Have you always thought that motivation, drive, and willpower are the things you need more of? Think again, and read on to find out why commitment beats motivation in the struggle to reach your goals.
Commitment versus Motivation
Are you committed to your health and fitness goals? Can commitment help you reach those goals better than motivation (or willpower)?
Commitment: The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person.
Motivation: the condition of being eager to act or work. To put it simply, it is the desire to do something.
Which of these concepts do you think will lead to more long-lasting results? Let’s see if we can find out which is the more beneficial to achieving the results you long for.
You may be motivated to do something, like lose weight, or “firm up,” because of an upcoming event. A wedding, a vacation where you’d like to look good in a bikini, a high school reunion.
None of these is a bad reason to get in shape. Everything we do starts with motivation, even if we’re only motivated to work in order to not be kicked out of our home.
Or motivated to look hot at the upcoming reunion.
But will you commit to changing your diet and exercise?
? Do you have what it takes to overcome the inevitable times when motivation wanes, and all you have left is commitment?
Do you really want to exercise every day?
Motivation pretty much sucks as a way to achieve long-term goals like a fit and healthy body. On each and every day, do you desire to exercise? I know I sure don’t.
We all want the results of the exercise–fitness and good health–but I
rarely don’t always feel like doing the work. I do it because I am committed to my health and fitness goals. That is a big difference. That is my big WHY.
It isn’t about feelings; it’s about ACTION.
Commitment means dedicating yourself to a goal. It isn’t about feelings; it’s about action. This is where the huge divide between the two concepts lies. One is about how you feel, the other is about what you do.
Seriously, I don’t actually have a desire to brush my teeth every day, but I am committed to good oral hygiene (plus, I like the way my mouth feels after brushing). So, I brush every day, twice a day, without fail. Sometimes I’m really tired at night and just want to fall into bed, but I always brush. That’s commitment. (It’s also habit…here’s more about that.)
On the other hand, if you have a dental cleaning appointment coming up, you may be more motivated to floss than usual, but you may fall off the wagon after a couple of weeks.
How to Increase Your Commitment
The key to increasing commitment is having unshakable goals; a really strong WHY. The goals should be doable, but a stretch. They should also be specific. Not “I want to lose weight,” but “I want to fit into those size 6 (8, 10, 12) pants by Christmas.”
Don’t forget the doable part. If it’s Thanksgiving and fitting into the new size means losing 50 pounds, it’s not realistic.
It’s also too much for an interim goal. Yes, your ultimate goal can–and should–be huge, but you should break it into smaller, doable goals that fuel your commitment.
Like what sort of ultimate goal? How about entering and winning a body-building competition? Yes, they exist for women over 50. How about finishing a marathon? How about losing 50 or more pounds?
The crucial key is breaking your big goal down into smaller goals. If you fail to do that, I can almost guarantee you will burn out way before your finish line.
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” ― Bruce Lee
Will you commit yourself to one fitness goal this week?
I’ll share more on breaking big goals into small bites in future posts. For now, you can practice by making a little one, especially if you are new to making any goals (believe it or not, some people, even like those of us over 50, are).
Can you do that? Something along the lines of, “I will commit to walking for 15 minutes twice (or three or four times) this week.
Commitment means you will do this no matter the weather, no matter if you have a hangover…no matter anything, except some serious health problem. You know what I mean!
What will you commit to?