The Power of Commitment

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Have you ever noticed that some people keep on succeeding
while others have great ideas
but nothing happens with them in the end?

Do you know people who SAY they will do something
and then put it off
Do YOU do this?

But do you know what that seemingly small decision reveals about you?

Firstly, it tells others that you are not trustworthy
and cannot be counted on

It also indicates that you are
unlikely to succeed at the activities
that you SAY you want
because you tend not to focus
on what is important; only on the urgent things.

This may be harsh, but if it describes one of your habits –
at least now you know the consequences,
both in relationships and in achieving your goals.

It can be an easy decision to put off doing something
– everyone is busy –
and just do the things that are SHOUTING at you.


Say-Do Principle: But if you want to have long term credibility
with others, apply the Say-Do Principle.
Only say you will do something if you ARE going to do it,
WHEN you said you would.

Hold your breath and
count to 10 before spouting any ill thought sentences
that others will take as a commitment on your part.
Make this a rule that you follow.
If you have to miss a deadline, communicate a new deadline
as soon as possible. This will earn you much respect and trust
from everyone you care about.

Detail/Big Picture:
One of the most important gifts you can give yourself
if you want to be successful, is to identify where to place your attention. Often people get lost in the detail when trying to make a decision and lose sight of the larger stakes.
Recently someone I know was stuck
about deciding whether to take a job that would mean
a move to a region where she wanted to live,
because her husband had not yet found a job in this region.

She was bogged down in the logistical details,
forgetting that they had decided as a couple that the
big goal was to live in the new region.
When she and her husband zoomed out to the big picture,
and their overall goal, her next steps were obvious.
Take the job!
Interestingly when she kept her commitment to their goal,
her husband was offered a job almost immediately after she said yes.

When people are focused on options, alternatives and possibilities, they have struggles completing commitments.
We call this the Options Pattern from the
Language and Behavior Profile (LAB Profile).

These folks tend to be very creative but often
do not follow through on what they say they are going to do.

If someone has a preference for a step by process when they do things,
what we call a Procedures Pattern,
they are more likely to follow through with their commitments.
In fact, when you hear Procedure language,
such as “the next step, then, after that, process,
how to get to the end goal”, etc.,
it may actually indicate that the person IS committed to doing what they said they would do.

To improve your ability to follow through
and actually do what you committed to doing,
get yourself into a more Procedures mode
An easy way to do this is to schedule WHEN
you will do the steps needed
to fulfill your commitment
right in your calendar.
And be a slave to your calendar.
Ok, not really a slave as such — but use your calendar
to guide your actual work activities,
and not only your appointments with others.

If you still suck at doing what you said you were going to do;
hire someone and give them the task. I do this in my work
by hiring freelancers on to do
many of the tasks I don’t have time for.
Obviously, if your commitment was about making time for looooove with your partner, delegating this task may lead to some undesired consequences. lol

The Power of Commitment

When you only SAY the things you will actually DO,
suddenly you have a super power!
Others trust you and treat you with respect.
You get the things you want from life because you
made the commitment to do what is needed, when you said you would.

A simple commitment: Say-Do, and achieve whatever you want!

10 thoughts on “The Power of Commitment

  1. Godwin Otuu Oyim

    I enjoyed your post.Its a complete definition of myself.Full of great ideas but lack the will power to commit to a project

  2. Bettina Pickering

    Love the article, Shelle. It so captures some of my challenges in one area of my life, which I am addressing. It is interesting for me to recognise how attached I am to my options pattern in this area, in other areas I have no problems switching into procedure mode when needed. I certainly found that by making daily lists, diarising everything and allocating extra time for tasks I am not sure about how long they will take, I am making in roads in this area. I have gone so far as to colour code my tasks by goal, so I can see them clearly in my diary, so I get reminded of my bigger picture on a daily basis.

  3. Lindley

    I just had an opposite example of the big picture/detail situation. I’ve jut joined the board of an association and the new leader is very big picture. In fact, he is so big picture he forgets that he has a brand new team that hasn’t learned how to run monthly meetings, book speakers for monthly meetings or know what to communicate to the members and when. When we ask him for a decision, it is based on the big picture and not in the detail so it gets lost in vagueness and nothing ever gets done. I find that people need a certain amount of detail to act. Too much and they get overwhelmed. Too little and they float around. It is nice to know that I could have also been looking at whether or not the leader was trying to keep his options open where I was trying to help everyone proceduralize (I know that isn’t an actual word – but it sounds good) the ‘system’.

  4. Jay Arthur

    When someone asks me to do something, my opening gambit is to say “No!” I have found that they haven’t thought through the Why or the How of the request. They haven’t thought about how to prioritize it.
    “No!” creates a discussion that ends up with better results.

  5. Ian Clarke

    Shelle- great article – it has made me think about my work and how much I do and not do trying to achieve what I want. I also breathe relief when someone can’t do what they said because its a good excuse for me not to do something that follows on, except moan about them. I particularly agree with delegate idea. For me running my own business and being the accountant coach, trainer, marketing manager and sale person- not to mention the house keeper, to zoom out and say what is important and put it in the diary and commit is simple but effective. mental note to self, ‘must start doing this next week’ – lol only joking it start at 0929.


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