Today I wanted to talk about commitment and how nothing happens without it. Commitment takes work and anyone that tells you differently are living in denial on so many levels. To have that special relationship and have it last you need to commit to it. You need to put in the hard work it takes to communicate, show love, listen and be present for the person you wanted to be part of your life. Though today is about relationships and showing love I want to focus on other areas you need commitment.
Another area you need commitment is when you want to change your life to improve it. It could building a business, writing a book, strengthening a friendship, losing weight, growing closer to God, being a good parent, improving your overall health or getting out of debt.
What is commitment? Commitment means the act of committing, the state of being committed, pledging or engaging oneself, obligation, involvement, perpetration or commission or consignment. You would think commitment restricts your freedom of action, but does it? When you commit to something you are giving of yourself in a binding obligation or pledge you will follow through and do what’s required to make it happen. Isn’t commit or commitment a decision to pursue something with everything you have to make it work?
How far would you get if you didn’t commit to lose weight? Commitment in this area means sticking to it no matter how hard it got during the process. Going to the gym when you first start out can be painful, make you tired, cause you to struggle to do daily tasks due to sore muscles or a worn out body. You start out great cutting out sweets, junk food, processed foods until something happens like a birthday and you want to have that cake, or you woke up late and you didn’t get around to packing your healthy lunch so you eat something you shouldn’t instead of making a good choice. You slip up and you then think about all the things you are missing out on that you love. Then the doubt creeps in and you wonder if you should continue. Unless you commit to losing weight, which takes a decision and a determination that no matter the obstacle you will stick to the plan to meet your goal and put in the hard work you will quit and not make it. That’s why so many resolutions end after two weeks.
Isn’t that true for any area of life? If you want to start a business, there is a lot of hard work that has to go into it from creating the product, setting prices, marketing, supplies, licenses, bank accounts, accounting and the list goes on. You are always tweaking things and trying to improve the product or the experience for the customer. This isn’t open the doors and they will come scenario. You need a commitment to go for it and put in the hard work, deal with the long hours, no days off, no vacations, little pay to push the business to the other side where it’s making a profit. It’s a decision to go for it, a commitment to do whatever you need to make it work and then taking action. Abraham Lincoln said, “Commitment is what Transforms a Promise into a Reality.”
Here are a few tips to help you.
1. The idea in your head – Write it down. If you want to write a book don’t just put write a book on the paper. Elaborate on what it is about, what genre it fits into, if fiction then anything about the time period, the characters, and if its non-fiction how could this help others. Be as specific about your idea as possible. If it’s a business, what’s the product who would buy it (target audience), what are the costs to create it, how will you advertise, do you need a storefront or can it be on the web, how much would you need to make? If you don’t have specifics, you may need to do a little research to answer them.
2. Why is this idea important to you? – Will this replace your income and bring you home from a job you don’t like? Does this provide security for your family? Will this be a legacy to leave to your family? Does it bring you joy? Will it help others? Does it solve a problem? Does this provide a lifestyle you want? Get this down on paper because you need to understand what is driving you to want to make this idea into reality.
3. Tell someone you trust – Only after you have written it down and given it some life by being specific can you tell someone you trust the idea. Let them know you have been thinking about that idea and elaborate on what it is so it is clear in their mind. When you can do that you are ready to decide to begin.
4. Obstacles will come – Figure out before you start how you will address certain types of obstacles you know could arise. When writing a book your schedule may encounter interruptions and a decision of whether to write on another day you had not planned or continue with your schedule the next day. When you have a business, there is always a fee or something that costs more than you had planned. Will you have funds set aside for those unknown expenses you couldn’t foresee? Do you have a plan if some ingredient you used to make your product becomes more expensive or you can’t get any longer? These are things you need to take a few moments and write out how you will deal with the obstacles. Use that trusted friend to toss out scenarios you might not have thought of to help you prepare for those obstacles.
5. You need a commitment – No matter what gets tossed your way, how many obstacles cross your path, the frustration you may feel when things aren’t going as you had hoped you keep doing it, anyway. That’s the commitment your idea needs to be more. Those long hours, late nights, missed weekends pay off if you keep at it but you need to stay committed.
6. Support is the key – We all struggle with turning our ideas into reality and without a support system in a place where you can seek advice or get encouragement we can lose sight why we wanted to do this from the start. Your support system can push you to meet a deadline, encourage you when you stumble, advise you to see things in a new light.
7. Take Action – Once you decide and have committed to this idea then you need a list of actionable steps to make it happen. To write a book, you need to make time to sit in a chair and write. How much time do you have to do this? How many words will you write? For that business you need to create the product, how much product, what are the costs and what will you ask others to pay, do you need a website, do you need social media accounts, do you need photographs, video, documentation, shipping and so forth. Create that list and tackle it one item at a time.
Realize now that no matter the idea it will take actual work to make it happen. If you struggle after a few weeks reevaluate and find a new way to press forward. Review why you are doing this, get encouragement from those supporting you and review your progress and set up rewards for the things you get done. So what if you miss a deadline, don’t stop, keep pushing forward and overcome the struggles you face?
Having a lasting relationship, losing weight and getting healthy, running a business or writing a book takes work. Nothing in this life worth having is free. It all takes work and commitment to make it happen. Do you have the commitment you need to make your idea become a reality? Let me know in the comments below as I’d like to hear what ideas you have and how you overcome and stay committed.