I am super-honored to have an amazing writer share her wisdom with us today as part of our For Real This Time series. Liz Giertz tackles the tough topic of commitment and how it helps us see results! Thank you for being here, Liz. Let's welcome her to the blog, everyone!
Are You Committed?
May I make a confession?
I might not be the most qualified person to write this article.
I’ve been working unsuccessfully on the same resolution for the last three years.
I start every new year off with the best intentions, but then by about this time, I look back and see I’ve failed to make much or any progress. It doesn’t matter that I’ve constructed them according to the proven formula ensuring they are prominently posted and measurable with a deadline attached and micro-goals to celebrate along the way.
Often my list simply mocks me each morning as the year drags on.
Can you relate?
As I look back on some of the goals I have achieved, I see one common thread.
Not the kind of commitment that means I really believe something is better for me, but the kind of commitment that leads to action. To commit is a verb. It means to entrust, to perpetrate (or to do something), to pledge, or to obligate.
Too often, I can know something is right or desirable or healthy, but without commitment those are just ideals.
Commitment transforms ideals into achievements.
About 18 years ago I purchased one of those build-it-yourself tables. I worked hard and followed the directions and assembled it and stained it to match the coffee table I already owned. This table has been around the world with me. It has moved at least 12 times. It survived government storage and outlasted that coffee table. As you might imagine we’ve updated our decor slightly since then, and for years I’ve been saying I was going to paint the table to what has become my signature red.
I was convinced that painting it was what I really wanted to do. I talked it over with friends and family. I researched techniques for how to refinish it. I estimated how much and what kind of paint and what grade of sand paper I needed. I considered adding another shelf. I even purchased the paint.
But there sat the table behind the couch in all its golden walnut glory mocking me, much like my 2016 goal sheet.
Until I laid out a tarp in the back yard, drug the table outside, opened up the sand paper, and started to remove the antiquated glossy stain from the surface of the wood.
There was no turning back then. Once that sandpaper turned the table dull and dug scratches into the finish, I had no choice but to proceed with the project I’d only been contemplating for years.
I was entirely committed.
I put my idea into action.
And now, I have the table of my dreams.
As for daunting change in other areas of my life, I need to fully commit there as well.
First, I must entrust my way to the Lord and let Him establish my thoughts (Proverbs 16:3). While this may seem passive, surrender is never action-less. Sometimes change is fleeting in our lives because we have failed to surrender our thoughts and actions to His will. He is faithful to reveal His ways to us through His Word.
That way often inspires action that will commit us in one or more of the following ways. Think of accomplishing these small steps like the sandpaper on my table - once you do them you are all in.
1) Perpetrate, or do, something like removing all the junk food from your pantry, throwing away that carton of cigarettes, hitting send on that resume, publishing your first blog entry, or scheduling a doctor’s appointment.
2) Make a pledge to someone who will hold you accountable. This might come in the form of an apology to a family member or a friend promising to change a hurtful behavior, or signing a contract for a new business venture.
3) Obligate funds toward this purpose. This could involve purchasing something that will be useful, sending funds directly to your savings account each month, or writing a check to pay off that high interest credit card.
I don’t know what change you long to make for real this year, but I hope you will join me as we partner with God to find the action that will bring us to the point of no return. As we pray and study God’s Word, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our next step as we fully commit to achieving our goals in 2016!
Liz Giertz is a Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys who call FT Hood, Texas home for now. She is passionate about encouraging women to leave behind the MESSES and embrace the MEMORIES as they become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be. You can connect with her on her blog, My Messy Desk, as well as on Facebook or Twitter.