Commitments. What do you do that is important to you?
Basically, our life is made up of the things we do regularly. Normal, everyday life isn’t about taking a holiday, a vacation, celebrating, partying, or all the extra-ordinary activities. Real, everyday life holds what’s both enjoyable and task-oriented. That is, we do what needs to get done plus what we like to do.
And there’s a time cost for all those commitments.
Sometimes we commit to something without adding up its actual commitment cost. It just makes sense for a regular life; cooking, cleaning, maintaining, working, etc.
And then there are the less obvious commitments; those things we do as habits.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning – at night before bed – on the weekend – in those floating, waiting, relaxing moments between activities… ?
Maybe a more fitting word for this kind of informal commitment would be “habit”.
- watching/binge watching entertainment
- social media scrolling
- checking email
- hobby crafting
- anything else you’d add to this list that you do?
What do you look forward to doing and fit into your day even if it’s busier than usual? Even if the cost is greater than you expect – both in time, money, and focus… what do you make the time for…?
Have you ever made a list? I’ve been playing around with creating a weekly schedule for myself that includes both the fun stuff and the must-do stuff… it’s been enlightening. (And not always in a good way.)
This interest and article stem from a book I’m reading. (Yeah. Big Surprise. Reading is on my list. LOL)
If you do it regularly – guess what?
You’ve committed to it!
What about formal commitments in your life:
- at home,
- in relationships,
- and your circle of friends
- and community.
And maybe the word doesn’t resonate with you – other words for “commitment” could be dedication, responsibility, duty, or loyalty…
Let me e-x-p-a-n-d on what I mean by a formal commitment:
Maybe it’s to love and support a spouse or raise your children or provide care for a relative. Perhaps you have a home that needs to be maintained, with taxes, a lawn to cut and so much more. A paid job is another obvious commitment. If you have an animal, then you’ve made a commitment to its well-being. What about in your community – do you have volunteer activities you’ve agreed to because you believe in the focus? If you’re a person of faith – a Christian – have you made a commitment to believe, follow and have a relationship with God, and shape your life to reflect Christ Jesus as much as possible and use your talents to God’s glory? What if you have a health concern – have you made a commitment to recover, to improve?
I’m imagining you understand the direction here…
Make a list?
Could you make a list of all your commitments including the formal and regular habits you have?
Is it a long list or a short one?
Now, consider which formal or informal commitments make the most significant impact on your life…
What’s the time cost for each one – one thing we all have in common is 24 hours per day. No matter age, stage, socio-economic situation, or where we live on this planet we all share the same number of hours in a day.
Let’s just consider that regardless of a good impact
– or bad impact…
those things we do regularly are commitments…
Our commitments shape our life.
Our habits – our commitments – those things we engage in, shape our lives.
Do I like the way my life is shaped?
Food for thought, huh?
Is there a goal you’re aiming toward? Are you making enough space for that commitment? How? What needs to shift to include that goal? Trying to get better at something? Do you need to add more “lines” in your to-do list for that something?
What about people important in your life… where are they on your list? Rob and I try to fit in a special “date” activity into every week because we want to nurture our relationship – we also intentionally spend time with our grands – this time only happens now!
And I have a (first-time) commitment on my calendar for February – I’m making room for that… it’s scary and unexpected but I hope to add value to others so I need to focus on preparing for that commitment.
Commitments add up to fill that time.
We all need to make sure that the commitments (habits) in our life make sense – because our time on this earth is finite. And we cannot get back any time from the past – it’s gone.
If our commitments shape our life, then we need to choose wisely.
How are we doing on that…?
Make your list of commitments and check it…
Check to see if your commitments and habits equal a life shaped the way you’d like. (FYI – The book I’m reading, Atomic Habits by James Clear, has me thinking and checking, and changing my day-to-day habits… I recommend it.)
Here’s a template to print – or just pull out a piece of paper and start listing all the things in your day…