Episode 6: Be Honest. Are You Interested or Are You Committed?
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Hi. I’m Victoria Hefty, and welcome to Activate Purpose where I talk about finding purpose through action while balancing motherhood and career. Today, I want to talk to you about the difference between interested versus being committed to a goal. I’m going to share three things that I have committed to doing on a daily basis and the quote that has forced me to stop creating excuses and start doing the work I need to achieve my goals. Get ready for a fun show.
So, you have a goal, a dream, a vision, whatever you want to call it. The real question is, are you committed to this goal or are you merely interested? In The Success Principles book by Jack Canfield, there’s an opening quote by Ken Blanchard for principle 35 that says, “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
As I read this quote, which is again like the opening quote to this chapter, I was like, “Man, this is a tough one to read because honestly, who hasn’t struggled with this?” Everyone starts out thinking that they are committed to a goal, especially … I always like to think of like my New Year’s resolutions goal and I say, “I’m committed to it.” But then, things have a way of fizzling out usually pretty quickly. I think I’ve read the stat that within 30 days, most people have stopped trying to focus on the goal that they set up on New Year’s Day or whatever.
When I finished this chapter, I really couldn’t stop thinking about this quote in my mind about the difference between being interested in commitment, and so I knew what … For me, whenever I’m still thinking about something like a day or two later, it means that there’s something there. It resonated with me, and I pay attention to that.
I made a deal with myself. I said that no matter what, I was going to commit to the process of starting this podcast, so Activate Purpose, and using The Success Principles to help guide my initial journey. I have to agree with everything in this book, but I did have to commit to doing what the book said, so I had to commit to the process and trust that the inputs and activities would yield a result.
A lot of people say that they want their result, and honestly, if the path is difficult or you don’t like an aspect of the process, and this is me too. I’m talking about myself. Then, we often stop dreaming about that goal, and you’re just like, “No, you know, maybe next month. Maybe next year when things work out,” but I said, “No, I am going to commit to the process. I do not know what the end result is, but I’m going to commit.”
With this thing in my mind, I continued reading, and I was … I think this is earlier in the book, but I like to switch around in the book. There was following statement by John Maxwell that said, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” With that, I decided that no matter what, and I would add to my commitment to the process of finding my deeper purpose through daily actions. To be clear, one, I wasn’t just going to commit to the process. I was actually going to commit through daily actions, and that meant changing, for me, at least three things about my daily routine, which I’m going to share with you now.
The first is, as I talked about in episode five, I no longer wake up in the morning and aimlessly start my day, or alternatively just go to bed, and mindlessly go to sleep, and wake up the next day without a plan. Instead, I have a very clear and purposeful morning routine that I have followed mostly without fail for the past three months. Except for two days last week when I actually was dealing with a miscarriage.
I think if there was ever an exception to not wake up at 5:00 a.m., that would be one. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to, and I didn’t badger myself about it. I just honored what I was feeling and decided to not wake up at 5:00 a.m. However, but after two days, I felt like I was in a place that I could at least start waking up early again and continue my morning routine while still grieving, but that means that every morning, again, without exception of the last two days for the last three months, I have woken up at 5:00 a.m., and I have prayed and meditated without fail.
I’m actually, as a side note, thinking about changing this up to every day except for Sunday because I think it is nice to have one day to sleep in as I have found out from my last week experience, but for now, it’s every day. There have been days where I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. finishing up a project for work. Yet, I still woke up at 5:00 a.m. There have been a few date nights with my husband where I drank one too many old-fashioned cocktails as delicious as they are and have definitely woken up with a hangover, but I still woke up at 5:00 a.m.
There have been times where I’ve been on the road traveling for work or to a project, or just maybe to see family, and because we have a toddler, we have to break up our trip, so we got to the hotel really late, and I woke up still at 5:00 a.m. and have actually done my praying, and meditating, and even light exercise like in the bathroom.
I’ve just said that no matter what, I am going to find a way to have no excuses, but the thing is I’m not perfect, and there have been so many mornings. I would dare to say 50-50 where I still … When I wake up, I still try and find an excuse for why I can and should sleep in like I try and justify. It’s like, “No, Victoria, like you’ve done enough. You really need to just sleep in and take care of yourself, and you’ll be okay,” but I always remember the quote, and I ask myself, “Victoria, are you committed to this process and to succeeding, or are you just interested?” That always gets me out of bed.
