Are you a bullshit artist? Do you say you’ll do something and never actually do it? You are not alone. 92% of people make commitments and then never follow through on them, according to the University of Scranton. Let’s consider New Year’s Resolutions as just one example. How many times have you kicked off your year saying you’re going to be the best version of yourself? Or, you are going to lose weight, go to the gym 3 times a week, eat healthier etc etc. The list goes on!
We are great at making these big, bold commitments of how we are going to change our lives, but very few of us actually follow through on the hard yards it takes to make these commitments come to fruition and achieve our goals. We make excuses. “I’m just so busy with work”, “I have other priorities”, “my alarm didn’t go off” (what, 3 times a week?!) etc.
Making the commitment is easy, but talk is cheap, and quite frankly, a waste of your time if you aren’t going to follow through.
I used to make losing weight and getting fit my New Year’s Resolution every single year. Do you know what that allowed me to do? It allowed me to wait to kick off a new year before I re-made the exact same commitment. It gave me a scapegoat. “Oh, well it’s November now, so I may as well just live large and enjoy the next 2 months, and then I’ll really knuckle down and commit on the 1st January – New year, new me”. BUUUUUUULLLLLLLLSHIT!
It get's us nowhere. All it does is give you permission to prolong your goals. If you really want to make a difference to your life, in whatever way is important to you, don’t start Monday. Don’t start 1st January. Start now!
There are 5 things that I consider the most important when making a commitment to yourself to change, and I am happy to share them with you:
Make your commitments clear and achievable. Set yourself up for success. Don’t make a commitment to yourself to lose 5 kilos in a month if you know deep down that isn’t going to be achievable for you. You will wind up disappointed, demotivated, and reluctant to make further commitment because you will use the excuse of it not working as the reason to not commit. Also, make sure your goals are clear. “Getting fit and healthy” is fluff. What does that actually mean for YOU. What does that look like? What does it feel like for you? Be specific.
Break your goals down into smaller chunks – it won’t feel so daunting this way. Big Goals are great. Think of the amazing accomplishment you’ll have achieved when you succeed. But, they can seem daunting when you first start. Break the bigger goal down into smaller chunks. If your goal is to run a half marathon in 6 months but you know you currently cannot run 2 kilometres without wanting to run into oncoming traffic, then start smaller. Look to run 5kms in your first week, then 6kms in the second. Build up to your goal and set yourself milestones along the way so it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Check yourself – are you making these commitments for you, or because you think you have to? Reflect on your goals and why you are making them. If you are making them because you think you must, or to please someone else, you aren’t going to follow through in most circumstances.
Ask someone to hold you accountable. Give someone permission to call you out on your B*llsh*t if you start to slip up. Find a yoga partner. Ask someone to call you to check you have gone to the gym when you said you would. Ask someone to proof-read your work on a certain date so that you have to have it done by then. And give them permission to ensure you do.
Reward yourself along the way! Celebrate the small milestones along the way as they will keep you motivated for the big prize at the end! Achieved your 5kms run – celebrate! Lose 3 kilos out of the 5 you intend to lose. Celebrate! Complete the first half of a project you have been working on – yaaaaaaaay. Go and treat yo-self!
These might sound obvious, and they kind of are, but the number of us who don’t follow these simple steps are probably the same percentage I mentioned above who don’t follow through on their commitments. Don’t be that person. YOU can have your cake and eat it too if you really want to!
Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.
She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.