The Four Elements of Commitment to Change

Any kind of change or development requires implementation. Change is hardest for several reasons, and often requires constant effort and determination to see it through. The hardest changes require an enduring commitment, which is often easy to state but hard to do.

Commitment is the state of being where we do what we say. There is more to it however…

1. Purpose: The first component of commitment to a change is the why. Some ‘whys’ may match your intended change and others may not. Your purpose to a change is the meaning behind the change. In a sense it can be your mission to do what you seek to do.

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2. Sacrifice: Any change means that you have to do something to make it happen. This is often the hardest part of any commitment, because you have to go to a different level or experience different things to make headway. Making sacrifices means that you might have to give up something less important or more indulgent to make the change. Sacrificing is not merely a cognitive exercise. Rather, it is the doing behind the change.

3. Promise: A close component to making a sacrifice is the personal choice to maintain the commitment or change. This is where the long road toward the change begins and continues. This is where you’re in it for the long hall. You’re not turning back, or regressing into old behaviors. If you do, then you will need to recommit or make new promises, and new sacrifices to regain your direction.

4. Payoff: This is the fruit of your labor. For today’s crowd, we are often looking for instant payoff. This is usually not the case in real life. Anything that has a solid and important purpose, does not often happen overnight. It requires ongoing sacrifice, continued promises to yourself to get where you want to be.

Making change does involve commitment, but commitment requires more than the verbal or cognitive desires, choices and intent. It is a recurrent process of ongoing involvement in the change. Consider these steps as you are mapping out your next change effort.

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