A good example of something that I’m interested in, but not 100% committed to is eating healthy. I eat very healthy about 80% of the time, but the other 20%, I just want my french fries. I just want my candy. I want my carbs like I want all of it. Once I’ve realized that it’s okay to not be 100% committed to eating healthy all of the time, I didn’t stress about it actually.
I also didn’t make excuses, which I think is actually really important because excuses I think take up a lot more mental space than they need to, and so if I wanted fries or candy, I ate them. Actually, nothing really dramatic happened with my weight. I definitely do not have a six-pack, but that’s not what I’m committed to at this moment, so that’s completely okay.
What I am committed to however is having mental headspace in the morning to really attack my goals and what I want out of life, so I will fight for that time and do whatever it takes to wake up at 5:00 a.m. It’s just what I’m going to do, and I’ve made 100% commitment to it.
The second thing that I’m committed to actually is focusing only on positive thoughts and influences. This has actually be surprisingly really hard and became more of a habit rather than something that instinctively came to me, which is surprising because as I think it was episode maybe one or two that I talked about finding your strength or what is your greatest strength. One of mine based on the strength finders test is positivity, so I’m someone who’s naturally positive, and always encouraging other people, and try to look for the good in things, but it doesn’t mean that I only think about positive thoughts. There’s a lot of negative noise in there as well. I can just always usually find the positive in something.
To give you an example of how this plays out, so before I started doing this whole purpose thing, I would start my morning off … actually, my day, but especially my morning, reading at least three to four different newspapers, so I’m a certified news junky. The problem is most of the news that you read is actually really depressing, and for someone who loves following politics, it was just not a good thing to be reading three to four up to 10 like infuriating political arguments to start my day off. It was just taking a mental toll of me … mental toll on me, I should say. I can’t even talk it like it gets me still so angry about all of the articles and just how much it was just taking energy away from me.
Now, I actually only read the news probably seriously once a week, and I do it in a big block of time, so I’ll say, “All right …” Usually, I try and like do it like Saturday like afternoon, so I’ll say, “All right. Here is one hour that I’m just going to read. What are the actual articles that I should know about?” because I still want to be aware of what’s going out in the world, but I just don’t want it like consuming my mental capacity every single morning in the volume that it was before.
Then, I find that if I’m reading an article, I try and be objective about it like I try and get the facts rather than the emotion that’s tied to it, and if I start getting angry or upset about something in the article, I stop reading it. I will either go back to it, or I’ll say, “You know what? I’ve gotten what I need to get out of this,” and I move on.
This has been really great for me because, again, I think we’ve realized with the election, no matter what side you’re on, like it doesn’t matter. It was taking at least for me a lot of mental energy to try and process everything that is going on. Obviously, the newspapers are incentivized to write really great articles that are click … What do you call it when you’re … more like click-bait. There we go. That’s the word. More likely to click on it, so I’d find myself reading one article, and then at the end, it’d be like, “Ooh, relevant article,” and then like two hours later, I’ve just read 10 articles, and I’ve just also like depressed myself, so no more of that. I won’t do that anymore.
One thing that I’ve always asked is … so my husband who, let’s just say … He’s wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, but he is not a naturally positive happy person, especially in the morning, and so one of the things that I’ve actually had to be very proactive is telling him that in the morning, I just need him to be more positive, and this can mean I don’t want him to be like fake smiling, but it means that I don’t want to hear about any sort of negative stuff first thing in the morning. I need to be in a place where after I’ve woken up selfishly, and it’s okay to be selfish about this. I’m realizing after I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and I’ve spent the last one to two hours in the morning trying to get my mental headspace right, what I don’t want is to start the day off talking about negative things. I want to focus on, “What are we excited about during the day, or what made him smile the day before?”
It’s been really great because it’s … Your partner’s emotions do affect you, and you have to be really careful and conscious about how you’re letting their thoughts and their emotions affect you. By forcing him, and it probably is a forcing because I’m like, “Uh-uh, only positive.” It probably annoys him, but it works, so I’m doing it is I tell him that I only want positive thoughts in the morning, and he really has gotten so much better about it, and I’m starting to notice that he’ll even start off his day saying something positive which, if you know him, which some of you do I’m sure, is a really, really big win, so I’m really excited about that.
