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Everything in life is impermanent.

If you reflect honestly, you will probably observe that change is the only constant thing in our lives. Sit quietly for just a few minutes you’ll notice the many changes in your thoughts and in your bodily sensations. One minute you’re feeling anxious about your to do list, the next you’re excited about seeing a friend later. You might feel cold and then warm, an itch and then it passes or restless and then still. Having the ability to observe is the only thing that’s constant.

Everything in life is always changing. But when we decide to make a change we can sometimes get stuck, even when we know it will serve us in the long run.

Here are a few ways to help you commit to change.

#1: Define your commitment
First things first, define what type of change you want to commit to. If you do not know what you are committing to, then you will never be able to truly commit to change. Be clear and be honest while defining your commitment. Make a plan by defining why you are doing this and how are you going to do this. You can even use a notebook for this purpose.

Let’s use the example of fitness. If you do not like the condition your body is currently in, you might decide to change it. You must define why are you doing this; be as clear, honest and detailed as you can. Then draft a plan regarding the methods you are going to practice to achieve this, such as improving your eating habits and increasing your physical activity.

This will make you aware of what you are actually committing to and prepare yourself for the work ahead.

#2: Do not be a spectator
The second thing to improve commitment to change is to make sure you are not just “talking the talk” saying you want to change without participating in the effort. Commitment is an obligation that you cannot fulfill if you do not fully engage with it.

Staying with the example of fitness, if you are just going to the gym to say you went to the gym, but are not changing your eating habits as well; you will not reach the results you want. To get the best results and to fully embrace the change, you have to commit to a healthy overall lifestyle by going to the gym AND by changing your eating habits. You must completely invest yourself in what the change requires.

#3: Be persistent
Commitment requires persistence. You cannot opt out because you are finding it hard to adapt to change or if the change is not immediately working out for you. That is not how it is done. To acquire great results from the change, you have to practice persistence. Again, using the example of fitness, some days you will do well; you will eat healthy meals and you will workout. Other days will not go so smoothly. These small set backs are learning opportunities to move past and try again the next day. You must be persistent to get the results your heart desires.

#4: Refresh your motivations
Motivation is not permanent; it requires revisiting and refreshing. Go back to your notebook where you defined your commitments. Re-read those reasons and plans that you wrote down while you were defining your commitments when you were powerfully motivated. This will reignite that spark. If your motivations have changed, draft your plan again and add some new reasons to the list.

Committing to change—any change—is significant and can be challenging. Take “baby steps” with these four tips to get started, and remember that slow and steady wins the race.

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