Almost all of us have something in life that we very much desire to do but just aren’t. Below are five ways to commit to making that vision a reality once and for all.
No matter who you are, I’m betting there is something in your life that you really, really want to start doing (i.e. exercising regularly, playing a musical instrument, learning a second language, fixing up your house, etc.) but in reality are NOT doing for one reason or another.
If you have a strong desire to do this new thing, perhaps the reason you haven’t gotten around to it yet is that you just haven’t yet made the necessary commitment.
That’s what today’s blog post is all about 🙂
When you complete the five steps below, you are making such a strong commitment to your new activity/skill/project/etc. that it might actually be harder to stop entirely than to see it through!
To present this process in a tangible way, as we go through the steps, I’ll share how I personally took (and am taking) these steps in my pursuit of becoming a proficient guitarist and songwriter.
What goal will YOU choose to take on?
Step 1: Write down your reasons why
If we don’t have personally compelling reasons for our new pursuit, we’re likely to lose momentum or maybe even give up entirely.
What is that deepest of deep down reasons why you want to take on this project? For example, if you want to fix up your house, your reason could be a vision of walking into your home and feeling serene, peaceful, and comfortable in this beautiful space that you love.
For me, the driving “why” behind my journey into guitar playing and songwriting has been a feeling that I could be really good at this if I give it my all, and an insatiable curiosity about where it could go if I do.
Whatever your reasons are, the most important thing is that they inspire and ignite you.
Once you have your reasons, I recommend writing them on a piece of paper and putting them up on the wall somewhere you’ll see them every day.
This is your guiding light.
Step 2: Create accountability
Accountability means you’re not the only person who knows about this new endeavor – there is at least one other human to hold you accountable. There are many ways to create accountability for your new endeavor.
First, you could simply call up a friend and ask to be accountability partners. Hopefully, they’ll also have something they want you to hold them accountable for, so it’s a two-way street. Agree to connect once a week to report your progress.
Second, you could hire a personal or professional coach. Coaches are masters of helping you define your goals, planning a path, and providing you with the accountability to get there.
Lastly, you could sign up for a class or private lessons. In my instance, taking weekly 1-on-1 guitar lessons has been a great way to make sure I have goals moving me forward each and every week. In the spring/summer, I also intend on holding monthly or biweekly house concerts at my home for various (very) small audiences, creating even further accountability.
Step 3: Invest in tools/equipment you LOVE
Investing in high-quality tools or equipment that support your new endeavor works for you in two ways. First, there is something psychological about making a financial investment in an activity we care about that can provide the commitment we need to see it through. Second, if we have tools or equipment that we really LOVE, we’ll be that much more excited to engage in that activity!
For example, if your goal is to try online dating and go on one date per week, you could take yourself shopping for five new outfits that make you feel attractive and fabulous.
For me, after playing for a few years on an old Yamaha guitar that’d been kicking around since I lived back in Brooklyn, I decided to invest in a custom Martin guitar made from Sitka spruce and East Indian rosewood. Apart from its rich tone that makes me excited to pick it up every morning, I also feel that owning such a fine and rare instrument inspires me to become a player truly worthy of playing it.
Step 4: Put it on your calendar
I’ve always loved Tony Robbins’ quote, “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”
What days will you focus on your new endeavor? What times on those days? Now is not the time to be vague but rather to get as specific as possible. Once you’ve decided, put it on your calendar!
I found my guitar practicing was fairly sporadic until I committed to playing for two hours every morning before I do anything else or even open my email (!). The more you do your activity at your set days and times, the more momentum you’ll gain, and the more unbreakable your habit will become.
Step 5: Keep a progress journal
All paths to success will have bumps in the road. That’s what your progress journal is for. Find a notebook (hopefully one you’re excited about!) and pick a day each week when you’ll write down any notes about your ongoing progress.
What went well? What didn’t go well? What obstacles did you run into? What ideas do you have for how you can tackle those obstacles in the future?
There is no right or wrong here – your journal is all about documenting your experience, celebrating your wins, and getting curious about everything else.
My experience has been that when we make a true commitment to something new via the five steps above, we make it pretty darn hard for ourselves to quit – which is a good thing 🙂
What else have you found to be helpful in making a commitment towards a goal? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for more?
If you’re on a productivity or goal-setting kick, enjoy these other quick reads from Janelle (that’s me!) at Ellanyze: