All commitments start with a habit. You might as well give up on your grand ambition if you are unwilling to create new habits. A habit, or a ritual, is a necessary component to any successful life change. Consider habits building blocks or foundational tasks that you must do, everyday.
The everyday component, or the foundational habit, is the first order of business. When you take on a new commitment a great exercise is to identify what the core needs to be. For example, I made a commitment to run a marathon. What is the core for that ambition? That is easy. Run. So my daily habit, my core routine became to run. Everyday. If I am not committed to at least running everyday, then I should forget about accomplishing the goal. New shoes, new shorts, new watch, new headlamp, new treadmill. These gadgets, gizmos and objects might help but they will never serve as your foundation. The only thing that will serve is a new habit.
The running example is easy. Harder might be a new commitment to achieve a work based aim. For example, you have a new commitment to hit your sales quota for every quarter this year. Great commitment. I am sure both you and your employer would be happy with that result. So what is your core foundational habit? This is an important consideration. What is the one thing that will impact you the most as you embark on this new mission? This will need some thought. I would set a habit such as call 5 new people, every workday. Force yourself to call and talk to 5 new people. Quick math, that is 1,300 new people a year. 325 a quarter. Talking to new people is a chief cornerstone of any sales effort. So this is now my new habit. This is my commitment translated into action.
Convert hopes and dreams to action. That is the principle at play here. To say out loud, “I am committed,” is good. You are getting no where without tangible action and the first place to start is this core habit. So what if I do not know what I want? What if I am lost? What if I am not sure what I want tocommit to?
Instead of viewing this as a negative, flip this lack of direction in a positive light. Instead say, I am not committed to anything, yet, I am committed to living a better life. I am committed to improve. So what then should be your first habit?
I have been there. That is why I started writing this blog. Everyday. Now matter what is going on in my life. Good or bad. I follow the same formula and then write this blog. My commitment is rather simple. Everday I wake up, write down what are the most important things to do today, pray about them and then commit. I try my best and then at the end of the night, I review. I pray about my attempt and then close my day, deciding that tomorrow I will do better. The one thing I have had on my daily list, everyday, for well over 4 years now has been – write this blog. This changed my life. I improved. It came in ways that I did not expect, and I cannot say it has all been fun. Yet, I got what I wanted. An improved life.