COMMITMENT – a Word That Stirs an Emotional Response in Just About Everybody!

This is what Google tells me it means:


  1.  The state or quality of being dedicated to a course, activity etc.
  2.  An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition don’t you think? 

The human propensity to dedicate to something or make a promise to take action and then find that it restricts the sense of freedom in some way is repeated every January! 

Did you know “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day” is actually a day? The 17th January! 

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve promised myself to lose weight, get fit, be more structured, get up earlier or meditate for an hour every day I’d be a millionaire just from that income alone.  

The number of times I’ve set plans, written goals and started afresh, only to let myself down! Then, my inner critic would have a field day beating me up and sprinkling a good dose of self-loathing around.   

And I know I’m not alone in this – you do it too! 

Entire industries make millions every year because humans are this way. 

It puzzled me that I could be trusted when I promise to someone else, yet the promises I made myself, I was been unable to keep on so many occasions. 

I remember hearing the quote “We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears!” by 17th-century author François de La Rochefoucauld.

Fear is what gets in the way of success. Fear of failing, of succeeding, of what people will think, of not being good enough, of rejection, of… pretty much anything you can think of. And our imagination is a master of telling us about the worst-case scenario.  If we allow it! 

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear highlights the mistakes we make when changing our habits, he says “Firstly, we try and change the wrong thing and secondly we try and change our habits in the wrong way. 

Most people begin the process of changing their habits by focusing on what they want to achieve and this leads to outcome-based habits.”  

James postures that the alternative is to build identity-based habits, this approach focuses on who we wish to become! 

He writes “Imagine two people resisting a cigarette. When offered a smoke, the first person says ‘no thanks I’m trying to quit.’ It sounds like a reasonable response but this person still believes they are a smoker who is trying to be something else. They are hoping their behaviour will change while carrying around the same beliefs. 

The second person declines by saying ‘no thank you, I’m not a smoker.’ It’s a small difference but this statement signals a shift in identity. Smoking was part of their former life, not their current one. They no longer identify as someone who smokes.”

When your beliefs change, your values change and your identity changes – who you are changes at the level of the self. 

Any behaviour that is incongruent with the self can’t last. 

On the 1st of January, I accepted a challenge called IronMind with Rob Dial

In this challenge, I have committed to 6 pillars for 30 days. 

  1. To work out for 45 minutes a day
  2. To eat a healthy diet (for me it is no processed food, sugar and bread)
  3. No Alcohol
  4. Journaling daily
  5. Meditation and visualization every day
  6. A cold (3 min) Shower every day.

To accomplish this, I have a support group. 

I’m not relying on will, grit or determination. I’m working on becoming a person who lives this way. I am stretching my comfort zone to incorporate these habits into my life.

Is it easy? Hell No!  Those showers are a challenge on their own, but I am learning to accept the cold for what it is and am beginning to enjoy the effect afterwards. 

Can I do it? Hell Yes! I am committed to the freedom to choose who I am, what I value and how I live. 

The most powerful knowledge is: You get to choose! 


Fiona Ross, January 2021

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