Then, another thing that I’ve been doing on the whole positivity thing is … It sounds self-indulgent, but I actually really love it, is I’ve been using this app that I think it’s just called “Affirmations.” I’m looking at my phone right now. Yeah. It’s just called “Affirmations,” and what it does is it allows you to either use positive affirmations that are already built in the app or you can create your own, and you can send alerts to your phone that tell you everything from, “I am loved,” or, “I am unique,” to something specific. You can press on this button on the app, and it like changes colors, and it makes you feel warm and tingly inside. It sounds silly, but honestly, it just puts a smile on my face. Who does not want?
For me, I have it set up every six hours, so every six hours, I receive two to three positive affirmations, and I can either just look at it or press on the app itself. It’s just a moment to take time out of my day to literally spend two seconds on something that makes me feel good about myself. That is perfectly okay. It’s fun, and it has a way of … Literally, I could be thinking about something that maybe … struggling I should say to think about something positive, and that will … The affirmation will pop up on my phone, and I’ll immediately feel good.
If you have that going throughout your day at the most unexpected times, it has a way of just making you feel awesome, so I highly encourage that, but that’s something that I now have on my phone, and I don’t plan on, I hope, never really stopping with that.
Then, finally, the last thing that I’m committed to for the daily task is … This is one that I’ve had to modify is that I do at least one action a day that will get me closer to one of my main goals or one of my dream big goals. This can range anywhere from reading a chapter of a book or listening to an audio of a book, which I actually try and do probably five times a day, or it can be reading a how-to article. It can be listening to a relevant TED Talk. It could be writing down an idea. It could be reaching out to someone for help. It can be anything. The point is I am doing one, at least one thing a day that is getting me closer to these big goals that I have.
In the book, Jack Canfield, he actually calls it “five things a day.” He talks about each person should do five things a day that gets them closer to their goal, but this is one of the things why and especially why I have this podcast is between career and motherhood, and just trying to squeeze in time, realistically, some days, I can get five in, but a lot of days, I can’t so I said, “What can I absolutely without fail do?” I said, “You know what? I can go to bed saying that I have at least done one thing.”
You’d be surprised how one thing over the course of a week is seven. Over the course of a month is anywhere from 28 to 30 things. Those are really tangible actions that create this momentum that I have been very surprised at how focusing on doing less, but being really intentional and thoughtful about what that one thing allows me to still work on projects, be a mom, be Victoria, have my own time, but still feel like I am making some actually really amazing progress towards my goal.
To sum up the three things that I focus on that I am committed to, again, not just interested, but committed to are waking up in the morning and having a very solid morning routine that I do not waver from, focusing only on positive things even when it’s a real struggle, but I dig deep and I say, “No, I will not let someone else’s negative emotions, or an article, or the day, whatever it is get into my head. I really need to stay positive because that is a gift to myself.” Affirmations, which are fantastic to always a little feel-good moment every six hours can’t hurt, and then lastly, doing one thing a day that helps me achieve my goals.
My challenge for you is to ask yourself and be really honest with yourself. You can either write it down or just sit down and think about it, but ask … especially as we go into the New Year or if you’re not a New Year’s goal person, just anytime. When you’re thinking about a goal or something that you want, what are you actually committed to? Are you interested in it? Are you merely committed to it?
I think more importantly, there’s no shame in just being interested in something. If it feels like, you know what, you can only do it like 80%, 90% of the time, that’s okay. That’s still a huge chunk that you should be really proud of, but don’t say that you’re committed to it because then, when you fail on that, you feel bad, and when you feel bad about something, you’re less likely to try it next time, so really focus on one to two things and maybe just even one that you say that you’re committed. Stay on the path for that commitment.
For the stuff that you’re interested in, have fun with it. If you feel like not doing it, that’s okay, but for the one that you said that you’re committed, I want you to stay on the path, and this is a promise. We can struggle together because I guarantee you. Tomorrow morning, I will still find a way to find an excuse not to wake up, but I am going to do it, and I hopefully … At least, my hope is that you will find a way to stay committed to the one thing that you said tomorrow and to remember that quote of, “What is it that we really want as women, as mothers, as just people, and what are we doing today, the one thing that we’re doing today to really help ourselves step up into our potential?” One of the things I always like to do is I always like to say, “You know what? I’d rather struggle and actually do it than sit on the sidelines and just watch my potential dry up.” That is my challenge for you.
As always, if you’re up for sharing, I would love to hear about your experience with this challenge. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you want to find show notes and links to all the resources I talked about, visit activatepurpose.com/episode6. Lastly, if you love this episode or any of the episodes, I would love a review, and please make sure to subscribe to next week’s episode. A new episode always comes out every Thursday. Until next time.