Success or failure can sometimes simply boil down to your choice of commitments over feelings.
We are living in an age where we are encouraged to get in touch with our feelings. Follow our gut instinct.
Whilst this is an essential technique and can provide competitive advantage and superior levels of satisfaction in business and in life, it is not going to be the “thing” that helps you achieve your goals.
Let’s look at it this way:
You set a personal goal to weigh 140 pounds by year end. you know what you have to do to get there. You might choose to join a gym. Adopt a particular diet etc.
Filled with drive and positivity. you literally jump out of bed early, make that fresh healthy smoothie and head off for a gym session before work.
Yes. you know you can do this. You are so up for it. You can imagine yourself looking and feeling your best, just in time for all the end of year festivities.
You start to see results. you feel great!
Then, one morning. You wake up. You feel so groggy. You didn’t sleep well and now everything feels hard work. It’s all you can do to shower and get off to work. It’s alright, you tell yourself, I’ll for the gym in later…
But….later in the day, all you feel is starving hungry! You feel so sluggish you desperately need a quick sugar fix…
Wow. Don’t you feel better now!
Focussed on your feelings, you decide that getting up early for a gym session isn’t working. You need that extra hour in bed… It’s ok though as you know you’ll find another plan that works better for you….
Gradually, bit by bit, your new healthy regime goes by the way.
It’s evident that this goal is never going to be achieved whilst feelings are allowed to dominate. However positive, upbeat, motivated you feel at the start it’s impossible to maintain them over a period of time. There are always going to be obstacles that chip in to those feel good moments. So, if you’re relying on your feelings to get you closer to your goals, then think again.
The key lies in swapping your feelings for commitments.
Instead of relying on feelings to get you to take action. you make a commitment to do so.
When you commit to taking action, you do it irrelevant to how you feel. The key to success is to ensure that you have the drive to achieve your goal. Make sure you’re clear on why you want it. Why it is important for you. Then commit to making it happen.
Whilst this in principle sounds easy, there are 2 more steps you need to cover before making your commitment.
- Identify the costs of the commitment.
This means examining and being totally honest with yourself about any goal conflicts. Going back to your weight goal. If you also enjoy lazing in bed, curling up on the sofa with a takeaway, bottle of wine and your favourite movies, then you need to work out what is more important to you. You need to recognise that this is a “cost” to you if you pursue your new goal. Are you prepared to make it.? Notice any conflicts between short term satisfaction versus long term gain. That chocolate bar may taste nice right now, but is it worthwhile to you in the long term. Examine everything that you are already committed to that might get in the way of your success.
2. Set out the actions you are committed to now taking.
You are now in the right position to determine what actions you can commit to. What actions will help you move in the most efficient, effective and pleasurable way towards the achievement of your goals? Be realistic and honest. Make sure they can work for you come rain or shine.
This approach applies to any goal in life or business. Quite often fear gets in the way for business owners looking to step up. So when you follow this approach, you acknowledge your fear but commit to making the action. The goal is what you want. You know it is going to push you and challenge you. You know what to expect, but commit to it anyway.
Any goal worth pursuing is going to stretch you. Accept that there will be discomfort. Plan for it. Know what might get in your way and set a plan to overcome it when it happens.
Above all else, if you do deviate, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t accept defeat. Get back on your feet, make any necessary adjustments and carry on.
You can do whatever you want to. Just know what it will take. Recognise it’s value to you. Commit to it and take the action that works best for you.
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