On Resolutions & Commitments: Begin Now

By Bradford F. Spencer, Ph.D.

Many of us have the tradition of setting resolutions each new Year. Because the tradition is so old and based, resolutions are often set without any significant desire to accomplish them. It’s as if they are set to complete the ritual of establishing targets rather than the real purpose of improving. While this intellectual pursuit may be laudable, it has very little to do with accomplishment.

The quote from Goethe on commitment ends with, “Begin it now.” This implies immediate and continued actions, designed to accomplish the goal. Do not mistake your goal with your level of commitment. A goal is simply what you are looking to accomplish.

You’ll notice that we do not call a New Year’s resolution a New Year’s commitment. To do so would psychologically change the level of emotional obligation to the goal’s completion and create intense feelings of failure when we choose not to follow-through.

Commitment is indeed a call to action. What are you committed to this year? Whatever it is, write it down and “begin it now!”

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative and (and creation). There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues rom the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
– Goethe
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