TODAY is where will make an impact.
Overcommitting doesn't help. If you don't commit to one thing, you can't commit to anything.
When others ask for help, weigh the impact on existing commitments. It's unfair to commit to taking on more than you can handle. But you can handle more when you truly commit yourself and allocate the time and space necessary.
This is key since integrity is one of your core values.
What if making a commitment was as easy as hitting the save button?
AuthorDock: Punchlists, milestones, and events... I'm adding a label called 'Commit' and once selected, you can add a date and resource.
Step 1 is to prioritize your commitments. They are not all weighted equally. A simple way to determine the level of action we take is to use the Must, Should, Could spectrum.
In the next 24 hours, what must you do? What can should you do (but can wait)? What could you do (once you complete your musts)?
Sidebar: When you let your could's & should's take priority over your must's, you likley feel time constrained. When you discern your true must's - you make time work for you, you must let them take precedence.
What outcome are you committed to? By when? No deadline = no sense of urgency. We do what we commit to. If you value integrity as highly as I do, you will stick with your commits until they are complete. Few things are as unnerving to me as unmet commitments.
At what point to could's, should's, or must do's become can't's?
When we hit an obstacle...
Do we let our could's become cant's? Often we do.
Do we let our should's become can'ts? We might.
Do we let our must's become can'ts? Never.
Or when our time expires...?
Commitment is about overcome obstacles.
What triggers commitment?
There is an endless list of things we could do. And plenty more we should do. But the list of things we must do is what matters. What's significant is what matters.
Who initiates a commitment?
I recently stumbled on the book Commit by Linda Formichelli. It provides many different strategies to amp up your level of commitment through specific actions you are actually willing to take. Easing your way out of a problem doesn't always work, sometimes you have to take a bold (possibly painful) leap of faith.
Much of the fear of failure stems from our adversity to pain. Jeff Goins exposes a key distinction in The Art of Work that the key isn't to focus on happiness itself, but rather finding a reason to be happy in the first place. It's the why that gives meaning, and meaning is the prime driver of action. When we know why we are doing something, it's easier to do what matters.
But what really resonated with me after reading his books was this:
When the fear of not trying something is stronger than the fear of failing at it, you'll find the motivation to act.
I made a list of what I'm committed to, this way, when I question whether or not I should be doing something I'm doing, I just check the list. If it's own it, I can do it without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else.
What are you committed to?
All I need to do is commit one full hour to an important project, and I will feel much better. If I commit one full-day to each project (or client), imagine how much I'd get done in 30 days!
What one idea, followed through, could be a game changer?
Putting this into action, I add an appointment to my calendar each day labeled COMMIT: [ACTION] and block out the time (a minimum of 30 minutes).
To begin strengthen your commit muscle, start with small commits. The main criteria being that it's what you start that matters rather than what you finish. Additionally, it needs to be something that is 100% within your power. Here's the criteria I use:
It's important you take a break and do something you enjoy after you've completed your commit for the day. Positive reinforcement will cause you to get fired up for your next commit!
Find what brings you joy and do that.
This is vital! Doing the work will teach you what you need to know and where you need to adjust to stick to your commits. It's great to have a system, but it's better to implement what you know and test your ideas out.
Write it down and stick to it - no excuses!