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3 Ways To Stay Committed to Something.

SO! We just watched a motivational video, came out of a powerful conference or maybe signed up for that work-out program and we feel great, pumped up, amped up, and ready to go. We tell ourselves that we are going to make some HUGE changes in our lives, starting tomorrow. We get all the tools that we, set our alarm for 5 am, then go to bed ready to start off our new lifestyle. The alarm goes off and we say to ourselves “Ah, let’s do it tomorrow” or “I’ll start tomorrow” and head back to sleep.  

We are all human beings, we all get lazy, we all feel tired we all want to procrastinate sometimes. There are little hacks that you can use to ensure your success. Here are 4 Proven Ways that my clients, friends, and myself use to stay committed to their goals (Fitness, Doctorate Degrees, Career Related).


1)    Program Your Mind

Our human brain only utilizes about 10% of its abilities for our conscious endeavours. What we fail to realize is the power of our subconscious brain. To program your mind to help you reach your objective, program your mind with a trigger and a response. For example, when you want to accomplish a task such as getting up at 7 am to go to the gym. Take time a few days before you start to practice training how your mornings will occur. Visualize yourself waking up, feeling tired asking yourself should I work-out. Then program your mind with a trigger and response system. When the trigger (Asking yourself if you should work-out or not) occurs, the response (Getting up and brushing your teeth) would occur immediately. Practice and visualize this over and over again until it becomes second nature. 

Here is how I learned this:

When I started boxing, I was always scared to spar. People invited me to spar, and I would always come up with an excuse. O sorry, I forgot my mouth guard or oh, not today I hurt my ankle. Most of these were irrelevant excuses that I made. Then one day, my trainer passed away suddenly and it was crushing. One thing I remembered was how I regretted never having the chance to train with him. At that point, I decided, when the question ever came up in my mind “should I spar or not” the immediate response would yes, and I’d start to put action in towards sparring, such as walking to grab my gear. I trained my body and mind, to immediately react. I’d meditate, and go over this situation in my mind over and over until it was engraved into my subconscious mind. When my coached ask who wanted to spar after class. This was the trigger for me to start doing the response. Sometimes, I really wouldn’t even know what I was doing…I didn’t want to spar because I was nervous. There may be a good fighter there, or I was tired but by the time my mind was thinking, I was already gloving up and about to start. Since I was already doing it, I thought well, I might as well keep going.

2)    Set Yourself for Success

We’re all human beings. If you sleep at 2 am, and you want to get up at 5 am, you won’t perform well at all. If you go out drinking the night before a scheduled work-out, you probably will have a harder time getting up. It’s not impossible, but it makes it a lot harder. When you have a big exam, if you give yourself plenty of time to study you will have a higher chance of success than if you cram.

There are things that you can do to improve your odds of accomplishing the task. 


3)    Write it Down, Look at it Daily.  

“Motivation gets you started, Habit is what keeps you going”

One powerful idea that many individuals underestimate is the power of writing your goals down. To supercharge that goal, write it down on a large calendar that you post visually, then add a cross on each day that you complete your goal. For example, here is what my calendar looks like. I personally work-out 5 days a week, I take the time at the beginning of the month to write down what I want to do, put it somewhere where I see it daily. Then as I complete the task, I cross it off. Eventually, you’ll see your amazing work and not want to stop it, forming a habit.


4)    Get Competitive (Get a Good Team)

I want to introduce you to my friend Mike Durst (Instagram: @durstle) A Muay Thai Champion, Well Educated (Multiple Degrees) and my training partner. When we were fight training, in sparring when that bell “Dings!” I knew I had to be sharp, because if I wasn’t then he would take my head off. We always pushed each other through our extremely competitive nature. I never slacked during training with him because he always wanted to beat me by a bit, and since I am a better overall athlete I would never let him.

When I trained with him, I won most of my fights, and I even knocked out one of my opponents in the first round.

Find people that help bring out the best in you and keep you accountable to your goals. Even better, if you can do the same task such as working out with a buddy, then you would think twice about not going. However, don’t let this be an excuse for why you don’t start. Often, when you start doing something, you may have to start alone, but soon you’ll find people who share the same objective as you.

“A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship” – John D Rockefeller.  

Michael Zhang M.Eng is a fighter and coach from York Muay Thai in North York Toronto. He has 20+ fights across North American and is the 2011 TBA B-Class North American Champion and finalist in the 2014 Open Class Striking Tournament. He was voted Halton Region Entrepreneur of the year and featured on CH News for his start up "Lawn Sharks" when he was in grade 12. He continued to invest and advise several start ups throughout his post secondary education including a physiotherapy/beauty clinic and a restaurant/bar. He has held several management level positions including technical specialist of engineering for a 60 million dollar segment and project manager of restoration where he was responsible for up to 15 trades people. He holds a Masters of Civil Engineering Degree from the University of Toronto (Dean's List).