To make a commitment, start with purpose

To make a commitment, start with purpose.png

"You cannot be committed to your bullshit and to your growth. It's one or the other." — Scott Sable

2017 seems different in some ways than the last couple years for me. It has been a continual commitment to my growth—not just in promise but also in repeated action.

I want to be stronger, both physically and mentally.

That's the purpose, but what's the method?

The reality is less glamorous than the intention, but it looks like putting non-negotiable time on my calendar to work out five days a week.

On the other two days a week, I commit to moving my body, usually cross-country skiing or stretching out with some yoga and foam rolling.

Gaining physical strength also affords me some added mental toughness, but it's not the only way I extend my mind.

I'm meditating for 10 minutes a day. Every day.

This is also scheduled and non-negotiable.

You have your dreams, certainly, but how are you committing to making them a reality?

A promise is enough for a little while, but eventually you must follow through with action.

It is absolutely okay if you have been more dormant at the beginning of this year, but by now you likely feel the need to explore your bigness, your capability.

How are you following through?

If you want your life to change, you have to change how you operate.

Always start with purpose first—what tugs at your heart and quietly whispers, "Do this..."?

If you don't start with purpose, your actions won't mean anything to you.

It might take several iterations of "Why does this call to me?"

Ask it once; ask it again. Keep asking until you find yourself solidly rooted in the answer.

For me, wanting to be stronger is about continually showing myself that I am capable. It is about elevating my mood and keeping it stable. It is about longevity and deliberately making my time spent every day feel worthwhile. It's about ensuring muscle mobility.

Most of all, it is about training my body and mind to be reliable for myself and others.

Only once you are aligned with a purpose should you explore the method.

Let's say you want to be stronger too.

I find pure joy in the fast, sweaty rounds of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for my workouts.

It feels like a competition between a past version of me and me now. The endorphins make me (sometimes annoyingly) upbeat. Dynamic, varied exercises strengthen muscles and increase my range of motion for non-workout related activities. My commitment to myself, my physical growth and my mental stamina show me that I am in fact as reliable as I say I want to be.

My methods speak to my purpose.

But if the thought of lunges and burpees makes you feel nauseated, don't do it.

If you adore trail running, but abhor the accursed treadmill, then hit the dirt roads and forget the indoor thing.

If you've repeatedly tried yoga because you know "it's good for you," and it's still not helping you feel your best, find something else.

You do you.

Do what makes you feel good.

That should go without saying, honestly, but I still see many people making themselves miserable with methods that don't support their purpose. Or even worse, not even starting with a purpose at all.

I don't mean feel free to quit anything that doesn't make you feel good all the time.

But I do think you should ditch something that doesn't fulfill you at least a majority of the time.

Commit to your idea.

Root it in purpose.

And find methods that keep you consistent and joyful.

Forget the rest, and don't worry about what everyone else is doing.

You're the one working on your goals. Only you can know how to best support yourself in the process.

Start with purpose.

Iris Rankin

Soulful questioner, exuberant organizer, here to find the balance between discipline and delicious relaxation. Iris Rankin is the founder of Project Intention, a values-based community focused on living day-to-day with purpose, planning, and heart. Iris encourages women to adopt the self care practices that make them feel divine, the planning tools to hone in on their essential wants and needs, and the emotional resilience to express their most authentic selves.

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