By early December last year, I had decided to write about commitment in the first post on my blog in 2017. I decided on it simply because at the beginning of each New Year many of us are still excited by our resolutions for the year. We need encouragement and support as we try to improve ourselves. We are all Works in Progress that need modeling, shaping and refining through the experiences we go through.
2017 has already rolled in and a number of us have made some resolutions for the New Year. Available statistics show that 45 % Americans make New Year resolutions but only 8 % achieve them. Digging deeper into why few of us achieve the resolutions, I learned that the difference between the achievers and non-achiever has more to do with the degree of commitment than anything else. We could write the resolutions and goals down , think about them, talk about them read through them and even sprinkle some form of action over them but by the sixth month we have almost forgotten about them. This happens because we are not committed to starting and finishing what we chose to do.
Commitment simply means devoting time, attention and energy to a person or something. In the first place, you are presented with options then you commit to what is most important, most valuable, most pleasing or the one with most potential for growth. The choice can be made willingly but sometimes it is made reluctantly or just forced on you.
You can commit to the people you love, to your work or cause, to a set of ethics or values or to a way of life.
When you commit, you make prudent and practical choices among the options presented to you.
When you commit willingly, you commit to what you love and you want to remain true to your commitment. This sets you free to express your true self.
Commitment is an expression of your love to a person, to something, to values, to a career or to a country.
When you commit to a person, you do it trusting that he/she will reciprocate your love and trust and together you will build a lasting relationship.
The 8% achievers commit to their resolutions out of their love to see themselves become better individuals or out of love to make a difference in the world. Since they want this badly for themselves; they set out determined to achieve their goals. When they meet obstacles along the way, they push through them to grow to another level.
Commitment is hard work and in most situations it is lifetime work. But like all work that you love and enjoy doing; it gradually becomes fun and almost child’s play.
Sometimes you commit to something and you never get the returns you expected and sometimes you get surprised by the dividends. You only control the process but not the outcome so the best thing to do is to be as well prepared as you could be for what you have chosen to commit to.
I have been taking online courses and attending Webinars on Creative Writing with the intention of improving and honing my skills as a writer. On the 3rd of January, one of my mentors, Jeff Goins offered his Followers a free 31 days 500 words challenge. It involves writing a minimum 500 words every day about a topic of your choice and sending it to him.
He is doing this simply to encourage people to get serious and write, start blogs or just help them develop a regular habit of writing every day. He knows it clearly and points it out to any writer or would-be writer that you can only become a writer simply by writing, writing, writing. The same way that James Ngugi, East Africa’s leading novelist, recently reminded all of us when he was asked how he became a remarkable writer. He wrote, wrote and wrote.
Every day for the next 31 days, I shall be getting a reminder from Jeff Goins to write the 500 words, but he also points it out to me that I can finish this assignment by wanting it too much for myself to commit seriously to it. At the same time he gives me the option everyday to get out the group if I want to. My desire to become a better writer gives me no other option but to commit to this 31 days assignment. I will be the richer for completing it.
I am encouraging you all to commit to your goals and Resolutions for 2017 then work diligently to achieve them.
So what have you resolved to do, change, improve in your life in 2017?
Do you want it too badly for yourself to commit – time, attention, energy, to it and achieve it by December 2017?
Paulo Coelho said, “Freedom is not the absence of commitment, but the ability to choose-and commit myself to-what is best for me.’’
Peter . F. Drucker said, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.’’
Neil Strauss said, “Without commitment, you cannot have depth on anything, whether it is a relationship, a business or hobby.’’
We are in this together.
All the best