Don't Just Set Goals, Make Commitments

We are all so very different. And most days we would probably be wise to remember to celebrate our differences instead of letting them frustrate us. I've been thinking a lot about differences lately; and today's post is going to focus on the differences between goals and commitments. Sure, it's good to set goals...but it's even better to make commitments. To ourselves, and to others.

Do you accidentally use these two words interchangeably as synonyms? Maybe others around you mix them up? Could there be value in discussing the significant differences between goals and commitments?

Someday statements:

  • I want to be an expert in my field.

  • I should make some prospecting calls.

Goal statements:

  • I want to be an expert in my field by 2025.

  • I want to call 10 people today.

Commitment statements:

  • I am going to earn a specific designation by the end of 2023 to help me achieve my goal.

  • I'm going to make 20 outbound calls/dials today.

Depending on your employer, your role, your direct manager, and probably many other factors, you might need to call upon significant amounts of self-discipline. Holding yourself accountable to your commitments, instead of expecting others to keep you on task.

I struggle with this. Maybe more than I'd like to admit. It's hard to habitually follow through on all commitments - explicit and implied. And like most things worth doing well, it takes attention, concentrated effort, time, and practice.

If you have a few minutes, go ahead and search topics like goal setting. Read about SMART goals. Take notes. You will learn something or be inspired or begin brainstorming ways to improve.

No matter if you're talking about goals or commitments, Sam Gifford, Executive Vice President INSPRO, reminds us to "stay at it" because "it's a lot of work." He and I discussed the effort and persistence needed for sales professionals specifically to establish themselves in their markets and industries. Controlling what you can. Trusting what you need.

I'm big on New Year's Resolutions - really big. Some people aren't. That's okay too. At the very end of 2018, I sat down one quiet evening and made notes - some were goals, some were "someday" statements, and after a few pages, the commitments to myself began to emerge. I committed to blog once a week - for all of 2019 - and then I wrote about my commitment and my journey for all to see.

Fast forward a few years, and I knew last summer that I wanted to write a piece about the differences between goals and commitments. I had a goal to cover this topic specifically. I even did some research and had insightful conversations with several close confidants and some new contacts too. But, it wasn't until this summer, when I made the commitment to blog again weekly (for the balance of 2022), that my thoughts on the topic would become this post.

How fitting that "Energy Follows Thought" by Willie Nelson is currently playing in the background.

Until next week...