Commitment vs. Resolution

Jason Stella | 23 Jul 2012

What is the easiest time of the year to gain clients or keep them on track toward their health and fitness goals? Most people would say January because the beginning of the year creates more emotion and motivation to start change – notice I said “start” change – than anything outside of an impactful life event like marriage or death!

But have you ever thought about why?

It’s because at the beginning of a new year our clients have an emotional high that creates a belief that they can achieve the change they want! The problem with this motivation is that once the emotional high has gone away, so does their belief in achieving the goal. It’s also why making a “resolution” to change typically ends without accomplishing the goal.

So the million dollar question is….how can we help our clients keep their motivation throughout the entire year? One of the best ways to accomplish this is to help clients change their mind-sets from making a “resolution” to achieve their health and fitness goals to making a “commitment” to a future event that will demonstrate their progress toward their health and fitness goals and keep them motivated. An event could be a 10K, a triathlon, marathon or for those that prefer a bit more extreme, events like the Warrior Dash, Spartan Race or Alpha Showdown.

To explain why this works, let’s look at the difference between making a resolution and making a commitment. A resolution is “the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.” In contrast, a commitment is defined as “a pledge or promise; obligation.”

Think about the difference in personal responsibility between the two.

A resolution helps one “determine the course of action,” but fails to create the same emotional tie as making a commitment does. This is because determining the process or course of action to achieve a goal is not the same as making the obligation or promise to achieve it! When people promise or make an obligation, it puts their credibility on the line, and maintaining one’s credibility has a huge impact on motivation.

Credibility has been described by Stephan M.R. Covey as a combination of character  and competency. Character is a combination of intent and integrity, while competency is a combination of capabilities and results. When one states their intent and follows through with it, the actions increase the character side of credibility. If their actions create the result they want, it increases competency side. When both are achieved it not only creates credibility, but creates something Covey calls self-trust.

Clients with more self-trust are more likely to stick with their training. This will have a lasting impact on their confidence and motivation to achieve any goal they commit to in the future.

So, to keep clients on track long after the January motivation has worn off, encourage them to make a commitment. It’s much more powerful than any resolution!

View some events recommended by Jason to help keep your clients committed to their goals: www.wearealpha.com

Do you have questions or feedback? Leave them below!

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Jason Stella

About the author: Jason Stella

Jason Stella has 19 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and works as the National Brand Developer and Master Trainer at Life Time Fitness in Chanhassen, MN. He was one of the first certified MAT specialists and also serves as a Master Trainer for PTA Global and Hyperwear.

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