Commitment vs motivation

Commitment vs motivation – these are often words that are used in the same conversation when it comes to making change and planning for goals but how are they different and which serves us better?

Commitment noun the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause 

Motivation noun a reason or reasons for behaving in a particular way 

To achieve the things we set out to we need both perhaps? The motivation and desire to set the goal, to visualise the end point and feel excited and energised about the objective, coupled with the commitment; the ‘how’, the path to get there, the work we must put in to keep moving forward. One of these can be short lived and one is the longer term approach – think about which one sounds most attractive and then think about the one that is most helpful…….

Picture New Year, everyone is full of ideas and plans; start running, stop eating too much, work less etc and so we are full of motivation and enthusiasm. Fast forward a month and once the initial motivation has lost it’s spark what happens to the end goal? Would commitment be more helpful than motivation?

Motivation is the simple part, it comes relatively easy in the moment and is a great starting point for clarifying our reason why we want to something. Keeping this at the forefront of our mind is what serves as the reminder for the commitment we have made.

So motivation is great for the short term but can’t serve us in the longer term unless we have made the commitment, and this is the challenge – I try to start with considering the goal and then work backwards to plan how I am going to get there.

  • Don’t let the negative mind talk creep in – each time you feel the motivation waning remind yourself where the commitment will get you, remember the positive impact sticking to your plan will have.
  • Factor in some ‘quick wins’ along the way, you might be aiming for 10k ultimately but really celebrate each extra kilometre, each step closer.
  • Take a conscious moment each day to remind yourself how important this is to you and that you can put the work in because you’re great! Factoring this in as routine might not be something you find easy but it is a pro-active approach which will help you to not cave in and have that extra biscuit or skip your scheduled run.
  • Of course, if and when, you do take a day off then don’t give yourself a hard time. You’ve made the commitment longer term so being realistic and allowing some flexibility into your schedule will help to avoid burnout and help to re-focus if you need to.

Of course different approaches work for different people so if you have any ‘sticking to plan’ tricks that work for you please share below (along with any thoughts or comments).

Have a great week everyone, not long til Friday



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