Commitments and Goals

Goals à Commitments or Commitments à Goals 

iStockphoto © ayzek 12-30-07
  • Commitment: an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled ex: commitment to a cause.
  • Goal: the end toward which effort is directed. 

Where I’ve been and where I’m going hinges on knowing how commitments and goals interact with each other. For me a goal was always something I hoped to achieve and a commitment was something I obligated myself to. Simple, simple stuff right and not necessarily blog-worthy, but stay with me for a minute and answer this question truthfully.

Has the way you set goals changed since you were a child?

Growing up, most of my goals centered on future hopes. Bikes, suede Converse basketball shoes, and K2 skis were the things I hoped for and or set goals to achieve them. As I grew older little changed other than my hopes just getting a lot bigger. Own a house vs rent an apartment, financial security vs living paycheck to paycheck, debt free vs robbing “Peter to pay Paul”. So in light of what I share here and what came to mind for you has the way YOU set goals changed all that much since you were a kid other than scope and size?

Actually the better question I’ve started asking myself in conjunction with setting a goal is, “am I prepared, willing, and committed to invest what it takes to achieve this goal? 

  • It’s great to want to have financial security later in life, but am I monitoring my spending today so I’ll have that security tomorrow.
  • It’s great to want to lose 50+lbs, but am I willing to commit to making the changes in my lifestyle or am I seeking another quick fix yo-yo diet or the next magic pill.
  • It’s great to want to be the boss, but am I committed to put forth the effort to continue to learn and grow to be the best option when an opportunity presents itself.
  • It’s great to want to be married or have a relationship that might lead in that direction, but am I willing to consistently put someone else’s needs above my own and intentionally demonstrate it each day.
  • It’s great to want to be the leader of your family, but am I willing to truly put those relationships first or do they get what little margin I have left because my true commitment is to my career.
  • It’s great to want God’s favor when it comes to your goals, but am I willing to let His Will Be Done instead of inviting God to come along for MY ride as my co-pilot.

A few years ago I was forced to take a closer look at my goal setting track record. I was picking up the pieces of my world after a series of personal, professional, and physical setbacks. One of the first thing I realized was the goals which I did achieve, both big and small, were the ones where I had totally committed to the goal, and had put an action plan together that was clearly defined with a way to measure my progress.

One huge revelation that became clear was the fact that my failure rate was significantly higher on those goals that were made without a clear understanding of the commitment I needed to make to achieve the desired outcome.

In other words “trying” to achieve a desired outcome is far less likely to be achieved than “committing” to achieve the outcome.

Based on these revelations I now find myself achieving goals with greater frequency due to understanding the unique relationship between commitments and goals which leads me to create goals based on commitments I’m prepared to make.

With 2011 just a few days away and so many of us in the resolution and goal setting mode I think the dialogue that results will help us all set better goals and achieve more than we have in years past.

Wishing Everyone a Blessed New Year!  


trusting God period 

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