It’s the winter holiday season in my part of the world.
I hear and see a lot of advertisements for weight loss and diets and massive ways to change your life. The end tag of the last radio ad I heard for a gym membership said, “With no commitment.”
“No commitment necessary. Change your life! Lose weight fast! No commitment is necessary.”
Cue annoying “wrong” buzzer sound.
There is no such thing as a massive change without commitment.
When you want big changes, but you don’t want to commit, you have an expensive marketing gimmick. No commitment means no big changes.
Change requires commitment.
You have to commit to new systems, methods, or routines in order to make a change.
Here’s a simple hygiene example: I wanted to make sure my teeth were healthier, but I didn’t grow up in a family that flossed daily. So, I had to make an effort to floss every night. How did I do it?
I committed to flossing.
I said I was going to do it, and then, I put systems in place to ensure I would do it.
I put up a sticky note reminder on my bathroom mirror. I asked my partner to remind me if he didn’t see me flossing at night. I made it a part of my daily routine—floss first, then, brush.
Sure, some days I don’t floss at night.
Most of the time, I choose to create a sustainable change in my health.
Another example has been my commitment to my Ashtanga yoga practice.
When I started at my Ann Arbor Ashtanga shala, I was in my second month of pregnancy. It would’ve been easy to bow out—I was nauseous, and I was experiencing such strange sensations my body.
I knew that going to yoga helps me to settle my mind. Moving my body, while being pregnant, was important to me.
I committed to going to ashtanga three days a week.
Ashtanga Mysore practice happened in the early morning hours before my regular corporate workday started. So, I had to make systems to get my butt outta bed, into the car, and downtown. When it was dark out. And cold. Ugh.
I made a morning “get outta bed” dance playlist. I started my day with a bumpin’ musical cell phone alarm. I set out my clothes in advance. I made up a morning routine that I enjoyed—get up, eat a snack, brush my teeth, change clothes, dance around the house, warm the car, get in the car, drive, park downtown, get into the room, practice.
I committed, and then, I showed up.
Some days, I had a low energy practice. So, I modified my practice and did less. But, I still committed, and I still made massive, beautiful changes in my life.
Last example of commitment magic? Corporate work. Weird example, right?
For the last five years, I have wanted to quit my corporate job and do what I love. But, I needed a real plan. I needed a real way to pay my health insurance bills and my mortgage. “Just quitting” was not my answer. I like safety. I like security. I like long-term planning.
I was stressed out and frustrated and wanted to be done yesterday. And instead, I made a two year plan to quit and do what I love. How did I do that? Commitment.
I committed to my corporate job every day. When I woke up in the morning, I chose to commit to my Monday through Friday, nine-to-five job that paid my bills. I understood that committing was magic. I also understood that on any given morning I could choose to commit my energy elsewhere and quit my job.
I put plans in place to have me feel safe, sane, and stable.
More systems: Commitment + Systems = Magic
I started taking time for midday dance parties. I walked my dog every afternoon. I made sure to take a real one-hour lunch break away from my computer. I started listening to podcasts and learning about marketing and non-icky-sales-techniques and everything I could to have a successful online business. I made a plan. I committed to my job, to myself, and to a plan.
Commitment is crucial to creating human magic.
Commitment helps us stay focused and on track to making the changes we want in our lives.
Commitment is magic making in action.
With it, we can alchemize our words and turn an “I’ll try” into an “I’ve got this.”
We can use commitment to change our lives.
Commit to you. Commit to change. Commit to magic.