Motivation vs Commitment

I once had someone in a corporate training class share something very important with me. She said to a class of new managers (of which I was one), “Look down your shirt. Do you see a giant S on your chest? Then no, you are not Super Man.” Or in my case Super Woman.

Motivation vs Commitmentimage by Яick Harris

Many days I do feel like Super Woman with boundless energy, ready to take on anything. Other days I have to remind myself I am not. Those are the days when my motivation wanes.

Yet on those days I still do the workout that I have already planned for myself. I still make myself get out of bed while my husband is still asleep and, sometimes, when it is still dark outside to keep that appointment with myself and the gym. On those days I am far from motivated, but I am still committed.

I was reading a magazine article a few weeks back that reminded me of that difference. I know lots of people that are motivated. They want to learn more about exercise and health. They ask me questions, seek out information in books and sometimes even become my clients.  They have a desire to do more, to make changes.

Motivated, however, does not mean committed.  Many of the people who ask questions and seek my advice choose not to follow it. They have a desire to make a change yet they are not committed to making it happen. Motivation is good; you need motivation to get started. Commitment however is what you need to keep going when motivation fails.

Commitment means doing those things you may not want to do but you know will yield the results you want it in the end. Commitment means making a plan and sticking to it, not brushing it off the first time something unexpected comes up or you feel tired. Commitment means it’s no longer a “nice to have” but a necessity of life.

Your homework assignment today is to ask yourself are just motivated or are you committed?

  • Maggie

    What a great post! I couldn’t agree more. Commitment stems from motivation it requires great discipline and at times sacrifice to be committed.

  • Pamela

    Thanks, I am glad you liked it. I agree, committment is what makes the difference in staying on the path to health and fitness and comes from true transformation.

  • catgal63

    Wow! Pamela I think you must have written this article about ME! All this time I keep telling myself I needed motivation….when truly I now see it is the commitment I need. This is an eye-opener for me. I think I need to do some rearranging in my priorities and make myself a #1 priority. I have ALWAYS had a hard time with this so I don’t expect it to be easy.

  • Pamela

    It isn’t easy in the beginning and it’s easy to make excuses. I think sitting down and analyzing your priorities would be a great exercise. I often recommend using a Time Matrix (the 4 quadrant tool often used in Time Managment seminars) to look at what is important and urgent in your life vs what is not. It can be very eye opening.

  • berlinoise

    Great post! With me, what started out as motivation (I started working out regularly to speed up my weight loss) turned into commitment (the unwanted kilos are long gone, but I still work out regularly). Even on the days I don’t feel like going to the gym, I make myself go – and I’m always happy I did, I feel so much better afterwards. The gym is built into my day – I leave work, therefore I go to the gym (if I go home, it’s over!). Keeping up my fitness is now vital to me.

  • Pamela

    That’s the key! If our commitment can get us past that initial “I don’t wanna” response, we know we always feel better on the other side of it. When it’s a part of you, that’s when you are committed.

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