Commitment and accountability are closely linked in several ways. How? Unless you’re fully committed to following through with your top priorities, you won’t get to create the life you want. If you’re not committed to learning about how to master accountability, nothing will change.

Being committed to things that matter to you in life helps you turn your dreams into realities. Being committed allows you to tap into an extra fuel source to follow through with the things that will help you achieve your key goals in life – even when you don’t feel like it. In this age there are literally millions of distractions pulling us from side-to-side to grab attention and time.

Because of this, the skill of commitment is dwindling inside of ourselves, leading to constant busy-ness, but lack of progress in key areas of our lives. Learn how to commit to what matters most to you, and how that will lead to a more fulfilled and successful life.

Take a moment to consider this question:

What have you committed to in your life consistently?

As in:

All in.

100%.

All the way – truly committed to.

Commitment gives structure to do all the things you care about and helps you follow through.

Commitment isn’t something you can choose to turn on and off, if you want to be the best you can be. It’s compulsory, all the time.

There will be positives and negatives along your journey when you commit to something all the way, but that’s the deal.

Now, take a moment to do a simple exercise. Take a blank piece of paper, or a notebook, Word doc, anything you can capture writing on.

Divide the paper into two halves vertically so you have two columns. Make a list of all the things you have fully committed to in your life in the left-hand column.

Then, next to each item on your list, write down the benefits associated with committing 100% to these things.

Now create two columns on a fresh piece of paper and then in the left-hand column write down all the things in your life you wanted to commit to, started with good intentions, but then stopped, for whatever reason. Opposite each item write down what the downside has been of falling short of being fully committed.

This simple exercise isn’t a silver bullet to your commitment challenges, but it should start to raise your level of awareness about the benefits of being 100% committed to things. It should also help you start to see what happens when you’re not fully committed to things, how much energy it can use, and the impact on your overall life.

The list should also highlight what your relationship to commitment is like. Maybe your first list is literally 1 item, and your second list is 50 items long. What clue is this giving you about you and your relationship to commitment? Maybe you find it hard?

Maybe your first list is full to the brim and your second list is minimal. What is this telling you? Does commitment come easy to you?

There is a wonderful paradox as far as commitment is concerned. It’s kind of like a little secret that could really help you if your relationship to commitment is not as healthy as you’d like. Want to know what it is?

Okay, so here goes.

Commitment = Freedom.

Yes. It’s true.

Most people think the other way round – that it takes away the freedom.

Nope.

How?

The structure and control of being committed to things help you have more freedom in the long run, because you can say no to the things that fall outside of the items you’re committed to.

In your life at the moment, where have you agreed to commit all the way but your actions and behaviours are telling a different story?

Maybe you’re avoiding committing to being the best partner you can be, or the best parent.

Maybe you’re not committing 100% to your career, or health ─ even though, if you did, the positive impact on your life, and the lives of those close to you, would be huge.

If that’s true to you, you may have a values gap – where what you say you value and what your actions actually show have a chasm between them.

For example, you may say you value being a parent, however, you actively find ways to avoid spending time with your kids and use work as a smokescreen because it’s more comfortable for you.

Whatever you truly value you should fully commit to, otherwise you can’t value it as much as you think.

What do you truly value in life and how are you committing to it?

Are you showing integrity in how you behave in line with your values?

To paraphrase Gandhi, “Integrity is saying what you think and doing what you say”.

How committed are you to behaving with integrity and fully committing to it. Remember, commitment = freedom.

Are you up for a challenge?

Pick one thing from your list of items you’ve not fully committed to in your life (even though you want to) and choose to go all in with it over the next 90 days.

Only pick one thing; the biggest changes start with small baby steps consistently over time. Maybe you want to commit to being a more patient and present parent. If that’s the case, start practising it now, today. Small incremental improvements over time make for massive gains.

What impact would committing to this one thing have on your life?

Bill Gates once said, “People overestimate what they can achieve in 12 months and underestimate what they can achieve over 10 years”.

Slowing things down and being very clear about what you need to be committed to in your life, the things that matter to you most, will help you achieve everything you desire ─ even when the going gets tough. Be it 12 months or 10 years, you’ll be amazed at what going all in with commitment can do for you and those close to you.

Wishing you health and happiness,

David.

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*A version of this blog post previously appeared in my ebook, Mastering Accountability: Getting Sh*t Done In A Busy World