As 2013 winds down, a lot of people are getting ready for the new year by setting their New Year’s Resolutions. Finally, they are going to make the decision to lose weight, stop smoking, go back to school, save money, travel, spend more time with family, and be happier.

Yes, on January 1, 2014, millions and millions of people will suddenly find the motivation that has been eluding them the other 364 days of the year.

And…this year is going to be different! Or will it?

Motivation won’t be the difference maker.

Every now and then I get asked if I do “motivational speaking.” I always cringe a little when this happens. Motivation is not what I want to inspire within people.

Motivation is a temporary emotion that comes and goes. We have an experience that provokes something within us that fires us up. It’s an awesome explosion that will quickly fade unless one major decision is made.

That decision is commitment and commitment will be the difference maker.

I don’t know about you, but I can get excited about a lot of things. I’ve set a lot of goals in my days and every single one of them started because I felt motivated. However, the only goals I’ve followed through on and achieved are the ones I committed to.

Motivation might be the spark that ignites the explosion, but only commitment will keep the fire burning!

Commitment is a choice.

It’s true; commitment is a choice to be made. It doesn’t just happen.

I always shake my head when I hear people say, “I have no motivation,” or, “I need to find some motivation,” like it’s some wonder drug that is going to dramatically change their lives. The problem is they haven’t made the choice to commit to whatever it is they can’t find “motivation” to do. When you make a commitment, it’s amazing how motivation is much more accessible.

Don’t half ass it! If you are going to set goals, don’t rely on motivation. Commit to your results!

The process of commitment.

I can only speak for myself, but it tends to be easier to make a commitment when things are meaningful to me and really align well with who I am and who I want to be, versus trying to commit to every explosion of excitement ignited by external influences. The challenge is knowing—I mean really knowing—what is meaningful to you. Not what society says should be important, not what your family or friends say should be important, but what you determine to be truly meaningful. Now, I’m not telling you to disregard what your family and friends say, but you have to make the final call and when you do it has to be true to you.

Whether you have a hard time articulating what’s meaningful to you, or you just need to do some reassessing, there are some great exercises out there that can help you figure this out. For me it was reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People 13 years ago. I can honestly say it changed my life. No exaggeration.

What is meaningful to you?

I’ve put together a set of worksheets I use with my clients. In them I challenge their thinking by asking them some important questions:

  • On a scale of 1–10, how would you rate your happiness in seven key areas of your life?
  • What don’t you want in your life?
  • What do you want in your life?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • What is your Personal Success Statement?

At the end of the day, you have to decide what type of person you need to commit to being to reach your goals in 2014. Do you want to be like the masses and talk a big game only to fizzle? Or do you want to be one of the few that sets a goal, makes the commitment, and achieves success?

It’s your choice!

How committed will you in 2014?

You may need this: How to Commit and Change Your Life

Featured photo credit: New Year resolution marked in a diary for January 1 via Shutterstock

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