Decision + Commitment = Success

success

Last week, I gave you the assignment to look back on 2016 and really take ownership of your year. To review the calendar for success, big milestones, and accomplishments. Here’s the link to that post: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2016/12/30/reflection/

We know that you achieved a great deal and it is important to own it and celebrate it!

Then I asked you to spend time reflecting on what you were feeling most of the year.
I asked if you experienced any of these emotions on a regular basis during 2016.

Happy, Motivated, Excited, Confident, Focused, Content?
Or
Afraid, Worried, Detached, Sad, Guilty, Confused, Shame?

How do you feel?

This is one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves.

Here’s why.

Our feelings tell us exactly what is going on in our minds and what we are thinking about. And all of our feelings inspire the action we take towards the results that we achieve. Everything we do in life is based on how we feel.
And everything we feel is based on our thoughts.
Our feelings tell us EVERYTHING!

When we feel happy and motivated, we take very different action than when we feel afraid and worried. If you are like me, then I am sure you can think of many specific examples in your life where this has been true.

Often when we are dealing with negative feelings, we take no action or worse, we indulge in pleasure-seeking activities to help us feel better. This is can be a very slippery slope because our strong desire to push away negative feelings and to replace them with more positive feelings can become so strong, that we can create a pattern of over-indulgence and self-sabotage. The results of over-indulgence and self-sabotage are always negative and require even more effort to get us back on track.

So what does all this mean as we head into 2017?

New Year. Fresh Start. Goals. Resolutions.

We are filled with such hope at this time of year. We see what is possible as we write down our resolutions. We tell ourselves that this is the year that we will really make a change. We can feel it. Or can we?

Most of us will struggle to follow-thru on the changes that we want to make or to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves.

And here’s why.

There is a big difference between “noticing” what we want and deciding what we want.
“Noticing” what we want is basically like saying….”I am going to try to achieve this goal in 2017 and let’s see how it works out.”

Hmmmm.

Being “interested” in a goal is like keeping the option to not follow-through, open. We let ourselves off the hook (ahead of time) before we try to accomplish it. We go only 1/2 in.

I know the results of this kind of goal-setting all too well because I see it in my new clients all the time. They are “interested” in making a change and start out with all kinds of conviction about it and then when any negative feelings surface (which they always do), they have a pattern of turning to an indulgence behavior to “feel better”, which ultimately sabotages their original goal.

Regardless of the client or the situation, the problem is always the same.
The problem is that there was never a decision to achieve the goal.
A decision to achieve the goal, no matter what.
Making a decision is absolutely critical to the goal-setting process.
A decision seals commitment.
Commitment is what produces success.

Here are some real client examples of what it looks like to be “interested” in a goal vs. deciding to achieve the goal.

Goal 1. To get in better shape / lose weight
Then indulge in over-eating and over-drinking when discomfort, boredom or loneliness show up.

Goal 2. To get out of debt
Then to indulge in over-spending and over-purchasing when fear and worry show up.

Goal 3. To get more organized
Then to indulge in clutter and being too busy to hide behind unhappiness.

Goal 4. To be more empowered
Then to indulge in being the victim, blaming others, gossiping and creating drama when we need attention from others.

Goal 5. To improve relationship with spouse
Then to indulge in trying to manipulate and change him to feel appreciated and valued.

Most of us know how to make decisions.
Where we struggle, is how to manage the negative emotions that come up for us.
And because we do not know how to sit with negative emotions and accept their presence in our lives, we do everything in our power to avoid them – even if that means sabotaging our own goals.

  • So as you think about what you want to accomplish in 2017, can you decide to go all in?
  • Can you make a decision to achieve your goal, no matter what?
  • Can you seal your commitment level with a decision to succeed?
  • Can you decide that you will manage all your emotions as they come up because you have committed to your goal?
  • Can you make your success inevitable, because you are not willing to sabotage your goal with other competing interests?

Yes, you can. I know you can.

And, if you’re thinking that you want some support in creating a commitment to support your big decision this year, why not schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session? It’s a 30-minute conversation that may just be exactly what you need to inspire commitment and bring you closer to the success you’re wanting this year!

on the fence.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

Do you spend a lot of your time “on the fence”?

The place where we like to hang out when we have a decision to make. We like this place because it’s neutral and protected. It’s a safety zone, of sorts. It buys us all the space and time we need as we prepare to make a decision.

We consider all our options.
We ask for insights, inputs and information.
We weigh all the pros and the cons.
We think. We imagine. We worry.
We go get more information.

We are prudent and responsible, thoughtful and considerate, in taking the time to make the decision. It is imperative to gather all the information and to consult with the people in our lives who might be impacted by our decision. We look at our money. We consider our time availability. We question our commitment and investment. We ask for support and buy-in where we need it.

These are all necessary and very important steps. These steps are what allow up to climb up to that place where we are sitting on the fence, checking out the view on the other side. With each piece of information, we climb higher. We get more of a perspective of what life would be like on the other side of the decision.

We see opportunity. We see possibility. We see transformation.

It’s exciting. We climb higher.
It’s scary. We hang out right where we are.
It’s exciting. We take another step.
It’s scary. We stop moving. We focus on fear we are feeling.
And then we wait.
And wait.
And wait.

And for many of us – this is as far as we get. We never get to the other side of the fence. We never make the decision. We stall out right before we have to make the commitment and decide. We freeze. We get stuck.

Stuck in the indecision. 1/2 in where we are now and 1/2 in where we would like to be. We argue with ourselves about the comfort and stability of where we are now versus the discomfort and unpredictability that change could bring. We are tempted by what is on the other side of our decision and the fence, yet we love the safety of where we are right now.

Staying “on the fence” for too long is exhausting – it depletes us, drains us and distracts us. We prolong having what we really want and then we begin to make up excuses for why we can’t have it. It becomes a vicious cycle and the sad part is that we look for reasons to justify it. We use excuses like we are afraid of making “the wrong decision” or we blame someone for not supporting us.

Yes, making big decisions is hard. Sometimes very hard. But I truly believe that nothing is harder that wanting something and not giving yourself the chance to have it because you are afraid of making a decision. Not ever knowing what it is like to get over the fence and experience what it is like on the other side – seeing the opportunity, the possibility, the transformation and never having it – that is a million times harder than the process of deciding.

A decision often creates short-term discomfort and some level of inconvenience.

Know that going in. Are you willing to experience the discomfort and inconvenience, in order to have want you ultimately want? If so, then find people in your life who will support you. Find the people that will cheer you on and hold you accountable to your decision. Surround yourself with friends, family, mentors, coaches, advisors that see your “other side of the fence” and will help you get there, no matter what. Once you get “off the fence” and over to the other side, you will find everything you need to make the decision “right” and to move your life in the direction that you have always wanted.