No no, this isn’t relationship advice or some post about how men are trash. This is about the commitment issues that most of us seem to have. Tell me if any of these things sound familiar:
- “I’m going to get my grades up this year. I will read the course material ahead of class, I will do my assignments early, I may even do some additional reading,” then, let’s say after a few weeks of doing this, you stop. Suddenly you’re only doing the necessary readings and pretty soon after that, you’re not doing anything reading. “I’ll catch back up closer to exams,” you tell yourself.
- “I’m going to get my body in shape” you research diets and workout plans. You go to the grocery to get your greens, you start working out at home, you maybe even join the gym. Then life hits, it’s suddenly hard to “fit” your workouts into your daily schedule. You get fed up of clean eating or even cooking and you just want some KFC to satisfy yourself. Before you know it one cheat day turns into a week, then two weeks and just like that, your fitness plan is non-existent.
- “I’m going to take the plunge and start my own business” You probably had an idea for years or it could still be fairly young. You put things into motion. You have the Instagram page set up, you have your products/services ready. It’s time to go. But then, the first month or even year of your business isn’t as booming as you expected. You’re not swimming in cash as you’d imagined. Certain aspects are taking a lot more time and effort than you’d planned for. Next thing you know, you’re taking a few weeks off to regroup and refocus. But that retreat ends up lasting for months and soon all momentum is lost and you close up shop and move on.
You see, commitment issues aren’t only found in twenty something year old guys. We all seem to have it. Much like relationships, whatever we set our minds to seems exciting at first. We want to dedicate all our time to it, we want to master it. The freshness makes us excited, just like the honeymoon stage in any relationship.
But it is only when the honeymoon is over, do we get to the real stuff. That’s when the healthy eating and exercise becomes a drag, when the advance studying seems stressful and when working on our business ideas seems like something that could be put off till the future. This is like the point in the relationship where the girl stops getting dolled up and the boy stops sending cute messages and being attentive. The courting is over. So what happens now? Do we just leave everything to float around aimlessly and we will just see what happens? Or do we recommit to what we originally set out to do and power through the hard times?
No matter what you set out to do, there will be hard times. There will be a point where it just seems easier to give up. Eating healthy and working out regularly is difficult and especially if you don’t see results soon it’s easy to get demotivated. Studying at a high caliber year round is also taxing, especially when you see all your friends having fun. And starting any business venture comes with its unique challenges. But when things get tough, or you lose your initial zeal, you have to ask yourself- Why did I do this in the first place? Is this what I really want?
Every time you commit yourself to something, think of it as a marriage. The successful marriages are the ones where the couples make a conscious decision to choose the relationship over whatever difficulty they are facing. Treat your goals like a marriage. You’re not going to marry someone based on shallow reasons, so likewise don’t commit yourself to something that you don’t really want to do. Ensure that you have a good reason for setting your goals. It has to be deep because when things get hard, if you don’t have a good reason for your dedication in the first place, you are going to quit. Discover the “why” behind what you set out to do. It is by doing this that you would know whether the goal you are committing yourself to is something you can marry or just a crush. Marry yourself to your goals and remain faithful. Don’t do things that will take you away from your goals. In other words, don’t cheat. Don’t go to the club behind your goal’s back and then get upset when your goal leaves you. If you can’t see yourself really committing to your goals, then end that relationship. Don’t even bother to start working towards it. Save yourself the time and effort. We all have commitment issues but if it is something we really want, we have to power through and make a conscious decision to recommit ourselves to it every single day.