The difference between interest and commitment.

Hint:  Commitment isn’t a binary state.

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Everyone who's tried to lose weight has experienced the difference between interest and commitment at one time or another.

We start the program totally fired up!  We are careful, accurate and bought-in to following the program exactly as instructed.  The scale drops every week - which fuels our commitment to reaching our goal. Everything is great!

But gradually, things shift.  We fudge a little here and relax a little there.  The scale doesn't move as much, so we feel less excited.  Suddenly what was easy begins to feel kind of hard.  Watching friends and family eat differently spurs thoughts of deprivation. Our food seems boring in comparison. We start to wonder if the program we are on really works?

A list forms in our minds... doubts, frustrations, reasons for quitting.  We gradually forget why we started the program in the first place.  More and more, our thoughts turn to why quitting - just for now - would be ok...

  • “I’m not sure this program really works after all.”
  • “This is too ‘restrictive.’ I need more freedom.”
  • “I can do this on my own.  I don’t need accountability.”
  • “I am fine the way I am.”
  • “It’s just not the right time.”
  • “I’ll do it after...
    • my upcoming vacation.”
    • the weekend.”
    • so-and-so’s wedding.”
    • the next work trip.”
    • the holidays.”
    • my dog’s birthday…”
    • etc.

If we do ‘cheat,’ it only fuels our appetite, slows our momentum and feeds thoughts of guilt and failure.  Instead of acknowledging that we created this ourselves (which is painful) most of us become more and more certain that the program has failed us, not the other way around.

Believe it or not, all of this is normal, predictable and fixable – IF we understand what’s happening and take the right steps to turn it around from the start.

Staying committed requires that you hold and focus on thoughts which strengthen rather than weaken commitment.

 

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So how do you capture and keep this elusive concept called commitment?  Honestly it’s pretty simple.

Staying committed requires that you hold and focus on thoughts which strengthen rather than weaken commitment.  Commitment needs to be cultivated and strengthened in order to carry you through hard times.

  • Focus on Committed Thoughts  
    The trick with commitment is to give it the right fuel. Fuel = thoughts that re-inspire you.  The most powerful thoughts to fuel commitment relate to your WHY:  Why did you make the commitment in the first place?  A great way to fuel your success is to practice 5-10 minutes of reflection on your WHY every morning as you begin your day.
  • Actively Switch to Committed Thoughts
    Whenever you notice yourself tempted to stray, actively re-focus your mind on your WHY.  A great technique is to write down your top 5 WHYs on a 3X5 card and carry them with you. It’s great if you can include pictures or images that inspire you.  Try to feel the FEELINGS associated with your why as vividly as possible.  This practice gives you real-time access to your original inspiration for success.
  • Make Commitment Automatic
    If you are consistent enough with your intentional thought switching practice, you’ll gradually reprogram your mind to automatically switch to Committed Thoughts as soon as Crisis Thoughts come up.

Interest-vs-Commitment

If you’re wondering which state of mind you are in, this graphic can shed some light on the two different mindsets.

If you notice your actions say that you’re merely interested when you’d rather be committed, practice making your actions reflect what you said you wanted for yourself, even when you don’t feel like it.

Also try visualizing being at your goal — how it will feel, what will be different… This is a very powerful way to engage your subconscious mind and make it work for you.

A lot of success happens mentally before it happens physically. When you feel discouraged, find the ways you are expressing mere interest and see if you can convert those so they reflect commitment.  This can make the difference between failure and success!  Try it!  It really works!

 

 
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