|-Invest in the process of attaining your goals rather than committing to them.|
I am not sure how you feel about commitment. If you are like many people, commitment sounds good in theory but hard to practice for a significant length of time to make a difference.
Commitment focuses on delayed gratification, sacrificing pleasure today for a better tomorrow. On the other hand, investing in your goals is focused on the benefit of making a deposit today towards a better future.
When you invest in education, you focus on the present advantage of learning and understanding long before receiving your degree. When you commit to getting an education, the payoff is not received until the diploma is in hand, leaving lots of opportunity for discouragement and disillusionment along the way.
Commitment is sacrifice oriented. Investment is benefit-oriented. Which is more motivating to you?
As you look towards the potential of a better year ahead, I want to challenge your thinking and possibly change your perspective on the most effective way to make your goals a reality.
Common commitment issues.
Ron is an entrepreneur struggling at the five-year mark since his company’s inception. To turn this around, he commits to increasing revenue by 25% this year with several new products and services. Anita leads the marketing department of a medium-sized company, which has been in disarray due to organizational changes and cutbacks. She is committed to becoming a more hands-on leader to keep her team focused and on target with their goals.
Within months of making these significant commitments, both Ron and Anita strayed from their original plans. Not only were they disappointed with themselves, but their situations became worse. What happened?
Fear is the culprit.
Fear of failure and loss destroys commitment. Ron became an entrepreneur because he wanted the freedom and thrill to work and live on his terms. However, his commitment restricted that freedom and led to the tediousness he sought to avoid in his previous 9-5 job. When Anita held her team accountable, she felt alienated from them and feared she would lose whatever productivity and cohesiveness the team did have.
Additionally, we often interpret commitment to be an all or nothing proposition. We think that to succeed we must follow through on our commitments 100% of the time. This type of black and white thinking is perfectionism. The truth is that you are an imperfect person living in an imperfect world. Failure at some point is likely. No one can overcome all impulses, momentary lapses in judgment and other distractions, all of the time.
Investment is about improvement.
If commitment can be stalled by perfectionism, then investment is motivated by improvement.
Imagine you have $100 to spend. When you commit to your goal of saving $2500 for the initial deposit to lease a car, a $100 deposit in your savings account is not $2500. Even when you have $1000 saved, it is still not $2500. In essence, you are in a state of semi-failure limbo every time you deposit money until you finally reach $2500.
Until there is a match between your goal and reality, you will be waiting to experience achievement. When you finally do reach your goal, the exhilaration is short-lived. Why? Because you did not invest your attention and appreciation in the process. You were focused solely on the outcome.
When you invest in your goal of saving $2500, you pay attention and appreciate how you are improving. Investing acknowledges imperfection from the start and seeks to increase or build for the better.
According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, invest is defined as “To use money for (something) in order to earn more money…to spend money for building or improving (something)…to give (time or effort) in order to do something or make something better…to spend money on (something useful or helpful to oneself)…”
Investment is more natural.
Investment is more aligned with living a healthy life. It empowers with present-action rather than future promise. When you invest in your goals, you turn commitment into smaller, immediate actions that are simpler to accomplish and offer satisfaction now. Every time you invest, the more motivation you create.
Investing frees you from needing to reach the goal to feel fulfilled. The goal is your target in the future and investment is what you do on a regular basis to get you from where you are to where you want to go.
To invest is to nurture and grow something. Deposits you make in the bank accrue value. A tree that you water grows. A relationship that you cultivate flourishes. Investment focuses on what needs to be developed to attain a goal, while commitment focuses on what needs to be pushed.
Commitment to better leadership holds you to a standard you may never reach but investing in better leadership is about what skill you can improve today. If you are committed to a balanced life, you metaphorically hold your breath until you arrive at the desired balance. When you invest in a balanced life, every positive choice you make is a deposit in your balance account. When you commit to accelerating your career or business, your satisfaction is put on hold until you land the right job, get the promotion, or achieve your financial goals. When you invest, every action whether a success or failure increases your knowledge and guides your way.
This coming year, consider investing in your goals rather than committing to them. When you set yourself up for growth and development instead of a test of will and determination, you always win. You keep your motivation strong even when the goal seems far away.
Invest in what you want. You will be glad you did.
Work Your Inner Genius. For your new year’s goals, try switching your focus to what you will improve or develop on a regular basis rather than just on attaining your goal. See how that affects your ability to sustain your motivation beyond the first few weeks in January.
1. What goals do you want to invest in for 2021?
2. What are the daily, weekly, or monthly investment actions for your goal?
3. How will these actions make you feel good, proud, or happy in the moment rather than when you achieve your goal in the future?
Thanks for reading! Happy New Year and til next week,
Jo-Aynne von Born, Certified Professional Coach
Authenticity instigator. Success accelerator. Creativity engineer.
Mindset shifter. Trusted partner.
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