3. Self-Motivation

3.2 Commitment

The second attribute of Self-Motivation is commitment. You are a committed person if you:

  • Can see the “big picture” and can give up immediate gratification to achieve the larger goal
  • Find a sense of purpose in the larger mission
  • Use core values when making decisions and clarifying choices
  • Actively seek out opportunities to fulfil your mission.

10/10 Before we start, give yourself a quick score out of 10 as to how committed you think you are. (You can compare this score to your commitment rating after completing this lesson.)

What Does Commitment Refer To?

When it comes to self-motivation, commitment refers to your ability to do what it takes to be the best version of yourself. It is a pledge that compels you to carry out a specific course of action.

Commitment involves an inner determination which overcomes negative external influences and gives you a sense of accomplishment which generates its own positive energy.

Why is Commitment Important?

Making and keeping commitments is the foundation on which you build your everyday life, studies, and career or business. It is a fundamental aspect of success.

The power of commitments lies in how they influence your thoughts and behaviour. No doubt there are bumps (or even mountains) on the road to achieving your goals, and this is where your commitment gives you the boost to overcome hurdles rather than giving up.

Whether you are committing to a relationship, career, fitness, or other personal improvement goal, the temptation to quit will always arise. Commitment is when you can anticipate it and then make a promise to yourself that the feeling of wanting to give up will not overpower your progress.

A distinctive characteristic of success in leaders is their perseverance of commitment:

Commitments separate the doers from the dreamers! People follow doers.”   John Maxwell

How to Increase Your Commitment

Some goals are easier to commit to than others. Here are some steps to take to boost your commitment for all the others:

Don’t overcommit. In the heat of the moment, saying “Yes!” to things is easy. The thing is, if you say yes, you need to be willing to commit. With only 1440 minutes available to you each day, consider what impact each of your commitments will have on the others. Be selective about what you commit to.

Remember that saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to something else.

By making commitments only to the people and things that are truly valuable to you, your relationships will improve, you will be more successful in achieving your goals, and you’ll have more time to enjoy your journey.

Be SMART. Ensuring that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound is the first step in keeping your commitment on track.

Write it down. There is plenty of scientific researcher proving that simply putting something on paper leads to greater commitment.

Go public. By sharing your goal with others, your commitment level increases. Yes, it’s sad that we value to opinion of others, but the fear of embarrassment is a huge motivator – leverage it.

Woop! Yes, you will whoop with joy when your commitment pays off, but this refers to an additional step in your goal setting. Using scientific tools called mental contrasting and implementation intentions, revisit your goals to boost your commitment.

W stands for wish – the goal you want to achieve.
Example: “I want to finish this assignment by next Wednesday.”

O stands for outcome – visualise the best possible outcome that would result from you achieving this goal.
Example: “I am relieved and feel proud of myself.”

O stands for obstacles – you know - the hurdles that separate you from your goal.
Example: “I procrastinate and get distracted by Facebook.”

P stands for plan – what are you going to do to overcome your obstacle? Visualise what actions would help you when your obstacle looms large.

If / When _________ (obstacle), then I will __________ (action to overcome obstacle).

Example: “If I get distracted during my work, then I hide my phone in my cupboard, block all distracting websites, and get back to work.”


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