I first came across daily commitments when working with my own coach. Personally, I find them to be a valuable tool in helping to make mindset shifts and to improve motivation.
Generally, your mindset doesn’t change instantly, even if you want it to. After all, you’ve been doing things for your whole life which have taken you to where you are today.
This isn’t a bad thing. But sometimes, we may want to shift our mindset and behaviours, because what was working for us before, is no longer serving us now.
Where the Mind Goes, the Body Follows
When I was younger, I used to do a lot of martial arts training. One of the mottos of my school was “Where the mind goes, the body follows”.
While I was training, I never gave much thought to this. To be honest, it never made too much sense to me. Since then, I have seen it play out in many aspects of life, and definitely in leadership.
I see this manifest itself when people don’t believe they can succeed – so they never even try. It happens when people’s beliefs (either positive or negative) start to drive their behaviour.
I also see it happen when people develop a victim mindset around leadership and life. They believe that they can’t control anything, and it is all somebody else’s fault. This stops them from taking action.
It isn’t all about mental and physical strength. For me, it’s often about having a mindset where you can show up confidently. Your behaviour will reflect this.
Your body will show the signs of confidence, if your mind is already there.
Learn More: Thoughtful Leader Podcast #128: Is a Lack of Confidence Showing In Your Leadership?
What Are Daily Commitments?
Daily commitments are phrases that are personalised to you, that represent the way you want to show up in life and leadership.
You might have only one of them. Or you could have many.
I have eight daily commitments right now, that are relevant to me and where I’m trying to go.
Obviously they are personal statements, but I can tell you that one of mine is:
“I am a commitment to enjoying more, and worrying less.”
This is a focus for me, because throughout much of my life, my mind has a tendency to focus on areas of risk or worry. This can reduce my enjoyment of the simple things, which is why this commitment has made its way onto my list.
You can see the anatomy of the daily commitment statement above.
It starts with “I am a commitment to”. This is important.
You’ll notice that it is not saying “I will do” or “I want to”, it specifically says “I am a commitment to” something.
This means we aim to embody this statement – not just want to do it.
Learn More: Do You Have a Victim Leadership Mentality?
What Do You Do With Daily Commitments?
Daily commitments are (as the name suggests) something that you use every day. You might make it part of your morning routine.
I like to read my commitments out loud to myself every morning. You can read them to other people if you like, but often they are personal statements, just for you, representing how you want to be.
I have them written down, but now I can remember them without reading them.
One important aspect of reading your daily commitments out loud is to notice how you feel when you read them.
What Happens When You Read Your Daily Commitments
When you read each of your daily commitments, you might find that:
- It doesn’t feel quite right. Either you don’t feel like you’re showing up that way – or that what you have written isn’t *really* what you’re aiming for.
- It’s right, but you’re not living it. Reading the commitments every day gives you a chance to check in and see whether you’re going in the right direction. Sometimes you realise you’re not living the commitments, so you have an opportunity to course-correct.
- It feels right, and you’re living it. You can feel good that you’re heading in the right direction.
- It’s not a focus for you any more. After a while, you might feel as if one or more of your daily commitments are no longer a focus for you. This is fine, because it may mean you have progressed, or your priorities have simply shifted.
I use my daily commitments as a means to check in every day about where I’m headed. If there is a particular area that I feel needs attention or a shift in mindset, I may adjust the commitments to suit this.
However, I feel it’s important to keep your commitment list relatively stable, rather than changing them every day. This gives you a chance to monitor how you feel about them when you read them each day.
What Your Daily Commitments Can Do For You
From my own experience using daily commitments, I’ve noticed several benefits. Many of my coaching clients also find them helpful.
Firstly, daily commitments help you to remember what you want to stand for. They also help you remember where you’re aiming to go.
Daily commitments can also helpful for understanding whether you’re making progress. If you feel like a commitment is no longer as important to you, this is sometimes a sign that you’ve improved in that area.
Lastly, one of the most powerful aspects of daily commitments is that they remain at the front of your mind.
Sometimes you’ll wake up feeling tired or unhappy. You won’t care as much as you normally do.
Daily commitments are really useful for reminding you how you want to show up each day, even if you don’t feel like it.
Learn More: How Leaders Can Stay Motivated, When They Don’t Feel Like It.
How to Develop Your Own Commitments
Obviously everybody’s daily commitments should be personalised.
For you, it might be about defining your attitude or behaviour when you show up for work each day. Or perhaps it’s about achieving a goal, and your commitments are designed to make sure you do the things that will help you make progress.
To find the commitments that are right for you, try asking yourself these questions:
“If I reached the end of my life, what is something I would regret if I hadn’t done it?”
“How do I want to be each day at work (or home, or wherever)?”
“What behaviour, mindset or attitude will help me to reach my goals?”
“What do I want to be really proud of, in my role / in my life / at the end of my life?”
The answers to these questions will help to shape your daily commitments.
I do this exercise with some of my coaching clients, who are looking to shift their mindset, habits and behaviours. There is no reason why you can’t use it for yourself, too.
If you want to test out your commitments with me, get in touch and let me know what yours are!
Try Making a Commitment For Yourself
Daily commitments can be powerful for shifting your mindset and creating good habits.
If there is something in your leadership or life that you’d like to improve, why not try making it a part of your daily commitments?
It will keep your goals, mindset and behaviour front of mind, and you will improve as you practise each day.
After all, we’re all practising something, every day.
So why not make it something positive that will move you forward?
Where the mind goes, the body follows and the soul waits . Cheers.