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3 Practical Ways To Boost Your Commitment To Your Goals

3 Practical Ways To Boost Your Commitment To Your Goals

Goal setting is something that nearly every successful person considers a MUST DO. I suspect there will be very little disagreement from most on that point.

But, have you ever noticed that, in the course of carrying out the work to achieve those goals, your focus and commitment to them can become blurry and sometimes even lost for good? I’ve certainly experienced this both personally and also see it happen regularly in my coaching work with health care entrepreneurs. Why is this and what can you do to change it?

I was recently listening to a podcast interview with serial entrepreneur, John Assaraf, that really slammed home for me the answer to this commitment question. During the conversation he asked the audience, “are you interested or are you committed to achieving your goals and dreams?” That got me wondering, what exactly does it mean to be committed to something?

I Googled commitment and found the first definition to be what we all know, but Google’s second definition of commitment is what caught my attention. It reads, “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. Now that makes me bristle a bit. What about you? In committing to something, do you really want to feel as if you’re giving up the opportunity to freely choose your action steps? Seems kind of counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

The fact is, you’ve probably been told regularly that successfully achieving your goals requires you to freely think, create and act outside the box. To paint a world of your own design. To ignore social convention. Right? But, consider this for a moment; Author Peter Drucker wrote, “unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”  This says to me that making true commitment significantly narrows down the actions that can, and should be taken to achieve your goal. The plan is exactly that… a restricted set of actions derived from commitment without which, your goal is much more likely to remain just out of reach.

Here are 3 ways that will boost your commitment to fulfilling a goal:

1. Be a follower

In many cases, achieving success in life can be much like walking a well-worn path through the woods. Interest in a certain goal will often reveal the trail ahead of the pathway created by others who’ve gone before you. Beginning the journey is an exciting prospect and getting started in the footsteps of others toward your goal is really pretty easy.

But be warned, enthusiasm often wanes after some time. The novelty of the trail to your goal wears off and following the path begins to feel more confining than invigorating. You long for the exhilaration of being free to make your own choices again. The temptation to leave the boredom of the path looms large.

It is here that you must surrender to the guidance of mentors. Be a follower. Give up the freedom you have to go trail blazing and become a willing student of those that marked the path before you. Follow them ALL THE WAY to the end and your success is near certain!

“I’m no leader; I’m a little humble follower.” – Muhammad Ali

2. Be one hundred percent in

Without commitment, you often will give the path to your goal only a portion of your attention and energy. But, this approach of dabbling in the necessary actions results only in fractured outcomes full of stops, starts and unpredictability.

Develop a laser focus on what you want to achieve. Allow your goal to become one of your predominant daily thoughts. Be okay with the restrictions of choices and actions that result from such singular concentration. Give 100% of your mental and physical energy to the actions required to achieve your goal, even when you don’t want to.


3. Be willing to change

Following the path of others and giving 100% effort to achieving the success you seek is going to require change. Realize that previous thoughts and beliefs may slow or even oppose your goal. To stay on the path and not waste the energy you’ve devoted, you will likely have to restrict or eliminate them entirely. This might be uncomfortable, or even downright painful. But, it is so vital to goal success!

You may need to change a habit like creating a new morning routine, eliminating a vice (like alcohol or web surfing) or going to bed at a different time. You may have to change how you budget time. You may have to change the people you spend time with. Yes, this might even include cutting people out of your life that don’t align with the success journey you’ve chosen.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – E. M. Forster


Achieving a goal requires much more than just setting it and leaving it. You have to commit! And that often doesn’t come naturally. Leverage these commitment strategies of dedication and restricted actions to move beyond just being interested in your success to living it!

In the comments below, please share a strategy you use to boost commitment to your goals.

Doug is a chiropractor, a business coach and a writer too. He coaches and speaks on healthcare business success systems while he blogs and podcasts about strategies for handling life’s changes. In the last 3 years alone he has sold a business, evolved his career, moved his family from Texas to Wisconsin, lost control of his autistic son… and gained it back again. He knows change!  His goal is to help you face it and conquer it too! Join him at and Dr. Doug Sullivan on Facebook.



  1. Howard

    May 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    What I do with my goal is to make it my first priority in the morning. I develop a plan for that day to keep my goal in my front sight. As the day progresses I adjust to what is needed to keep my goal in my front sight. At the end of the day I go over my accomplishments and distractions and make adjustments so when i get up the next day I can get up re focus on my goal and continue the process.

  2. Ramneek

    Apr 11, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks Sir,
    I am an engineering student from India and daily visit this site and search for some motivation and i do apply in my life and at every instant I do learn new things and boost myself always with some or other way so that my career should walk on that way, on that i want to. In Addition, i Want you to guide me throughout my career if you can, i will be highly able to recognize every tip that you will add for me.

  3. Janna

    Feb 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Doug, I’ve read your article at least three times this morning. Thank you for stating what many may say is obvious in such a simplistic yet thought provoking manner. I will definitely jot this on a notecard, carry it in my purse,

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 16, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Janna… I’m so glad my writing has made such an impact on you! I hope these points carry you far!


      Dr Doug

  4. Waqar Ahmed

    Feb 13, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Great post Doug!
    I would add one more thing. I think we will remain more consistent and committed with our goals when we will constantly monitor our own performance. In my view sense of self accountability plays a vital role in one’s success.
    Best regards,

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      good point Wagar. That sure is hard to do too, isn’t it? self monitoring can be clouded with emotion, long-standing beliefs, self denial, etc. I always recommend to my coaching clients that they set up some sort of self accountability… but temper it with an external accountability too. someone that can be impartial to the outcome and provide honest, straight forward feedback. sometimes hard to find… but certainly worth the effort!


      Dr Doug

  5. Rose Costas

    Feb 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Doug for this reminder. One think I would add is that one must expect to face challenges and even fail but the determination to success should be so great that even failure and setbacks won’t deter you. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 10, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Great comment Rose! and oh how right your are!! Failure is such a great tool for shaping commitment. I think we truly MUST experience failure first so that we may better appreciate the later success. The commitment to reaching that success is strengthened through the lessons provided in failing. I love to call that “failing forward” (I’m very likely stealing that phrase from someone… but I can’t think who at the moment).

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