From Catalyst To Real Change Pt 1 - Healthy Commitments

From Catalyst To Real Change Pt 1 - Healthy Commitments

Growth

3

min read

“Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted. One moment Would you capture it or just let it slip?” - Eminem

We are often provided with "catalysts" for change -- an inspiring podcast, a big transitional moment, a Divine prompting, the start of a new year, a spiritual retreat, a profound coffee catchup, one-off work event etc.

When we experience these, they seem to open us up to a better way of living. They seem to promise that we’ll become better people if we can pay more attention.  

Yet why do these promising catalytic moments often seem to pass us by without significant movement towards deep change? 

Addicted to the catalytic (“catalyddicts”)

Let’s first consider what I think is the cultural contributor to the problem. I see by default that our culture, with the help of social media, leads us towards craving the “catalytic” like never before:  the inspiring moments, the big moments, the mind-blowing moments, (the “shareable” moments — you know what I mean). These moments can be very good such as celebrating milestones or even meeting people who inspire us like this interaction I recently had with one of my songwriting heroes. But chasing these moments, and especially comparing our moments to others, can often skew our sense of what makes life worthwhile or meaningful. And it can lead us to ignore the work that has to happen between moments that results in actual change. 

We are like moths to the short-lived catalytic flames. 

Maybe we are at risk of becoming “catalyddicts” (I’m not sure if this term exists, but let’s run with it for now!). People who exhibit a pattern of moving from one catalytic moment to the next and in doing so avoid the necessary work towards the deeper and more important areas of life i.e. becoming better humans for ourselves and the people around us. 

Why do I think this is part of the problem? Because I was a “catalyddict” myself and what I’m describing above is my own experience! 

Through my own 5 year transformational journey, and observing the journeys of others, I’ve found that without two necessary ingredients, what ought to be a catalyst remains no more than a memorable moment. The first is Healthy Commitments.

Healthy Commitments

I think we intellectually know about the importance of commitments and of making them. And you may believe you have enough experience making commitments. 

But pause and consider: 

Have you ever committed to something to the detriment of your own health?

Have you been certain that a commitment is needed but still struggled to make it? 

If you’ve answered yes to either of these, your concept of commitment might not be serving you well. Over-commitment burns us out or can leave us no space to capitalize on those catalytic moments that can lead to needed change. Under-commitment can mean we always stay in the supposed safety of the status quo, again depriving us of opportunities for change.

The qualifier — “Healthy” — is key.

To move toward healthier commitments, I invite you to consider these actions: 

1) Conduct a current commitments inventory

List out your current commitments and assess them based on following areas:

  • Is there a Start/End date?

  • Are there clear expectations that have been expressed and agreed on?

  • Is this someone on the other end of the commitment that is clear and has agreed to the commitment?

  • Does this commitment help me move towards the person I want to become and is a positive influence to those around me?

By simply going through this exercise, some next steps should start to surface — whether it is to clarify the expectations of a current commitment, stop a current commitment that isn’t aligned to you and the direction you want to go, or even consider a new commitment. 

2) Consider your current capacity

Healthy commitments require us to recognise our current capacity. And for me, this is not just a simplistic “do I have enough time?” equation. 

I’ve found that considering capacity also includes a recognition of the energy we have (which I wrote previously about here) as well as the resources (particularly money) we have.

A few practical questions worth asking especially when we are deciding whether to take on a new commitment or renew an existing commitment include:

  • What kind of energy does this commitment require of me and do I have enough in store at the required time? For example, a commitment may require my best brain analytical processing energy (which I have in the mornings) and yet my mornings are already full and so I may need to decline this commitment. 

  • What resources are required for me to fulfill this commitment? Some commitments to change require an investment of money, some require purchasing new clothes or gear and others require traveling and a mode of transport. It’s a good idea, before committing, to consider all the resources required.

  • Will taking on this commitment be a net positive to my life? While commitments are likely to draw from our capacity (through a mix of our time, energy and money), it’s important to recognise the dynamic that some give us more capacity in return. For example, the coaching programs and 1:1 partnerships that I’ve invested my own time and money in have often given me back more in terms of saved time, increased income possibilities as well as a boost in my energy that I get through encouragement. 

The important thing here is that making healthy commitments includes the recognition that we have limited capacity and that capacity includes our time, energy and resources.

3) Communicate your commitments 

To “communicate our commitments” seems almost too elementary but it is necessary. I think most of us have experienced the breakdown of a relationship (personal or professional) due to a “lack of communication” or “miscommunication”.

Communication should include accountability (i.e., someone who helps you stick to your commitment. This is the second key ingredient to be explored in the next newsletter), but it’s not only about accountability. Communication also includes making sure the person on the other side of your commitment is aware of it and knows what to expect from you. Or making your family aware so that they can support you and allow you the space to fulfill your commitment.  

“Unspoken expectations are premeditated resentments” writes author Neil Strauss.  

I’ve found that If we want to move from catalytic moments to real change, the first bridge required is making healthy commitments to change. It requires a look at our own personal situation, setting an intention and backing it up with attention.

In the next newsletter, we look at the second important ingredient to helping us turn catalytic moments into sustainable change: seeking competent accountability.

Until then, 

James

Over To You

Self Reflection

  1. Reflect on a recent moment or experience that felt like a catalyst for change in your life. What made this moment stand out for you? 

  2. Consider your current commitments utilising the “conduct a commitments inventory” questions. Are there commitments you need to redefine, initiate, or perhaps even terminate to align better with the person you aspire to become?

  3. How do you currently assess your capacity for new commitments? Can you identify a recent instance where you might have over-committed or under-committed due to not fully considering your capacity?

Respond

I've love to hear what's on your mind, whether a thought or a question. I read all emails and will respond as appropriate. Message me james@liveholystic.com

Pay it forward.

Share this newsletter with someone who you think would benefit from it and invite them to subscribe here.

Live whole,

James

p.s. If you want to take serious action beyond reading, set up a time here and we will have a conversation about options to get you moving on a new trajectory starting now.

p.p.s. If this is your first time seeing this, you can subscribe here to receive future drops of the LiveHolystic newsletter

#liveholystic #catalyddicts #healthycommitments #coaching #holistichealth

LiveHolystic Coaching & Consulting operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam) and other Coast Salish Peoples. We thank these First Peoples who continue to live on these lands and care for them, and whose relationship to these lands existed long before the founding of Canada or British Columbia

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Terms of Service

Cookie Settings

© 2023 LiveHolystic. All rights reserved.

LiveHolystic Coaching & Consulting operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam) and other Coast Salish Peoples. We thank these First Peoples who continue to live on these lands and care for them, and whose relationship to these lands existed long before the founding of Canada or British Columbia

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Terms of Service

Cookie Settings

© 2023 LiveHolystic. All rights reserved.

LiveHolystic Coaching & Consulting operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam) and other Coast Salish Peoples. We thank these First Peoples who continue to live on these lands and care for them, and whose relationship to these lands existed long before the founding of Canada or British Columbia

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Terms of Service

Cookie Settings

© 2023 LiveHolystic. All rights reserved.