The big idea here is that the commitments you make to yourself and to others are not made for the days when you’re feeling strong and clear and in alignment with your full potential.
Commitments are made for the days when you're tired, frustrated, distracted, stressed or most apt to find an excuse for why you can't dig deep and show up at your best.
When I make a commitment to myself, I typically do so from a place of strength, optimism and a deep sense of purpose. I make these solid commitments to myself when I am crystal clear about what’s necessary for attaining my highest ideals and goals.
When I make commitments to others, I do so from that same place of clarity about how to be of service to a person, how to strengthen a relationship, how to best support my team or a particular situation.
Commitments - The Ultimate Time Machine - When I’m not feeling inspired to follow through on what I know is the right thing to do, I can go back in time and tap into my own wisdom from when I was thinking and feeling and living as my most clear and determined self. What commitments did that wise person make?
There’s a second part to this big idea: 95% is a bitch; 100% is a breeze.
When a commitment is made with the general intent to mostly follow through on it, then each and every day becomes a new process of weighing options and deciding if this is the moment that you can justify not following through? Is today the day that you find an excuse?
What an expense of energy and what a perfect recipe for falling back into non-supportive habits and losing sight of the commitment altogether. 95% commitment becomes 75% then 50% and then…...
With 100% commitment, no exceptions, done deal, not negotiable - the decision is made. That’s it! You don’t have to revisit the question at hand.
For ultimate success - Make your commitments reasonable and manageable.
I’ll share with you two examples.
Commitments help break non-supportive habits - Many years ago I got into the habit of smoking. Not regularly, but often enough to be a health concern and to negatively impact my life. I “quit” many times. As Mark Twain once said “Quitting smoking is easy - I’ve done it hundreds of times!”
The problem was that 4 months later I’d be at a party justifying to myself that I could have ‘one’ cigarette because I was no longer a smoker, I had quit. Twisted logic, I know, but that’s how justifications work. One cigarette would become two and then that became a pack I bought on the way home from the party and you can imagine the rest.
What finally did it for me was this promise I made to myself; “I will never have another cigarette for the rest of my life.”
Wow, talk about a 100% commitment!
So, when I was in a situation where I could possibly justify having “just one” cigarette, I went back in time and could not deny the wisdom of the promise to “Never” have another cigarette. You see 100% commitments sound different than general commitments. They are specific and they are undeniable.
Even in my weakest moments, the decision to not give in to my desire was a breeze. Thank you “strong, clear committed self from way back when!
Commitments help strengthen supportive behaviors - The final example I’ll share here is that 30 days ago I made a commitment to meditate for an hour each day for one month. I also made a commitment to exercise in one form or another 5 days a week for that same month. Remember, make your commitments reasonable and manageable!
However, the truth is that I didn’t feel like it every day. But if I went by the “feel” standard of decision making, then I surely would have found myself falling short of my goals.
So, each day I listened to the ‘me’ who made the specific 100% commitment for dedicated self care from a place of clarity and purpose; that self who had a compelling vision of the future and knew that these two aspects of my health are vital to attaining my goals and reaching my highest ideals.
- What is at least one reasonable and manageable 100% commitment that you are willing and able to make to yourself?
- What is at least one reasonable and manageable 100% commitment that you are willing and able to make to others?
- What are some past commitments that need to be revisited and reworked?
- How would today be different if you were to go back in time and listen to yourself from when you were in a state of perfect knowing about what is clearly the right thing to do?