What I Discovered About Commitment

Have you ever been in a conversation where the word commitment came up as a question? Perhaps you heard it as an inquiry to the depth of your own commitment. Perhaps you heard it as a word fraught with innuendos and unspoken meaning. Have you been in that kind of a conversation?  I know I have. And what I have found is that there are unspoken assumptions to that word. Let me explain.

My husband and I conducted our 19th Life Focus Annual meeting recently. It is an end of year meeting where we review the year we had individually and as a family. We follow up with a preview of our objectives individually and combined for the year approaching.  Reviewing the year went as it normally did with deserved attention to our achievements.  

As we began the conversation on our next year’s objectives, my husband made an interesting comment. He said he didn’t want to plan for objectives. At first I was taken back quickly assuming this meant let’s forget all about what we’d done for nineteen years (that was quite a leap on my part!) I asked him what he meant by that. He said he thought planning for objectives was a too intangible. He said that this year he wanted to plan for commitments. “Wow” I thought. “What does he mean by that?” He continued to explain that for him a commitment meant a pledge whereas an objective was more of an abstract intention. “Interesting” I thought. And as we talked more about it we concluded that that a commitment adds a dimension of agreement which objective leaves more open ended. 

So for this year, we are using commitments rather than objectives. I already feel more accountable to the commitments I made for this year than objectives I have made in following years. There is more of the concrete aspect of having to do rather than the changeable wanting to do.

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