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New Years Resolutions and Dueling Commitments

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Does the thought of making a New Years Resolution make your stomach turn? You are not alone. Many people refuse to make New Years Resolutions because the inevitable failure looms too large on the horizon. But guess what? It doesn't have to be this way. Learning one or two principles can drastically change the way that you perceive and make goals. One such principle is the concept of dueling commitments.

A dueling commitment is feeling dedicated to two opposing desires or needs. Most often the dueling commitment is not openly talked about or even known by those around you. You may even not recognize it yourself. One of the commitments is usually an established part of your life or future path. It is the known commitment. The other is something that you feel drawn to or connected with in some way and is usually the hidden commitment.

Dueling commitments are the number one killer of New Years Resolutions because you have a New Years resolution, something you want to make happen, but you also have something else you are committed to that you may not recognize. Let's look at an example. You set a New Years Resolution to leave work earlier and spend more time at home. That is the known commitment. What you don't recognize is that you crave the social interactions at work that take place after work hours. This is the hidden commitment. This socializing keeps you from leaving work earlier and spending more time at home. You inwardly have a commitment to both the socializing and to getting home earlier, BUT, these two commitments can't exist together, at least not in their present parameters.

If you just can't seem to be successful with a goal time and time again, you may be caught in a dueling commitment. The best way to recognize and overcome a dueling commitment is to ask, "What else am I committed to? What is getting in the way of my success?" That should help you recognize the conflict and once you recognize the dueling commitment, you can then make a conscious choice about which commitment you will follow or how to redefine the commitments to coexist.

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