One of the biggest, and most common, problems when it comes to improving your life or achieving the success you so desire is the difficulty in how to commit to change to an activity for a long period of time.
Commitment is not one of the most charming or exciting words in the world. But, over time, it is the one that will be responsible for the real results in your life.
Carrying out your plans while committed to the cause – and not just being driven by inspiration or whatever – is a very powerful skill.
I struggled with this a lot in the past. And sometimes I still do. Over time, I’ve learned a few things that help me to face this problem.
- What Does It Mean to Be Committed to Change?
- Why Is It Important to Be Committed?
- How Can You Commit to Change?
- What Are the Benefits When You Commit to Change?
What Does It Mean to Be Committed to Change?
When you are committed to change, it means that you are driven by a vision for a possible future, rather than by the present circumstances.
It also means that you don’t want to keep going on with your life as it is right now. Or, put in another way: I hope all the problems of our world would be solved.
But until then, I’ll do what I can to make me and my loved ones’ life better.
Why Is It Important to Be Committed?
The most important reason for being committed to change is that only then you will reach the point where you are willing to do what is necessary.
You may still want to quit after you’ve started something. But, if you are committed, you are ready to make the sacrifice.
And the more you say yes, the more perseverance will be required from your side.
Something doesn’t mean anything.
How to Commit to Change then?
There are five strategies that will make it easier for you to commit yourself to a new way of doing things:
1 – When You Are Busy, Focus On the Process
I use this one when I work or write, for example. I don’t charge myself for the results, the only thing I keep in mind is my obligation to accomplish that task. When there is commitment, the results are natural consequences. And this helps me because:
- I know that all I need is to concentrate on the task. And all my energy and attention is focused in one direction only, so I can do a better job.
- I feel less pressured. In this way I feel more relaxed and willing to continue the work mentally protected against the results that never come as fast as I would like and the roller coaster of emotions of everyday life.
2 – Remember Why You Are Committed
Figure out your priorities and the reasons why you are doing this. Whether it’s because you want to provide something for your family, take a trip, find your life’s work, or want to improve your self-esteem, so you don’t get lost along the way and stay focused:
- Write down your most important reasons. Take a few minutes, sit down, get a pen and paper, and write down one to three reasons why you are committed to what you are doing and why you want to do it in your life right now.
- Put this list in a place where you can see it every day. Like in your office or next to your bed, so you have a reminder every day.
3 – You Aren’t Doing This to Hurt Your Feelings
When you let yourself down and don’t think deeply about what you are doing, you end up hurting yourself and lowering your self-esteem.
No matter what you are doing, give yourself feedback to analyze what kind of person you are.
See if you are doing the right thing to become more productive, kind, going to the gym, or simply resting and feeling good.
You feel bad after a while having just laziness as a company or just making plans. There is no escape, there is no running away from yourself. And trying to do so will always have a consequence.
4 – Take Smaller Steps When Bigger Ones Seem Daunting
Sometimes, starting the day with the most important tasks can seem daunting. So you end up wanting to procrastinate.
When this happens, one thing that works very well for me is to be gentle. I allow myself to keep going instead of getting into conflict. At those times I opt for:
- A small step. I make an agreement with myself to work only five minutes on that most important and complex task.
- An even smaller step. If the small step is too difficult, and I find myself procrastinating, I make another deal but this time with just a minute or two of work.
Sometimes this means dividing a task into parts, some almost done and some being worked on throughout the day.
Other times, all I need to keep working hard and be more productive is to start a task or restart. Either way, I’m always moving forward, rather than standing still.
5 – Celebrate What You Did Today
When you enjoy your work, you feel better about your life and yourself. And over time, as you become more committed, your internal resistances decrease, and this enables you to work with positive emotions, compared to your old self.
What Are the Benefits When You Commit to Change?
Commitment involves taking full responsibility for one’s own emotions, thoughts, and actions as well as those of others. When you commit to change, your behaviors become less impulsive, more thoughtful, and more intentional.
You’ll have a clear vision of where to go, why, and with what. Through your actions, you will be perceived as involved, busy, and aware of everyone’s interests.
You will become realistic and optimistic, grounded in your decisions. You will seek to say yes with awareness and conviction. When impediments arise, you’ll propose solutions and make them resolved.
You can do what you like to do. You can prioritize, delegate, inquire and learn along the way. Doing your best is your business and keeping an open mind will help you generate feedback.
You will provide timely follow-up and maintain clear and timely communication. Also, you will know the strengths and weaknesses of people, as well as the opportunities and risks.
Sense of Belonging
You can make visible areas of opportunity and propose solutions with a foundation. This way you’ll perceive yourselves as part of the solution.
Sense of Urgency
You will be aware of how imminent change is. Will have the criteria to constantly prioritize. And ultimately you’ll be are reliable.
Other benefits may include
- Increased job satisfaction
- Higher retention and lower turnover
- Increased productivity
- Greater profitability
- Reduced absenteeism
- Greater loyalty
A committed person is guided by three things, hope, faith, and trust. These three things allow you to embark on any challenge and understand how to commit to change with discipline.
The strength of commitment comes from within you and makes it easier to follow your dreams.
Through commitment, you can begin to change your life for the better.