Monday, February 23, 2009

Personal Leadership - Commitment to your Goals

As a Business and Personal Coach, I challenge my clients regularly to look at themselves, their lives and their businesses and ask how committed they are to what they want. Some are honest about their level of commitment, while others only think they are. I can usually tell the difference right away, but it often takes weeks (or even months) for them to tell the difference.

Getting people to face the truth about what it truly means to be committed is tough. And to be quite honest, as I look back, I'm not sure how committed I have been in my own life - and how much I just hoped that things would work out for me. It's something I work on every day.

For example, many years ago, as a pilot in the Navy I tried to become a Blue Angel for three straight years. It was a goal of mine – one I thought I was committed to. Needless to say, it didn't happen. But to be honest, I “wanted” it more than I was willing to do to make it happen. I thought I did everything that I could do to become one - but I refused to look honestly at what I was doing - and my real level of commitment.

If I had truly wanted to be a Blue Angel and was committed to it (willing to do whatever it would have taken), things might have been different. As I look back, I didn't give it everything I had - I didn't do whatever it took. And for years I was bitter about it - blaming the system, instead of looking at where my heart really was. Why I wasn't doing a very obvious thing that would have made a very big difference in my pursuit.

Do I have regrets? Yes. But not because I didn't become a Blue Angel. I have regrets because I created a goal for myself, haphazardly, and in many ways, recklessly, without truly committing to it. And had I achieved that goal, without truly giving myself to it, I would have perpetuated an attitude that would have eventually caught up to me.

Today, in my practice, I define Commitment as the willingness to do whatever it takes within the bounds of your morale code (core values) to accomplish what you set out to accomplish - whether it be a simple goal or a long term vision.

Everyday, I work with small business owners, executives, and individuals - helping them set goals - often prodding them (considerably) to push themselves beyond what they would normally achieve given their current thought processes and actions.

Unfortunately, I have found that most people's commitment to their goals is only moderate at best. They tend to spend more time hoping for their goals to come true than they do taking planned actions to make them come true.

True commitment is hard, but it is achievable. We see it every day - when we see greatness - and hear of stories when people have overcome great odds. However, it is very rare to find without some kind of outside force holding that person accountable to achieving what they set out to accomplish.

As children, we rely on many accountability partners in our lives, our parents, our teachers, our athletic coaches, and often times even our friend. And as adults, many find friends or family member to be helpful in this capacity, but that's the exception – because a real accountability partner must stay objective with you – not allowing the relationship to cloud their thoughts. So many of us, myself included, turn to outside individuals to help us stay committed to our goal and hire professionals to assist us: Personal and Business Coaches, Personal Trainers, Health Coaches, Mentors, and Career Coaches are just a few examples that people turn to to keep them on track.

So, not I leave you with a few closing questions to Stop and think about:

  • How committed are you to your health goals?

  • Do you just want them or are you willing to do whatever it takes?

  • Are you living a healthy lifestyle, every day – all day, or a you just pretending to?

  • Who is YOUR accountability partner

As I said in the beginning, most people think they are committed to their goals, but rarely are. If you want to lose weight, have a better body, live longer and healthier, or improve any aspect of your life then stopping just saying you want those things and commit the energy and time they require . . . Make those goals a reality.

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