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Wanting is Not Enough: What It Really Means to Commit to Achieving Your Goals

Setting ambitious goals that are filled with our dreams and aspirations is driven by our desire to make positive changes in our lives.

But as time progresses, many of the goals that we were once so excited about fall by the wayside.

Why does this happen?

The answer comes down to knowing the difference between wanting to achieve a goal and truly committing to your goal's success.

Wanting vs. Committing to Achieving Your Goals

Wanting to meet a goal is driven by desire and intention. It's that feeling that says, "It would be nice if I achieved this goal." But wanting often lacks a concrete plan and without a plan, actions rarely follow.

Many goal-setters often mistake wanting for commitment.

We set goals with great enthusiasm, but this motivation can be short-lived. As soon as discomfort arises (and it always does!), it is easy to give up your goal and go back to your Comfort Cave.

Simply wanting to achieve a goal often bypasses accountability as well. It's much easier to leave an escape door open just in case you change your mind, which you can't do if you have an accountability partner or coach checking on you.

Many goal setters don't achieve their goals because they confuse wanting to meet their goal with committing to meeting their goal.

Commitment, on the other hand, is the catalyst that turns desire into reality.

It represents a steadfast dedication to a specific goal and embodies several key elements.

The Nine Elements of Commitment

  1. Dedication: Commitment means giving your full and undivided attention to your goal. It's not a half-hearted effort or something you pursue in your spare time. You prioritize it and are willing to invest time, energy, and resources to make it happen.

  2. Clear Purpose & Strong Why: Commitment involves a clear and well-defined purpose. You know why you want to achieve your goal, and this sense of purpose is the driving force behind your commitment. It's not just about what you want but why it matters deeply to you.

  3. Long-Term Perspective: Commitment extends beyond the initial enthusiasm or motivation that comes with the Fresh Start Effect. It involves a recognition that reaching your goal takes time, often more time than you originally anticipated. However, you're committed to staying the course and not giving up when challenges arise or progress seems slow.

  4. Consistent Action: Those who are truly committed take consistent, deliberate, and purposeful actions aligned with their goal. It's not about making efforts when the feeling arises but creating a plan and sticking to it. It means working on your goal even when you don't feel like it.

  5. Resilience: Commitment requires resilience as setbacks and challenges are part of the deal with growth. You understand that obstacles are a natural part of the journey, and instead of detouring off track, you see them as opportunities to learn and grow. You bounce back from failures and keep moving forward.

  6. Sacrifice and Prioritization: True commitment often requires making sacrifices, such as giving up other activities or sacrificing in other areas to prioritize your goal. Directing your focus and resources toward what truly matters is a conscious choice when you are committed to getting your results.

  7. Ownership of Results: Committed individuals take ownership of their results, whether those outcomes are positive or negative. They don't blame external factors but take responsibility for their progress and learn from both successes and failures. Excuses never stop them.

  8. Support and Community: Many committed individuals seek support from a community of like-minded people. Having a support system can provide motivation, encouragement, and guidance throughout the journey.

  9. Accountability: Committed individuals harness the power of accountability. This may involve setting deadlines, tracking progress, and evaluating their performance. They also may seek external accountability, such as a mentor, coach, or a support network.

Commitment doesn't guarantee a smooth path. It means embracing challenges and roadblocks as part of the journey. Committed individuals develop resilience in the face of setbacks and they know that their success is inevitable.

Someone who is committed to meeting their goal does not let challenges derail them. They know that their success is inevitable because they refuse to give up.

5 Practical Steps to Transition from Wanting to Committing

If you want to shift from mere desire to reach your goals to genuine commitment, here are five steps to guide your way:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define your goals clearly. Know where you want to end up and what success looks like.

  2. Create a Plan: Develop a clear, actionable plan. Schedule due dates or benchmarks on your calendar.

  3. Hold Yourself Accountable: Set deadlines and track your progress. Use a habit tracker. Show up and do what you say you're going to do.

  4. Seek Support: Join a community or enlist the help of a mentor or coach who can support your accountability and help you through the hard times. (Visit to learn how I do this for my clients.)

  5. Stay Resilient: Learn to doubt your doubt and bounce back from setbacks. Discomfort is always a part of the deal when we are growing. It is not a sign that you are doing anything wrong.

Commitment is the bridge that transforms your aspirations into achievements.

By transitioning from wanting to committing, you unlock your potential and set yourself on a path to meaningful accomplishment.

Remember, true commitment isn't a one-time decision; it's a daily choice to remain dedicated to your goals. The secret to success lies in your unwavering determination, and with it, you can overcome any obstacle.

As you reflect on the goals you want to achieve, make that commitment and turn your dreams into reality.

Jen Laffin wearing a brightly flowered dress, glasses, smiling at the camera

Jen Laffin is a Success Mentor for entrepreneurs, a master teacher, host of The Flight School Podcast, a possible thinker, and a recovering procrastinator. She teaches small business owners how to show up so that they can level up their businesses. To learn more, visit, or find Jen on Linkedin and Instagram.


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