Why committing to do just one thing is an essential first step in achieving our goals.
In the hustle of everyday life, it’s easy to slip into patterns and behaviors that simply move us through our days. We check off one to-do after another and move from one thing to the next, often without thought to whether our actions support the bigger ambitions we’re most passionate about.
More often than many of us would probably like to admit, we distract ourselves with tasks that keep us right where we’ve been; we make choices that keep us where it’s safe, comfortable, and familiar.
It’s not that we haven’t considered what it would take to go after our bigger goals or how to make them a reality. And it’s not that we haven’t made initial attempts to move forward in some way. Yet we remain unfulfilled or restless.
My theory is that these halfhearted attempts have been either too insignificant to motivate us, or too challenging and overwhelming for us to start. So rather than continuing to pursue our objective, we begin to think it’s too hard or not worth it. In this defeatist mindset, we tell ourselves that our effort isn’t going to move the needle enough or that someone with more resources, power, or influence will have to make it happen.
But an objective is about more than the outcome: It’s a series of small goals followed by actions that move us toward a desired result — and each one plays an essential role along the way. Too often we skip over them because they seem negligible, only to end up back where we started.
To truly make headway, though, we have to approach each objective one goal at a time, even if it’s small and seemingly inconsequential. And most important, we have to commit to it, something I believe can make all the difference.
By making a commitment, we create a pact with ourselves and those supporting us to see something through to completion. We vow that we will do whatever it takes to get there, no matter how many steps it requires, no matter the effort, and no matter how long it takes.
Ultimately, a commitment moves us toward creating an experience in the world that is more enjoyable and fulfilling than our current circumstances — and opens the door to new possibilities.
Which is why we need to take any commitment we make seriously and commit to only those goals that truly light us up. If we commit to too many things at once, we can lose focus, setting ourselves up for failure.
So I recommend committing to one positive action that motivates you to take that first step and then another. This is the focus of Life Time’s annual Commitment Day festivities, which kick off the last weekend of December and go through the New Year. It’s a series of fun events with the aim of inspiring people — regardless of their goal and wherever they are on their healthy-living journey — to commit to just one thing to get the ball rolling. (Learn more at my.lifetime.life/CommitmentDay.)
Once your first positive action is complete, start taking the next steps toward your ultimate goal. If your energy or enthusiasm begins to dip, give yourself space and time to explore why that’s happening. Then come back the next day with another positive action. Assess and reassess as needed so you can keep making meaningful progress.
With commitments from you and thousands of others, imagine how all that positive energy, motivation, and support for one another could change our world. Just picture a movement of good intentions that begins to spread and inspire others.
Envision even a few people supporting your one positive action and how that could motivate others to join in, too. Your commitment could be the catalyst for a massive change. Consider what you might start.
We all have the potential to be changemakers. We just have to be willing to step away from the mundane and toward the possibilities. I hope you’ll join me in taking action to make our world a healthier and happier place.