As a coach I help my clients achieve their goals. Some need help in creating a plan of action, defining milestones, creating a tracking mechanism, etc., and others have had their goal on their wish list for a long time. The story is all too familiar. Life takes over, and the general busyness of every day pushes the goal to the back burner. The urgent takes over, and the important gets neglected. As a result, the goal rather than being a beacon of light becomes something that people wistfully think about occasionally. Does it sound familiar?
If we look deeper, here we are really talking about a wish rather than a goal. Because a goal requires commitment, which is displayed by hard work, persistence, discipline, and sacrifice. If you look back at the challenging goals you have achieved in the past, you would surely, observe the following –
– It challenged you out of your comfort zone.
– It required you to give up instant gratification in favor of future satisfaction to be experienced after achieving the goal.
– It pushed you to put in efforts consistently despite everything else that may have been happening in your lives.
– Your efforts towards it were not a function of whether or not you felt like working on a certain day.
– You considered any challenges you faced in your journey as temporary setbacks.
– You planned, executed, persisted and succeeded despite all odds!
This is what commitment looks like – it is way beyond desire. Commitment shows up as dedication and determination. It manifests as self-discipline. Commitment is a choice of a future outcome over the current scenario. It is a choice fueled by your ‘why’. Why do you want to achieve a particular goal? How will your life improve once you have achieved it? How will it be worse if you do not achieve it? Your ‘why’ is what keeps you anchored to your goal and the pursuit of it. You choose action to move towards the direction of your goals regardless of any interim challenges, any distracting thoughts, any temporary feelings. You choose to not make excuses. You plan for any anticipated roadblocks ahead of time. You build habits to support you rather than waiting for the perfect moment to take action.
Finally, commitment is not about being positive and having a dream. It is about doing whatever it takes to succeed. As Colin Powell said – A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.
Procrastination is protection against fear, but do we need it