Commit to goals you really wanna do… and then don’t? This one’s for you -

Shaylee Edwards
4 min readMar 3, 2023


This one’s for you if you have a pattern of committing to epic (or even basic) changes and not really following through.

You probably think that when it’s time to accomplish something or change, you should *just* commit. Declare, own it, do it. Force or fail. Rugged, do-or-die commitment.

As if that wasn’t extreme enough, I bet you make those commitments when change is desperately wanted. Declaring from that low point might influence your commitments to be overly ambitious and unreasonable, since you likely want to get as far away as possible from where you are.

In any case, you mean it — “This time I’m gonna do it!”

Do any of these sound familiar:

  1. I’M GONNA WAKE UP AT 5am EVERY DAY TO WORK OUT (.. wakes up at 8, has not worked out consistently since 2012)
  2. I WILL NOT LET THEM TREAT ME LIKE THAT AGAIN (.. has no idea what to do instead)
  3. I JUST NEED TO WRITE 5 PAGES A DAY STARTING MONDAY (…only wrote 5 pages a day in college under mid-term pressure)
  4. I WILL BE MORE PRESENT AND PATIENT WITH MY CHILDREN (.. is not present or patient with her own inner child)
  5. I’LL SAVE 10 % … POST EVERY DAY… FINISH THIS COURSE (…is overspending 20%… hates to post… thinks online courses are boring

I get it. One, from my own life, and two, from supporting people for almost a decade in behavior change.

We *think* a sincere declaration to commit will summon the change gods. And you know what? Sometimes it does. Sometimes for some people, it does.

However, if it hasn’t worked for you, here are some other steps to try BEFORE you commit:

  1. Call out the underlying motivations. Why do you need to make a change? What are you afraid of happening? How do you actually feel? What are you thinking about and believing? You might discover there’s something else you’d rather do or would better address the real pain point. If you don’t *really* want or need to, you won’t keep it up for long.
  2. Have a lil convo with yourself, Why aren’t you already doing the thing? Be as honest as yah can. You might discover info gaps, constraints, self-confidence holes, lack of desire. You likely can’t steam roll past these because, well, if you coulda you woulda already.
  3. MAKE IT OK. OMG. IT’S OK. Hating on yourself does not make it easier to change. It makes it harder. Because if you ‘fail’ again, you’ll feel even worse about yourself, be even meaner to yourself. So why the heck would you put yourself out there to try again? Start patterning kinder inner dialogue ASAP. This will serve you (and everybody you interact with), I promise.
  4. Start with genuine, sincere curiosity. ‘Commit’ to just checkin’ out and exploring what you *might* want to do and how you wanna do it for a few weeks or months. Take notes, do experiments, get to know the terrain. The reason most people fall off what they commit to is they commit to something they really don’t have the structure to support. Internally and/or environmentally.
  5. Once you have a better idea of what you can reasonably commit to and accomplish, THEN declare. Make it something *CAN* actually do and *KNOW* why you want to.
  6. Build a lil flex into it. Sometimes our silly lil human’ness is like, ‘You missed day #214!! IT’S OVER. WE CAN’T GO ON.’ And peeps will literally walk away because of a flicker of ‘failure.’ Walk away if you want, but if you start to feel bad about it, I’d recommend revisiting the steps here again.
  7. Get back on the bronco no matter how many times you fall off. Dude, if your commitment is to workout, have better boundaries, clean up your finances, find love, etc, there’s no reason to stop until you get it. Each time you fall off, you get a little closer to not ❤ And heck, maybe you’ll always fall off. And that’s ok too. Feels way better to try and fail than ignore what you really want.
  8. Share the wealth. Encourage other people to be reasonable and kind with themselves ❤ It’s ok, it really is.
  9. Do it like you do it. Hey, no one might understand how or why you’re doing it like you’re doing it. Who cares? Let what works for you work for you.

Let’s be real, all this post did was give you permission to step outside of what you *think* should be and to work with what is. Or rather, it reminded you you can give yourself permission.

Bonus Q’s: How else are you thinking about what you could do or should do in ways that doesn’t actually help yah out? How can you start to play it how it lies? Why mightcha want to? What’s not working when you *don’t* work with you? Are you afraid what will happen if you make the change for good? .. why?

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