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Commitment versus Motivation
How committed are you to your fitness goals? And what is the difference between commitment and motivation?
Which of these concepts do you think will lead to the more long-lasting results? If you think about it a bit, you’ll see that commitment will be the key to long-term results.
Let’s tease out these words a bit more. You may be motivated to do something, like lose weight, or “firm up,” or get toned, or whatever, because of an upcoming event. A wedding, a vacation where you’d like to look good in a bikini, a high school reunion.
But are you committed to making the necessary diet and exercise changes? Do you have what it takes to overcome the times when motivation wanes, and all you have left is commitment?
Do you really want to exercise every day?
Motivation has its problems as a way to acquire long-term goals like a fit and healthy body. On each and every day, do you desire to exercise? I know I don’t.
Yes, I definitely want the results of the exercise–fitness and good health–but I 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.
Commitment stems from dedicating oneself to a goal. It isn’t about feelings; it’s about action. This is where the great difference 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…more about that here.)
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. 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 term goal. Yes, your ultimate goal can be huge, but it needs to be broken up 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 key here 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?
Can you do that? Make it small if you are new to this. 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 are you committed to?