The Gift of Commitment
Speaking with friends and family at recent holiday gatherings, it seems 2014 was a particularly ambitious year.
Many of us took on more activities than we could actually handle, and while fulfilling our ambitions and passions seems like a good idea with every extra commitment, many of us ultimately suffered from overcommitment.
Overcommitting can lead to becoming overwhelmed, and to dropping the ball. Both hurt us in the long run, but also hurt others.
Among the activities I impulsively signed up for this year, on top of my already-busy week:
- A women’s soccer league
- Two book clubs
- A documentary film club
- A weekly Skype-and-wine call with two different friends
I quit the soccer league after two weeks, have been to one book club meeting (and only got through half the book), and bailed on the docs—and talks—altogether. We also bought a new house this year, and the words “we’ll have you over for a drink soon!” became a near-constant, and misleading, refrain.
No matter how valid our reasons, it pains us personally to not follow through, but dropping the ball also hurts others – friendships are undermined and people are left scrambling, worrying, and in some cases, fuming.
As a holiday gift to myself, I’m going to think through my commitments much more carefully. From vowing to go back to the car to grab my commuter mug (no matter how convenient it is to accept a paper coffee cup) to buying the 10-class yoga pass instead of the monthly membership, I want to gift myself sweeping personal change in the form of devotion—calm and connectivity through routine and reliability.