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.

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