Entrepreneurs are wired to be committed. If you don’t do the work, you might not have a business—or at least not a financially solvent one. Yet even the most committed among us can sometimes struggle with keeping those commitments. Even if you have the best of intentions, it’s often easier to rationalize or make excuses than to consistently keep commitments. Commitment is like a muscle in your body; if you work on it and use it regularly, you can make it stronger.
Remember commitments are a reflection of your character. No one likes being called or thought of as all talk, no action, but when you commit to something and don’t follow through, you lose credibility. Do it too many times and you are thought of as unreliable. Next time you make a commitment, consider that you are putting your character on the line. If you don’t keep your commitments, it says things about you that probably don’t align with how you see yourself. Keep your commitments and you will be a person of integrity. Everyone feels better when their words and actions match.
Don’t just make commitments, have a plan of action to keep those commitments. Be intentional about your commitments. Don’t make a commitment spontaneously or in the middle of being distracted by something else. Be present when you make a commitment. Ask yourself if this is a commitment you want to make and can keep. Be realistic. If your gut is telling you that you don’t want to make a commitment, listen. Set boundaries and say No. Once you do commit, formulate your plan of action. Action steps put you in motion and make your commitment more doable.
Build your commitment muscle. The more you keep your commitments, the easier you will find it to keep those commitments. Practicing your commitment muscle will turn you into the kind of person who cannot bear to not keep a commitment, and that’s a good thing, especially if you only make commitments you want to keep. Work on that muscle by practicing keeping your commitments.
Make a commitment instead of a New Year’s resolution. A resolution may be the act of resolving or deciding on a course of action, but a commitment can be far stronger, because it’s a specific pledge, promise or obligation. Start your year strong with an accomplishment on Day One. Sign up to participate on Commitment Day, a fitness revolution started by Life Time Fitness urging Americans to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle by signing up to run or walk a 5K on Jan. 1, 2013. Join hundreds of thousands of people running or walking in 35 cities across the nation on the first day of the year and start your year strong. You can also declare your own personal commitment for the year, whether it’s taking the stairs to work, drinking more water or trying a new workout. Go to https://thehealthywayoflife.com/commitment-day/ and declare your commitment to the world. Sign up to participate on race day in a city near you.
Be a person who does what you say you are going to do and join the conversation. Watch more about Commitment Day here:
And check out www.commitmentday.com
What’s your commitment?
Chris Freytag has dedicated her adult life to motivating people to lead healthier lives. A contributing editor to Prevention magazine, she's also written two books, Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss, and her latest, 2-Week Total Body Turnaround. She also has appeared on NBC's Today show and MSNBC's Weekend Update.