Monday, March 8th, 2010...9:45 AM

Which Came First – Commitment or Motivation?

Jump to Comments

In our Libra Fitness workshop Maximizing Wellness by Rearranging Your Toolbelt, Dr. Lynn Zipoy talks about commitment versus motivation. So often we wait for the motivation to come, but is that really the way to bring about significant change in our lives? Here, speaker and confidence coach, Donna L. Johnson, shares her thoughts on this topic. What gets you moving?

by Donna L. Johnson

We’re three months into 2010. Have you kept the goals and resolutions you so eagerly set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

Have you ever stopped to think why you can’t stay motivated to do the things that once excited you? Or maybe you didn’t have any motivation to begin with. Could that be the problem?

Motivation to do something is what gets you started. Commitment is what makes you follow through – long after the motivation is gone.

I wasn’t turning cartwheels and jumping for joy when I decided to give up coffee for lent last month. My 2 ½ cups per day is what motivates me to get out of bed in the mornings. I wanted to break free of the hold the external influence (caffeine) had on me. The only way I could do that was by committing one day at a time. At the time this post was written, it has been 21 days since my last cup. It’s much easier to stay on track when you commit to something that’s doable and realistic. I wouldn’t have made it 21 days clean and sober if I declared to not drink coffee for the next 40 days.

“Do the thing and you will be given the power.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Often times we’re told the exact opposite of this quote – get motivated and then get moving. This advice is counter productive and will set you up for failure. The reality is that we’re rarely enticed to do things that are good for us. It’s so much easier to be unorganized and have bad eating habits. Think about it for a minute. What things do you procrastinate about the most? Let’s say housecleaning for example. If I waited until I wanted to clean house, you’d be seeing me on an episode of Hoarders! Instead, I decide to focus on one task. I accomplish it and relish in the delight of getting that one thing done and move on to the next one. The end result is what motivates me although I haven’t gotten there yet.

You have to remind yourself of what it is you’re striving for. Lack of motivation can sometimes be attributed to temporary memory loss – you’ve forgotten about or gotten out of touch with what it is you really want. What made you hire a personal trainer in the first place? Those very things should be the motivators that keep you on the path to commitment. One session at a time. Seeing the positive results of your hard work and dedication should be more than enough to keep you pressing forward – whether you feel like it or not.

Commitment is about taking one immediate step to get you from where you are to where you want to be. What are you going to do differently to keep your momentum when the enthusiasm has fallen by the wayside?

About the Author:

Donna L. Johnson, The Unemployed Entrepreneur™, is a speaker and confidence coach with a passion for empowering and serving others.  Founder of an Austin-based women’s entrepreneurial group, she gives workshops and teleseminars on attraction marketing, relationship building, and personal development. To find out more, visit Donna can be reached at 512.228.9436 or by email at



  • Brigitte Morgan-Styers
    March 8th, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    Love that quote: “Do the thing and you will be given the power.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

    This is just what I needed to hear today. Great article!

  • This is such an excellent point, Donna! It seems to me that the mere act of being committed can actually serve as a motivator, because when you commit you see results. And I know of no greater motivator than results! My motto is “consistent and persistent!” Thanks for the excellent tips.

    Sharon Hiebing
    Creating Wealth through Caring & Sharing

  • Brigitte –

    Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. I’m glad the content was valuable to you.

    I had to include a quote – Chris loves them!

    With Gratitude,

    Donna J

  • Sharon –

    I love your motto! Glad you enjoyed the post. It served as a reminder for me as well when writing it. Please do continue to stop by Libra Fitness blog. Chris is always cranking out good content.

    With Gratitude,

    Donna J

  • I really enjoyed reading your article. You are so right about being commited to doing something. I love to see results when I exercise or do something. Then I am more likely to keep doing it. Thanks for writing this article. I so love the part about you and your coffee.

Leave a Reply


Bad Behavior has blocked 243 access attempts in the last 7 days.