The Journal

Achieving Work-Life Balance: Commitments

While on a call with a client a few weeks ago, he mentioned that he was working all of the time, but was still unfocused and not getting enough done.. I suggested he commit to keeping track of everything he did from the time he woke up until the time he went to bed. We needed to identify how and where he was spending his time. After tracking his hours for a week, we looked at what could be shifted or released so that he was more efficient. By the time we finished, he said it was like more hours magically appeared. The magic was in the commitment and the intention that went behind it.

Without commitments, it is impossible to achieve work-life balance and it is impossible to maintain productivity. The best-laid plans fall to the wayside.

So, what is a commitment? How is it different than a goal? Everyone knows the importance of setting goals. Goals are great. They are things you work towards, something you strive to do or achieve. And then there is making a commitment. Some commitments are things you are going to do, and some are ways you are going to be. During each of my workshops and coaching sessions, my clients commit to things that they know will create growth and change — like to send a specific email or write for at least 15 minutes a day. Commitments come in many different forms and can be personal or professional. I have one client now who has committed to walking around her home chanting a mantra that helps her feel empowered.

Commitments are more than a to-do list. They are the follow-through on the boundaries you previously set. Commitments give those boundaries intention.

Often, when working with clients I discover that their “way of being” in a situation is part of what is holding them back. A great example is constantly discrediting a “win” before announcing it. We have all done it, “Well, I didn’t do as much as I could have, but I am proud of posting on Instagram every day for a week.” Did you hear that? You have already said it is not good enough before you even started. Get creative with your commitments by not limiting them to tasks. Consider committing to a specific mindset or way of being in a situation. This can make a powerful impact.

Commitments involve declaring an intention and then taking action to follow through.

Having clearly defined commitments also gives you an opportunity to celebrate success in all its forms. The more you are successful, the more you adventure and take risks and the cycle continues.

When committing to a specific task, rather than a way of being, be sure to schedule them directly into your calendar. After each of my personal coaching sessions (yes, I am a coach and I have a coach — you cannot truly sell something you are not willing to buy), I enter each of my commitments into my calendar so that they don’t fall off my radar.

Spend a little time thinking about what is not working in your life. Where have you failed to make strong commitments or lacked follow through? For today, pick just three things you can commit to for the coming week. You will be amazed at how awesome it feels to be successful with those commitments.

Would you like a little accountability? I invite you to email me or post on Facebook what your commitments are and I will follow up with you next week to celebrate your successes.

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