March 1, 2020 | by jamie beeson

I’m about to make a strong, blanketed statement that might get me into some trouble. To be honest, I kind of like this sort of trouble; the kind that causes people to stop and think, stir a bit of emotion, and maybe causes them to disagree. At least we're all thinking about things on a deeper level, right? Perhaps that thinking will produce change, and that's worth it. I digress. Back to that strong blanketed statement.

We lack commitment and integrity.  

Maybe that seems overgeneralized and judgmental. Can I point out the fact that I said we even though I consider myself to have high integrity and a hefty dose of grit? Stay with me.

Answer these questions honestly:

  1. Have you ever said you were going to eat healthily starting on Monday, and by Thursday night, your resolve and commitment went out the door?
  2. Have you ever said you were going to get up early to do a workout, and when the alarm went off the next day, you pushed snooze?
  3. Have you ever said you were going to stop biting your nails, snacking at night, drinking alcohol, or eating sugar, but it didn’t last much longer than a month? Or maybe a week? Or, in some cases, not even a full day?
  4. Have you ever started a new way of eating and then life got a new job, you got pregnant, you learned you were going to move, or maybe a kiddo got sick so your new healthy way of eating went to the back burner or worse, it faded and eventually disappeared?
  5. Have you ever set a goal, made a resolution, researched a plan, and committed to something that was going to make you the best version of you and then quit?

If you’re honest and are like a majority of the population, then you answered yes to at least one of those questions. That’s ok! No judgment here! I’m guilty of #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5 and I’m a Life & Habits Coach. So why did I say that we lack commitment and integrity? Because if there’s a pattern I’ve observed thousands of times over 22 years of working in the “change” industry, it’s one of quitting on ourselves. We make a commitment to ourselves and then just quit. Is it because we are all flakes and can’t hold true to our word? No. I don’t think so. I think we’re quite capable of doing the hard things. I think we have more strength and resolve than we give ourselves credit. I have seen people overcome things that make my jaw drop. We are missing the vital connection between our commitments to our word when it comes to keeping our commitment to ourselves.

I’ve watched family members remain by their loved one’s sides through long, slow deaths. I know people who wake religiously day after day, month after month, year after year, and show up for their job rain or shine, sick or healthy. I have friends who have remained faithful to their spouses when their spouse has wandered or lost their way. They looked past inconveniences, faults, the less than ideal, experienced pain, and shouldered the suffering of others and stayed with feet planted with an unwavering heart that said, "I'm not going anywhere.”

This steadfast “remaining” communicates love and commitment, importance and value. We absolutely have the commitment and integrity when it comes to the ones we love and the things we most value; when others are involved! But where does that stick-to-it-tiveness dissolve in regards to ourselves?

Remaining faithful to the workout you don't feel like doing.

Remaining committed to saying no to extra sugar.

Remaining consistent when it's not convenient.

Remaining says, “You matter, this matters, so no matter what, I’m staying.” So, why then, do we struggle to remain faithful to commitments to ourselves? Could it be that we don’t deeply sense that we matter, that our life matters? And that thing we committed to matters?

What if we approached “change” and “goal setting” differently? What if, before we chose a plan, gathered our resources, made a commitment, and put things in motion we first identify why it matters? Why does it matter that we change? What will it cost me if I don’t change? What will improve if I do? How will I feel if I make this change? If we assign value and importance to the change we seek and remind ourselves of its importance in our lives and in the lives of those we love around us, could it be that we have more gumption to remain? Would we plant our feet and with an unwavering heart and say, “I’m not giving up. Not this time. I’m remaining true to my word and to this course.” I have an opinion on this, but that’s enough opinions from me for today.

Originally printed in the March 2020 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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