By Tina Noe, IPLI Mentor, Principal at Danville South Elementary School
We’ve all done it….We have set goals that quickly fade, made new year’s resolutions that last two months tops, told ourselves we will make a change for the better, and then life gets in the way.
I don’t know anyone that hasn’t gone through a cycle of failed or abandoned resolutions for change at one point or another in their life. We all have things about ourselves we want to improve; our health, our time management, our relationships with others, the list goes on and on. So, what is it?? What truly makes the difference when it comes to long-term commitment?
A commitment is a promise or firm decision to do something. When my kids were little and wanted to join a team, the agreement was that they could join as long as they remained committed throughout the season. The rule in our house was that they weren’t allowed to quit. Transferring this same concept to my adult life hasn’t always been as easy. Life gets busy, which creates excuses, and excuses are what derail commitment.
Based on books, articles, and blogs, here are the top 5 recommended techniques to ensure you stay fully committed to your goals.
Turn off the “I don’t feel like it” thoughts. Of course, you don’t feel like it. This is a new challenge, and until it becomes a habit, your actions must be intentional and without the emotions that can sabotage your goal. As soon as a negative thought toward your goal enters your mind, count to three and do it anyway. Don’t want to get up early to work out? Instead of laying there wrestling with the battle of sleeping in or getting up, count to three and go! Make counting a habit each time, and it will help you train your mindset.
Take it one step at a time. Rather than focusing on the end product, such as a loss of fifty pounds, focus on the small daily actions necessary to reach your goal. “You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built. You don’t start there. You say I will lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon, you have a wall.” ~Will Smith
Find an accountability partner. Verbalizing your goals to someone else and asking for their help puts you on a more committed path to success. Find someone who has a genuine interest in helping you succeed and will motivate you and give you a little extra push when you’re ready to give up.
Remember your deeper WHY. Sometimes we feel selfish if we put ourselves first or carve out time for ourselves. If that resonates with you, flip the script. By committing to your goal, you will serve sincerely the people you care about. Keep them in your heart when you take the time necessary to meet your goal.
Seek out inspiration. A great way to stay inspired is by seeing others crush the same goals. With access to so many different media platforms, it’s easy to find others committed to the same goals you are trying to tackle. Find them, learn from them, and become that inspiration to someone else.
It’s time to dig down deep and commit to the things you genuinely want to accomplish. Stay focused. Don’t quit. You’ve got this!