Decisions Don’t Matter. The Level of Commitment Does

It was a little more than 2 years ago that I decided to pursue my MBA. After talking to a friend who was living in Boston to support her husband getting his MBA at Harvard, I knew it was something I wanted to do as well.

So I filled out the application, did the interview, got accepted, and quit my job to open a new chapter in my life.

But not every decision I’ve made goes quite so well. For example, I’ve made the decision to stop eating junk food a few hundred (or thousand?) times in the last few years.

I’ve made the decision to spend at least 1-2 hours a day working on a side business. But most days that hasn’t happened.

I’ve made the decision to network with more top performers. But that hasn’t worked very well for me yet. I have a growing network, but I don’t do it regularly. I don’t schedule time for it every week into my calendar.

So I’ve realized more and more how true it is that just making a decision isn’t enough. We need a certain level of commitment behind that decision.

That’s why so many people fail to stick with their New Year resolutions. They don’t make the decision with enough commitment to stick with it through the hard times. They may think they are, but when push comes to shove, they bow out.

I know because that’s what has happened to me.

For example, let’s take eating junk food. I’ll commit to avoid it, right? But then what happens when my wife wants to stop for fast food and I know we don’t have much at home? I cave and get a nasty burger.

Or what happens when I get frustrated with my kids after a long day? I pound down some cookies or ice cream to make myself feel better.

If I had truly made the decision and commitment to not eat junk food, those thoughts wouldn’t even enter my mind.

The best thing I can relate it to is smoking. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. Tried a cigar once and hated it. Tried a hookah once and hated it. Tried dip once and hated it.

Tobacco is disgusting.

So if someone offered me something, it’s VERY easy for me to say “no thanks.”

Why wasn’t it the same for me and fast food?  Because I didn’t have the same level of commitment. 

Now, it doesn’t help that my wife and kids will always want junk food in the house. But that’s just an excuse. If I really saw it the same as smoking, I wouldn’t partake.

This doesn’t just go with eating. It goes with exercising, writing, networking, whatever.

The Bible says to let your Yes be Yes and your No be No. We need to be absolute and stand behind the decisions we make. Especially when we know it’s for the best, even though it will be difficult.

Why I Work Out in the Morning

It’s been said that a day that ends well is one that started with exercise. I couldn’t agree more.

Exercising regularly is something I’ve struggled with for YEARS. To be fair, I’ve been out of the routine for many more years that I was in the habit of it.

I started running my junior year of high school, but then stopped running as much in college. Then I joined Air Force ROTC and had to go twice a week, but that still wasn’t much.

I exercised regularly for the first year in the Air Force, but that’s it. Since then, it has all gone downhill. Since my diet went downhill as well, it has lead to poor health.

But that’s changing now. I’m eating better and more strategically (implementing intermittent fasting.) I’m exercising in the mornings, and even went at 9pm the other night. Twice in one day!

I want to start pushing myself more. Pushing myself to fail. Pushing myself to pursue bigger things. Pushing myself to become more than I am right now.

That will come from a few things:

  • Building a network of all stars
  • Learning new skills
  • Focusing on the most important things

That’s it. The problem is I have SOOOO many things I want to do right now. It’s tough for me to focus on what matters most.

  • Do I practice interviewing for a job, or try to find freelance clients?
  • Do I go work out to exercise my body, or read to exercise my mind?
  • Do I spend my free mornings meeting people for coffee? Or researching jobs?

All of us struggle with this. There’s an opportunity cost to everything we do, so we just have to keep that in mind as we go through our days.

For example, if I take an hour to go work out, the cost I pay is not doing other things like learning new skills or practicing for a job interview. But if my health is my number one priority, that’s a price I’d gladly pay.

Another example is with what I do in the car. I can listen to an audiobook to hear a great story, learn a language from a podcast, or call someone I haven’t talked to in a while. All of these are good things, but the one I choose to do right now depends on my current goals.

I usually listen to audiobooks, but the sad thing is I don’t take enough action to implement what I learn. Peter Voogd says it’s much better to master a few books in a year than to read 50. I’m finally starting to realize how true and important that is.

Anyways, I feel like this post is going off on a tangent. But here’s the bottom line – I work out in the morning because it works well for me. 

It helps me feel good physically.

It helps me feel accomplished by 6am.

It helps me get more fit and lose weight.

It helps me meet new people.

It aligns with one of my most important goals right now to lose weight.

It’s something I can almost ALWAYS do. If I put this off until any other time of the day, there’s a very good chance I’d get interrupted regularly by something. That’s just how life goes with 2 young kids.

What time of the day works best for you? When do you work out?

A Lot Can Change in 3 Years

I realized last night that it’s been over 3 years since I’ve left the military.

A lot has happened since then:

  • My daughter was born
  • I got a job at an insurance company
  • I left said job to pursue my MBA
  • My son was born
  • I graduated with my MBA

Now here I am.

I really have no idea what’s in store for me. Will I go into marketing? Become a writer? Get a sales role? Go back to school for a degree in data analytics?

It’s tough to say. But I do know one thing- my MBA isn’t the silver bullet I’d thought it would be.

When I started, I figured it would help me easily transition into a new career. And while it has helped me land job interviews, I’m still struggling during those interviews. The main problem is how I answer questions. I haven’t really been answering the question behind the question asked.

Plus, I’m guessing I’m not coming across as confident. That’s an issue I’ve definitely had before.

So I signed up for Ramit Sethi’s Dream Job course. Just in the 1st week I’ve picked up on a lot of great nuggets, and I’m looking forward to what the rest has in store.

Until then, I’m going to focus my time on other important things. Networking. Freelancing. Exercising. Enjoying time with my family. Building new things.

Two things I’m taking a break from: video games and reading. I love gaming, but I spend too much time on it. And I love to read non-fiction, but READING isn’t DOING. I’ve literally spent hundreds of hours reading over the years that could’ve been better spent applying what I had already learned.

So I’ll listen to audio books in the car, and focus on just a few select ones. I’m not gonna keep getting new ones, but instead focus on really mastering just a few.

I have a great opportunity in front of me right now. This is the time for me to build and do something awesome.

…I’m just not sure what that is yet.