Do you find it hard to make a commitment? Further to my post about blame or responsibility, I thought I’d take a closer look at commitment in today’s post. How many of you find it hard to make a commitment? Or find it challenging to follow through to the end of commitment you’ve made? I’ve been observing my level commitment in different areas of my life, as well as other people’s level of commitment in those same areas.
What are your priorities?
The first thing about being committed to a person, job, activity or group is determining where it falls on your level of priorities. I believe that the reason why so many people aren’t able to keep their commitments or follow them through is because of where their priorities truly lie. For example, I made a decision to become more fluent in Spanish this year. From Sept – Dec, I attended my Spanish meet-up group every other week and took every possible opportunity to practice.
After my trip to Mexico at Christmas, even though my desire to learn Spanish had not disappeared, the level of commitment to my Spanish group had changed because it was no longer a priority (i.e. no upcoming trip). And now, I have pre-natal yoga on Thursday nights (same night as Spanish) so I have made the decision to commit to the yoga instead of Spanish. Even though I enjoyed meeting with the group and have learned quite a bit in the past few months, my priorities have changed and so has my commitment level.
We all have different levels of commitment
In many other areas of my life, I have noticed that everyone seems to have a different level of commitment. And I often wonder why people choose to sign up and pay for different activities, yet rarely or never show up? One example is our Toastmasters group. There is a fairly high level of commitment to be a part of this group as we meet every Monday night for 2 hours. Members are not required to attend every meeting and there is no penalty for missing too many meetings. Yet there are members who only come once a month or perhaps only when their name is on the schedule. And there are other members who are there for every single meeting, or at the most have missed one or two since the beginning of this year.
It’s interesting because both people may have similar challenges to overcome in order to attend the meetings, yet one of them is there and the other isn’t. It comes back to a level of priority of course. Where does Toastmasters fit into each person’s level of priorities, compared to the rest of their lives? Ironically, just like most things in life, you get the most out of the experience by showing up and being a part of it. Which leads to a greater enjoyment and a deeper commitment. Of course, those who are never able to show up regularly will never have the opportunity to experience this.
How do you know when to break a commitment?
Let’s say you’ve made a pretty serious commitment to a job, a business or relationship. And you’ve been delivering on that commitment since day one and holding up your end of the deal. What happens if you’re faced with a decision that would require you to break that commitment in order to move on to something or someone else? This is a situation that I’m sure many of you have faced before, as have I. In my career so far in network marketing, I built a business with one company for 3 years, and had committed to building it to the highest level. Yet I quit the business before I got there.
There are moments in our lives where we will choose to break a commitment and move on, because that is the decision that is best for us at that time. I had been completely committed to what I was building with the first company, and now, am committed to reach even higher levels of success with my current business. This type of commitment is often the hardest to break and the most difficult to change – which is sometimes why we spend longer in relationships than we should or we stay at our job even though we haven’t enjoyed it for years or we stick with a flat-lining business because we’ve already put so much into it.
Commitment and responsibility are completely intertwined
Bringing it back to my post last week about taking responsibility for our own actions, fulfilling a commitment is a big part of being responsible. Being in network marketing is an interesting business, it may seem very simple but it’s definitely not easy. One of the biggest challenges is that with such a low cost entry to open your own international business, often the level of commitment does not match what it will take to truly be successful. There are times when I do wish it cost $50 or $100 thousand dollars to open your own network marketing business because I can guarantee you that the commitment level from most people (myself included) would change dramatically.
However, the low start up fees is one of the reasons why our business is so appealing to so many people. The bottom line is that it takes at least one year to understand the business, at least 3-5 years part-time (honestly working 10-15 hours a week) to replace a full time income and anywhere from 3 to 10 years to be financially free and reach the top of the company. It takes hard work and commitment, just like anything else in life.
Take a look at all of the different areas in your life and ask yourself, how committed are you to each of them? Is it time to take a look at your priorities and re-assess? What are you committed to in the next 30, 60 or 90 days? How about in the next 1, 3 or 5 years? If you’d like some help to figure out your priorities and to focus your commitments for the next 10 years, I highly recommend Darren Hardy’s Program on Designing the Best 10 Years of Your Life. I committed to finishing it … I got to part 10 of 16. Perhaps you’ll make it all the way!