It’s all too easy for people to say they are committed 110% or 1000% to see something through to conclusion, it’s often a different matter actually executing on that promise. For a start you can’t give more than 100%, so let’s get that out of the way first. We all know the promise of giving it 1000% is designed to communicate your determination to see whatever it is through, but it’s ridiculous, so please don’t do it, you’re likely to diminish any credibility you might otherwise have.
So being committed to achieving a goal, or getting a certain result is necessary if you’re going to succeed, but what does it involve?
Commitment consists of dedication, determination, enthusiasm, purposefulness, passion, desire, dedication and focus, it also requires some level of accountability.
If you’re purposeful, you have some sort of goal in mind, something you want to achieve. You’re focused on the attainment of that goal, no matter what. It’s like having a burning desire that won’t go away. It’s not having something you’d rather like to do, if the opportunity presented itself, or something you would rather, kind of like to do. If you’re wishy washy about your goal, you aren’t going to have the necessary endurance to apply yourself anywhere near enough to make it a reality.
Purposefulness is better if your purpose is meaningful to you. If you perceive it to be important, a cause that’s bigger than yourself, that will make a difference to other people or society at large. These are examples of the usual inspirational purposes that many people aspire to, and why not, they show you are making a noticeable contribution, even leaving a legacy, and that’s no bad thing. However purpose doesn’t have to be so big and meaningful, it can be a matter of getting out of debt, or making enough money for your next vacation, as long as it means something to you, and you really want it, that’s what counts.
Purposefulness has two sides, enthusiasm and determination.
When the going is tough, when you lack the motivation, or inspiration to take effective action, when you come face to face with a seemingly impassable road block, or a glass ceiling that’s difficult to break through, what you need at those times, is determination. You need a can-do attitude, you need grit and resilience, and it helps if you have a burning purpose behind you.
If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, you’re likely to prematurely throw in the towel at the first sign of difficulty. It will be just too hard to overcome and too easy to make up excuses why it’s not worth the effort, discomfort, or trouble. You’ll have no staying power, when you need it most.
The other face of purposefulness, is enthusiasm
Enthusiasm should exist when the road is clear, and the going is good. If you can’t enjoy those moments of flow, you’re doing something incongruent with who you are and your deeper self. If you don’t feel excited, joyful, engrossed when you think about your purpose than it isn’t a purpose you really believe in. Would you do it for no monetary gain? Would you do it just for the joy of doing it? If you answer a resounding yes to these two questions, you’re on the right path.
Dedication and focus
When you’re committed to something, you’re dedicated to it, and that means you’re focused or even fixated on it. You would rather be doing whatever it is, than anything else. Now I don’t advocate losing yourself in anything 100%, because I’m a firm believer that you should live partially in “the moment”, and outside what you are doing, check out my wellbeing guide for more about this. You should however be excited, dedicated and focused in doing whatever it is you’re committed to doing, and be as productive as possible in making progress.
I could say things like “don’t be half pregnant”, “be all-in”, or “burn your bridges”, so that you can’t go back or deviate. If you do this you have to make it work, you either sink or swim as the saying goes. I wouldn’t recommend this without knowing your particular circumstances or tolerance for risk, but it is a way to really focus your attention and solidifying your commitment and dedication to your cause.
Avoid distractions and temptations
Avoid distractions and temptations, they will only lead you astray. as they are often difficult to resist. It often takes a great deal of will-power, which is finite. The best of us will struggle, if our willpower is not fully charged, even with the best intentions. So try to avoid situations that present distractions and/or temptations altogether.
Be accountable for your actions and results
Sometimes we need a push from some outside influence, or we need the help of someone else to encourage us, or chastise us. Looming deadlines often do the trick, we have a project or assignment that needs to be done by a particular date, so we cram to get it done, at the last minute and just in time. If we fail we are held to account by our poor results.
Make use of someone close to you, someone you respect a great deal, and whose opinion you value, and who you want to have a good opinion of you. Get them to hold you to account for your progress and results. Promise them you’re going to do X by Y date, and have them hold you to account for your results. If you fail, they will know and you will feel bad. If they don’t instil that kind of reaction in you, find someone who will. This is one reason why social groups like slimmer’s world and the likes, are so successful, slimmer’s are held to account, by regular public weigh-ins. Nobody wants to look like a failure in front of others. It’s often the extra motivational push you need to get you over the line.
Formulate a plan, take action.
Whatever your goal is, you have to have some idea how you’re going to achieve it. You need some sort of plan of action, even if it’s quite loose in its construction. No plan should be so rigid that you can’t make adjustments as you progress, but it shouldn’t be so loose that you find yourself backtracking so much that you’re barely making progress. Take some time to work it through, step-by-step as if you were there actually doing it. What needs to be in place for each stage, visualise it, be there, if you do it correctly you’ll be surprised what details come to mind. This will make execution that little bit easier later.
After formulating a plan, the critical stage comes next, taking action. Without it you’re going nowhere. Don’t procrastinate, or over-plan. Your actions will provide feedback and insight as you go. Learn from them and keep taking action. Look at failure along the way as part of the feedback loop, and keep going, be committed and make it happen.
For more about motivational influences, check out our Motivation guide.
If you would like to read more articles focused on COMMITMENT, click here.
Being Committed Quotes
“You must be committed and do what it takes, then you will have what you want.”
“Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but because of lack of commitment.” – Vince Lombardi
“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dreams closer.” – Marcia Wieder
“We become whatever we are committed to.”
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re commited to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – kenneth Blanchard
“Stay committed to your decisions. But stay flexible in your approach.” – Tony Robbins
“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”
“You need to make a commitment, and once you make it, then life will give you some answers.”
“There’s no abiding success without commitment.” – Tony Robbins
“When you’re committed, you do whatever it takes.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
“Commitment. This is my favorite word because in some way, people who are committed are always much more interesting and much more reliable, and much more, I would say, deep than people who are not.” – Carlos Ghosn
“Without commitment, you will throw in the towel when the going gets tough enough. With it, there is nothing that can stop you from trying.” – getresults.org.uk