How to Maintain Commitment Despite Circumstances
Have you ever committed to doing something and then results slow down? A lot of times, our level of commitment decreases when the results come less frequently. For example, my commitment to weight loss might decrease when I’m not losing weight as fast as I did when I started. My commitment to a business might decrease when profits are slow, or even absent.
Commitment comes because we believe in a process or a set of behaviors. When the payoffs get smaller or seem to disappear, it can seem easier to end that commitment and do something else. However, getting to the place we set our hearts toward requires commitment even when things slow down.
We need a vision to make a real commitment. I need a vision of a healthy relationship to commit to marriage. I need a vision of a healthier body to commit to a proper diet and exercise. I need a vision of helping others through my company to commit to business. All commitment requires vision. Proverbs 29:18 says,
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.
Your version of the Bible might say “perish.” The idea is that vision gives us something to tie our lives to. We can latch onto that and have commitment toward that vision even when it seems that progress is slow. Let the vision be your guide, not the current circumstances.
What is it you really want? Name some things in different areas of your life. What do you want for your marriage? How about your spiritual life? What about your church? Name some things. Get a vision for how you want those things to be in the future..
When we are focused toward the vision(s) we have, we can hang on even when things aren’t going well. A friend recently told me, “Keep doing the right things even when the wrong things are happening.”
This is a picture of commitment. No matter the circumstances, if we are doing the right things, the best thing to do is to keep doing the right things. We might change plans and adjust strategies. However, we can continue moving toward the vision because it doesn’t depend on present circumstances.
Here are my 4 steps for maintaining commitment when results are slow:
Make sure my vision is clear. I’m not suggesting that you must have every detail figured out. Rather, that you have a specific idea of a preferable future. For example, my vision for my children is to raise respectful, confident, hardworking, independent adults. Obviously, that will look different for each of them but the specific characteristics are the same.
Evaluate my current actions. Sometimes we miss it. We can go off in the wrong direction. I have to be willing to evaluate what I’m doing and admit that I might be doing the wrong things. I might be doing things that are taking me away from, instead of closer to, my vision.
Adjust as necessary. Change is okay if it puts me back on track. Don’t be afraid to change a plan or strategy, That doesn’t mean abandoning the vision. It is an acknowledgement that we all need to adjust for different reasons at different times.
Commit to the vision. Notice, this is not commitment to a set of circumstances. It is going after what lies ahead instead of focusing only on what we can see.
It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to get out of debt, get a business off the ground, grow spiritually, or raise children. Get a vision and commit to that vision. Keep the vision in focus and learn to navigate the current circumstances. This will help you commit even when results are slow to come.