This previous weekend, I was doing some self-reflection. There have been some areas of my life where I've been wanting things to change, but it seems like I have yet to make any real progress. Or whenever I do start to improve an area, a few weeks later, I'm right back where I began. Feeling like a hamster in a wheel, I was wondering why this has been plaguing me for so long. Why do I seem so stuck in a rut?
At this point, I asked myself what I would tell one of my clients if they were having these struggles. Almost immediately, the answer was incredibly obvious. I lacked true commitment. I was viewing these things I wanted to improve with a mindset of "I hope this will change." For so long, as I thought about my issues, phrases of "I hope", "I'd like", "I wish", and "I want" have been uttered. But none of these are strong enough to make real change happen.
When I hear my clients use these phrases, I instantly know that they will struggle to succeed. Because weight loss, like most significant change, is hard. It can be difficult physically, mentally, and emotionally, often all at the same time. And if you come at it with the mindset of "I hope I can lose the weight" or "I'll try to follow the program", you won't see any lasting results.
This is where you have to understand what true commitment is. When you commit to something, you are saying "No matter what happens, I'm going to find a way to succeed." If you have a setback, you get right back on the horse and continue on towards your goal. When I married my wife, I made a promise to her that regardless of circumstances, I was committed to her. When life is hard and we are driving each other crazy, we are still sticking together. Marriage requires this kind of commitment because without it, you have no chance of getting through all the hardships. But this level of commitment isn't just necessary for a healthy marriage. It's required for a healthy you.
If you are looking to lose weight, start exercising, get your dream job, get rid of a bad habit, or any other big change, it has to start with commitment. Without that, you will most likely fail to see real change. Now even with commitment, that doesn't mean it will be easy to accomplish your goal. But it means that even when things get difficult(which always happens), you will keep pushing on to find a way through. Every new client who comes in gets asked this question: "Are you prepared to commit to this program, to your counselor, but most importantly, to yourself?" Ask yourself the same question for whatever you are trying to accomplish. And if you aren't ready to commit, you need to figure out why not and deal with that.
I'm committed to making my changes. Are you?