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Value in Focus: Commitment

Commitment ‘the quality of being dedicated to an activity’

People often set themselves goals based on things they feel they ‘should’ do, for example losing weight, giving up smoking, or not consuming alcohol for a month.

There are many reasons why these kinds of goals are doomed to failure, and there are two in particular for you to consider. Firstly, they’re all set in the negative. Our brains work best when focused on a positive statement – on doing something, rather than not doing it. So restate goals in the positive for more success.

Secondly, when we feel we ‘should’ do something, we’re basing that feeling on external pressures rather than internal motivation. As a result, we’re far less driven to make it happen and are less committed to the goal.

An alternative approach is to choose a value that is important to you and make it your goal to enhance that value in your life. For example, if you choose the value of Wellbeing, think of an action each day that would enhance your wellbeing and resolve to do that. You will be feeling better in no time, without the guilt and pressure of unsuccessful ‘should’ type goals.

Think about ways to show commitment to achieving your goal: perhaps a daily diary note, a daily reminder on your phone, a non-food based reward for doing the activity every day for a week.

 Values are our natural motivators and so if we are focused on enhancing a value we will be more committed to making it happen.

To find out more about values click to download a Free Values Guide

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