Do you find it difficult to stick to your yoga commitments? Do you treat it as a one-time date or a long term relationship? If you are among that set of people who believe in the idea of keeping your fitness goals private and let your success speak for itself and if it has worked for you, that’s great. You can continue it.. But, if you are part of a different category of people, who find it difficult to adhere to their exercise or yoga regime, then you can look at alternate ideas and process-motivation techniques that could be helpful.
The principle of Commitment & Consistency
Using the principle of Commitment & Consistency, we can devise some simple ways to keep ourselves regular with our routine, be disciplined, and achieve our health goals. Popularized by the acclaimed psychologist, researchers, and author- Robert Cialdini in his best-selling book "Influence", claiming it to be a great tool of influence and persuasion, writes " Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decisions.”
Now, how to use commitment and personal and interpersonal pressures for self-discipline, motivation, and improvement? There are two ways in which you can do this.
Commitment to self- Using personal pressures:
Write your fitness goals and goals of your exercise or yoga regime. Write about the tasks you will carry to achieve these goals. If you are practicing Yoga like many other readers of this blog, write about what yoga poses you would want to master by the end of this week, month or year. Write about all the steps that you would like to take to accomplish these fitness and life goals. Put all this in writing. It needs to be repeated here, put them all in writing which you can refer to regularly. For example, If you plan to do Yoga, write down the things you need to begin your practise. Write down what kind of yoga mat do you want? Check out a range of natural rubber yoga mats on sale.Write about the schedule that you will follow. Write about how will you reward yourself if manage to achieve the daily/weekly goals. Why in writing? Because that way, you tend to make your mind believe that you are making a real commitment. By putting in writing you are differentiating your fitness plans from the hundred other things that you verbally and silently try to tell your mind but which gets lost in the clutter of day-to-day life and is difficult to remember.
Commitment to others - Using interpersonal pressures
While you make your goals and plans, ensure that you share these with few people whose opinion matters to you. These people could be anyone from your family and other social circles but ensure that you choose a person who you think is of higher social status than you. Basically, choose a person in front of whom you wouldn't want a compromised image of yourselves. Let these people know about your goals and plans. By committing your plans and goals to others, you are more likely to achieve them, as has been proven by research and studies. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? In a set of studies, researchers found that people showed dedication and put in genuine effort when they shared their goal with someone they look up to. Results showed that this works because humans care about how that higher-status person would evaluate them.
Why does this work?
In both the actions, we are committing -in the first case it is to self and in the second case, it is to others. As mentioned before, the theory says that people want to be seen behaving in a manner that is consistent with their self-image and therefore would like to be consistent with the commitment.
In the first case when you put your fitness goals in writing, you create a self-image of a person striving for a healthy mind and body. Once you commit to this self-image you are more likely to be consistent with your plans and goals.
Similarly in the second case, where you share your goals with others, you would be subconsciously more driven to be seen as consistent with this image and therefore will be keener and motivated to achieve your goals.
So what’s the next step? Go out there and commit in public, commit that you will take out time for yourself, buy printed cork yoga mat online and begin work on your goals today.