I recently read Commit to Win by Heidi Reeder that discusses four main elements needed to reach a goal. The four variables you need to focus are:
- Treasures – the good things that come from working towards a commitment. It is important to clearly recognize and define the positive benefits of the goal and this is essentially the “why” behind your commitment.
An example of exercising more may include – the feeling of accomplishment after a workout, more energy throughout the day, and sleeping better at night
By highlighting all of the positive results and outcomes from committing you are able to focus on the good things throughout the process and the results that follow from sticking to our plan.
- Troubles – the challenges that you face as you work towards your goals. Clearly, state the obstacles and recognize that there will be challenges. The key is this will help you recognize the troubles that are real and the ones that are excuses you may use.
Workout example – Not enough time in the day, it’s raining outside, the gym is too expensive.
Some of these you can control like which gym you use or have a backup exercise routine for rainy days. By recognizing troubles you can properly prepare and better sustain your work towards your goals.
- Contributions – the amount you have already contributed towards your commitment. What is the “sunk cost” of time, money, and energy?
Workout example – I’ve already paid for this month’s gym membership, have already spent 4 weeks training for the half-marathon, or I cleaned out the guest bedroom replacing the furniture with my workout equipment.
The idea being when you do have doubts and the troubles become the focus, you can choose to remember all that you have invested in this goal and commitment and that remembrance will help power you through. Being able to understand your “sunk cost” – an investment you can’t get back – this will help you recommit.
- Choices – The different alternatives we have – good and bad. You can choose to do x or not do x but what are the consequences.
Workout example – I can not go to the gym and watch TV while eating potato chips on the sofa, I can force myself to do at least 10 minutes on the treadmill, I can go play tennis today rather than my weight lifting routine
There is a multitude of choices both good and bad that have consequences affecting the outcomes in our lives. Recognize the vast number of choices that may arise when you are set to workout more and determine if they are a good or bad alternative. Going to play tennis rather than to lift weights is a better option than binge watching a show on Netflix.
Ultimately I really enjoyed the simple concepts behind Commit to Win and found the most valuable part learning when to recognize it’s time to give up a commitment. Just as the above example is about committing to a goal, Reeder discusses how it can be used alternatively to identify when it is time to let go and move on from a commitment. This was eye opening to me as I am very much a goal setter and always working towards goals. If you don’t achieve them they never really go away they just morph into something with different timelines or a new variation. I recognized that I am not great at giving up things and de-committing from a goal that does not matter or is irrelevant to what I truly want. This book is worth the read just for instilling this concept if letting go is a challenge for you and actionable steps to sticking to your goals.
If you’d like to check out the book yourself below is the Amazon link as well as links to my other book reviews