Three concepts helped me sustain my committed action.
Today, I want to share an experience I recently had that’s a great illustration from my life about how you can make a decision and sustain committed action for a long time before you actually see any results.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and faced some big decisions that could impact my health long term. The doctors said I wouldn’t know the results of my choices until my next scan… in two years. Of course I was overwhelmed but I talked with experts, went through a variety of medical tests, and processed my choices using the exact same decision process I teach and coach. I put my power where it counts … in making a good decision.
As soon as I made my decision, three concepts really helped me sustain my committed action.
Stacking the deck for a better outcome.
First, I redefined my problem. Astronauts returning from the space station can have a bone density problem so I filtered my life choices through the lens of, “What would NASA do?” I decided on a lifestyle policy for myself that included more high impact exercise and diet changes.
Second, I invited others to support me in my success. Instead of asking my family if they wanted to take a walk, I invited them to join me for Astronaut Training… and I got far more participation! I joined a kickboxing gym with friends so we could support each other in staying fit and strengthening our bones.
Third, I recognized that day-to-day, I made small decisions to keep it up that made my long-term vision more likely.
All I was doing in that sustained committed action was really stacking the deck for creating luck by giving myself a higher chance of a great outcome. Sustaining committed action required me to focus on my decisions, not my outcomes.
Next time you want to sustain your committed action, ask yourself,
- How can I redefine the problem?
- Who can support me in my success
- What day-to-day decisions can support my long-term vision?
How did the story end? I recently had my two-year bone scan. My bone density improved far more than the experts even imagined. If my bones hadn’t changed, it would still have been a great decision. Time to celebrate!