Brandee Lee Crooks
Webster’s Dictionary defines the term ‘commitment’ as the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. So often we relate the term commitment to a relationship or job, but how often do we review our commitment to ourselves? 2020 is now well underway! The upset of structure that happens during the holiday season is behind us and we are back on track with our regular schedules. For many, January and the new decade started strong with focused goals. February is an excellent time to reflect on how we are coming along with them. It’s time to ask ourselves if we are maintaining the commitment to our goals or allowing excuses and distractions to interfere with staying on track?
A very popular New Year’s Resolution is to exercise. Regular gym-goers roll their eyes or cringe at the idea that the gym will be crowded the first couple weeks of January, but most know that the crowds will disperse right around the third week when commitments diminish. The auto-pays and annual commitments are in place so gyms continue to operate. It’s the members who fail to show up consistently. Is every single person who made this resolution just inherently lazy? No! Often, the ability to get to the gym is due to life getting in the way. Consistent workouts interfere with getting the kids out the door for school, getting to work on time, making dinner for the family, driving the kids to extracurricular activities, or spending time with a significant other. In short, it’s our commitments to our children, spouse, or career that interferes with the ability to do something for ourselves. We allow our own goals to move to the back burner. We create excuses for why we can’t focus on ourselves, and we fail to set the best example for those who look to us for guidance. It is possible to create a balance of all our commitments without discarding what’s important to us as an individual. Unless your goal is to become a martyr, ignoring what’s important to you will only bring you a feeling of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, or resentment. That’s no way to live!
Nelson Mandela said, “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” If you’re uncomfortable putting yourself first, start by realizing it’s the best thing you can do for those around you, even if it isn’t comfortable for you at first. You’ll be surprised how many people notice and how many you inspire to do the same. It’s important to be intentional about what we project to those who look to us for guidance. As you start February, reevaluate your goals. Remember, your goals are important too. Recommit to what you want to accomplish this year for YOU! Create a plan for your life and a budget of your time that includes you and check in on it weekly because the time to achieve your goals is NOW!