What are you solidly committed to right now?
This may be an easy question to answer. But it may not be.
In fact, it’s extremely common– and easy– to slip out of those things that we think we’re committed to. Things we say we are committed to. Things we are absolutely sure that we are committed to.
Have you ever been so focused on your outside commitments that you’ve lost track of the ones you’ve made to yourself?
Or experienced overwhelm and stress because you’re moving in 10 directions at once?
Or procrastinated on taking action because you aren’t entirely sure where you want to go (or if it’s the “right” action or the “right” destination)?
Fortunately, commitment isn’t something you have or don’t have. It’s simply a choice you make over and over again.
Creating what you want comes with a lot of individual moments where you re-commit to having it.
Truly. It’s not hard. It just takes mindful awareness. And practice, practice, practice.
I’m not talking about sitting-on-a-cushion mindfulness. I’m talking about paying attention to where your focus is. Being intentional in what you’re committed to. Reminding yourself of that commitment when it matters.
It means being aware of where your priorities are and what is required of you to meet them.
It means being mindful of how what you’re doing right now stacks up against those priorities.
Recalibrating as necessary. Rinsing and repeating.
That’s it. No drama.
Better yet, there are many ways you can prime your brain so that you can re-commit more easily, and even create a new re-commitment habit. Try these:
Let go of any judgment around what matters to you
Maybe you don’t want to be partner or build an empire. That’s OK. Maybe you actually enjoy working long hours in service of an important project. Maybe your business (like mine) will never involve 40- or 50-hour work weeks because you made a decision to give up that lifestyle. Maybe your family– or your passion for volunteering– comes first.
People will judge your priorities. That’s life. But if you’re not leading that charge by judging yourself, you’ll be surprised at how little those people’s opinions matter. And how that can power up your own commitment.
Show yourself what works
Before setting new goals or tackling a big change, review where you have already been successful and what you have already achieved. I personally like to keep a running “success list” for each year. I’ve done it for 10 years, and I always review these lists when setting new goals.
Take an honest inventory of your growth and achievements, large and small. Knowing what you are capable of turns your focus to what is possible. And possibility is an energizing natural motivator.
Focus on your strengths and resources
Reminding yourself where you are strong, what you’re naturally great at and what supports and resources you have in place can be a great way to feel empowered every day. Not sure? Use a professional assessment to identify your strengths, or ask a trusted friend or colleague to share what they see as your gifts. Don’t forget to take a look around– what resources do you have at your disposal that could help you re-commit to your priorities?
Practice the One Good Thing
Even when you’re feeling stuck or far from your goals, there is the one good thing. Challenge yourself to find it. What’s going right? What are you grateful for? What’s the gift in the difficulty? What one thing can you celebrate right now? If you’ve ever worked with me privately, you know that I often start coaching sessions from this perspective.
Start your day with kindness
One great way to shift into a more positive state of mind is to take 5 minutes of your day to do one small kind thing for someone else. Buy a coffee for a stranger in line, send a thank you email to a friend, help a neighbor. Nothing strenuous required— you are building your positivity muscles.
Try on the idea that you do influence your day
You’re a powerful creator. If this isn’t your current belief, be willing to try on something new and see what happens. Start your day with an intention of how you wish that day to go. How do you want to show up? What would you like to happen in that meeting? What’s the bigger picture of your next 24 hours?
Choose to look for evidence of your intention throughout the day. The more we notice, the more we see– and that influences our mindset and the decisions we make about our priorities.
Healthy self care
OK, you knew I was going to bring this up. Moving your body releases stress-busting chemicals in your brain. Getting a good night’s sleep has a documented impact on your mood. Meditation has a host of positive influences on how you feel and think. Simply taking a walk, taking a 5-minute quiet time out or spending 30 extra minutes on sleep can have a profound impact on the lens through which you view the world.
The next time you feel commitment waning, or you feel your priorities getting short shrift, try a few of these. Take a deep breath. And re-commit to what matters to you.
photo credit: memsphere via photopin