Recently, I was moving into a new office and was looking for some things to decorate my space. While searching, I came across a poster showing an image of a golf green taken from the approach area over a lake. While the picture of the green was a nice-looking picture, it was the caption of the poster that caught my attention. The caption read, “The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself.” The caption was obviously making a reference to committing to the golf shot, but the overall sentiment was more meaningful. I believe those same words apply to all aspects of our lives.

I am, by nature, a lazy guy. Not that I don’t work hard and take my job seriously, because I do. It’s just that I often let the little things slide by. Things like cleaning my garage, for example. Before too long, what could have been a minor task becomes a day-long event that keeps getting put off due to the time commitment required. However, when I do finally make the commitment to myself, I cannot be stopped. The garage will be cleaned. I may not know when the moment will strike, but once I have committed to it, I am assured the job will be completed.

The same situation could be applied to learning a new computer system or trying to improve my short game on the golf course. Once I have committed to these things, I have confirmed achievement because I will not stop until I have accomplished the desired result.

How often do you find yourself in a similar situation? You walk into your shed or storage area looking for something and before you know it, you have everything pulled out and are in the process of rearranging the whole place. You didn’t plan for this to happen. At some point, while searching for what you were looking for, you made the commitment to clean the place up so that you wouldn’t have to search so hard the next time.

This speaks to the quote that I mentioned before. Making a commitment to something doesn’t always involve intense planning or scheduling. It can happen at a moment’s notice, but the result is the same. You will achieve what you have committed to doing.

So what can we do to help ourselves make commitments to what we want or need to do? I have found the following factors to be very helpful to developing my commitments and reaching my objectives.

The first thing is to understand why we want to do something. Basically, we are looking for the “what’s in it for me” factor. What do I hope to get out of this and how can it help me? Let’s go back to the garage scenario. What was in it for me? I was looking to make the garage more orderly so that it would be easier to find the things I have stored in it.

Every situation we are faced with can usually be narrowed down to these two factors – even committing to playing catch with our children. What do you hope to get out of it and how can it help you? These questions can be answered in a variety of ways. Is it spending quality time with your kids or improving their skill set? Once you have the answer that best suits you, you will commit to achieving the goal you desire.

The second thing we can do to help ourselves is to make the time commitment. Planning something in advance can help us achieve our goals. Setting aside a Saturday for garage cleanup or an hour on your calendar at work for doing follow-up reports can help us with our responsibilities. We are, in reality, committing to a time to achieve these tasks and once we have committed to completing these assignments we are assured of reaching our goal.

I was really interested in finding out the source of the quote that I found so meaningful. Searching for the author of the quote led me down what I like to call the “rabbit hole” of the internet. What I found during my search is that the author was absolutely correct. The achievement of my goal in locating his name was assured the moment I committed to finding it. Thank you for the inspiring words Mack R. Douglas.