29 Mar Are You In the Commitment Zone? If Not, Here’s How to Get There
Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions
Every year, people make New Year’s resolutions that they don’t keep. Let’s face it- most of us are aweful at self-accountability. Oftentimes people, although well intentioned, may use language like I am going to “try” to lose 30 pounds, or “I am going to take some classes.” Many of these resolutions lack specificity and they use language that indicates a lack of commitment. This article is not another commentary on how to set smart goals, or how to keep your New Year’s resolutions- but offers a way to reflect on what commitment means and how to achieve what you truly desire by looking at a new model of commitment I call “the Commitment Zone.”
Why Don’t People Commit?
I am not sure whether it is because of our culture where we value “freedom,” or whether it is just plain laziness, or our fear of failure or success which drives our lack of achievement of New Year’s resolutions and reaching our goals. Regardless of the cause, my impression is that the root of the problem is our lack of commitment.
Wayne’s Definition of Commitment
The definition of commitment, which I have created, can be described as “a psychological mindset that results in the practice of doing what you say you are going to do even though barriers arise.” I call this definition “the Commitment Zone” because it predisposes a state of mind which is a necessary precursor for commitment.
To be successfully committed and “in the zone” to achieve your goals- I offer these commitment guidelines:
- Stop making excuses –Try this: write down all your excuses ahead of time and when you find yourself saying these-tell yourself to “Stop it Now”
- Create a positive mindset which is self-reinforcing for small goal accomplishment
- Replace negative thoughts with alternative thoughts/statements
- Take responsibility for success and failure
- Expect failure along the line, try an alternative strategy, be strong, and move on
- Set realistic time frames that allow you to stretch outside your comfort zone
- Adjust your goals only if found to be totally unrealistic or injurious (yes, it’s okay to modify goals up or down but do so only after exploring all possible options and with input from others)
- Ask one or more people to hold you accountable and discuss how this will happen
- Reward yourself for achieving success
- Make choices that lead to your success
- Create and stick to a schedule for action steps that leads to achievement of goals
- Write goals/actions down, keep them visible daily, and review progress at set intervals
What’s At Stake
I cannot stress enough how getting in the “Commitment Zone” and following these Commitment Zone guidelines can change your life. In my work as a coach, I have noticed that by following these guidelines my clients will increase their self-confidence, and the perception that others have of them both at work and at home. In addition, they report more productivity at work, and receive better work performance reviews. So why just “try” to get things done this year-“commit” to getting things done no matter what.