Embracing Commitment for Lasting Change

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Lorilee Lippincott of Loving Simple Living.

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” – Peter Drucker

Many of us (including myself) are looking for lasting change in our lives. Lasting change is more than a great idea or a quick fix. Lasting change is change deep inside us building habits out of what we want our life to be. It is changing who we are and how we respond to the world. And many of us are searching for lasting change in our homes, lives, relationships, personal growth, or health. Even though it often isn’t easy or quick, finding lasting change does not have to be difficult.

Lasting Change Needs Commitment

Commitment is harder and harder to find in society. It seems our lives change so quickly we have learned to only ‘dip a toe’ into an idea before we begin to watch for the next thing to show up. We test it, try it for a few weeks, and hop off to the next thing. Often, people aren’t committing to a job, or a church, or even social groups. Add to that the changes in society around us with ideas, fads, fashion, technology and much more. And it becomes easy to see we are becoming a society of the uncommitted.

However, we need to learn commitment to find lasting change.

A commitment is bigger than a goal. Goals are great but they are often affected by life’s circumstances – which can lead to discouragement. On the other hand, commitment is the idea, the principle, that carries us through setbacks or day-to-day troubles and keeps us steered in the direction we choose to head.

For me, minimalism has become a big part of my life. I committed to simplifying my life about a year and a half ago. I became committed to that principle because of the larger commitment to have more time and control in my life. This intentional commitment has slowly made minimalism a lasting change in my life. During the process, lots of goals have been set, met, and changed, but it was the commitment that continued to make it real in my life.

So what lasting change are you looking for in your life?

Are you adopting minimalism? Working on a hard relationship? Trying to lose weight? Something else? Decide to make the commitment for lasting change.

And then, begin implementing these strategies to create lasting change:

  1. Expects set-backs, plan for them, and push through them (in sickness and in health… better or worse…).
  2. Tell others about the end result you are working toward. Instead of saying ‘we are going to go through and clean out some clutter’ say ‘We are becoming minimalist to really simplify our life. We aren’t sure exactly what it will look like yet, but we are excited.’
  3. Make small goals. And then routinely reevaluate to make sure they are still moving you towards your desired lasting change.
  4. Own it. Live like you have already achieved it. If you call yourself a minimalist, you will begin to think and act differently. Avoid words such as “thinking about,” “working on,” or “trying out.” These are ‘toe in the water’ words. The power of positive speech can make a huge difference.

Lasting change will always require commitment. The intentionally-lived life is not always the easy life. But commitment muscles get stronger as you exercise them. And committing to live the life you believe in is always worth it.


Lorilee Lippincott helps families simplify at Loving Simple Living. She has just released Simple Living – 30 Days to Less Stuff and More Life. It is on sale this week for only .99. You can also find her on Twitter.

Image: Bryon Lippincott Photography

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    Commitment is a scary word these days. But I’ve now discovered the best things in life come as a result of commitment. In my life this includes things like my marriage, my relationship with God, my role as a father, and my skills as a writer.

    Going forward, I’m looking for lasting change in the area of Bible study. Simply reading the Word isn’t always enough. I’m looking for the lasting principles that lead to life change.

    Great post Lorilee!

  2. says

    While I don’t really like identifying with tags or “movements,” I have been trying to reach many of these same goals. For me, I look at the type of commitment and keeping up the practice as my “new normal.” I feel obligated by the term “commitment,” but can discipline myself to stick to my “new normal.” Semantics, I know!

  3. says

    This is especially true with health and fitness. Like many things in life, health isn’t a finish line that we reach, it’s a lifestyle that bears commitment.

  4. says

    This is a great post. The practical advice is especially helpful because sometimes in the day-to-day rhythm, it is easy to lose sight of your overall goal for life. Although I do want to learn to live happily with less, I have weak moments of wanting my life to look like others’, who look like they have more. I must remind myself that no, that’s NOT actually what I want. Truly, I want to learn to be content with little so that my joy can overflow, uninhibited by material things. Here’s a little something I wrote along these same lines:

  5. says

    One thing I’ve learned about commitment is that it matters what I commit myself to! A commitment to clean out my storage unit was daunting and exhausting until I also developed a reasonable plan. Former commitments to working out in a gym every day fell apart quickly, but recently I developed a simpler, gentler commitment to working out at home. My new fitness commitment is to never do less today than I did yesterday – yesterday I did 30 push ups and 24 sit ups, and today I did 30 push ups and 25 sit ups.

  6. says

    Great post as usual. I am currently working on continuing the minimalistic life with a couple tiny slide back. I also started a while back with a healthier lifestyle including exercise, clean eating and weight loss. This is a major day to day commitment. This post helped me so much. Thank you! Keep up the great work. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  7. Marzena Smolinska says

    There is just one thing I would add to the point 2 – tell those others that will motivate you.
    I’ve experienced it too many times that I told about my goal to the person with negative influence. And words like ‘you won’t make it, as always’ is not something you’d like to hear when you want the change to be permanent.

  8. says

    This is great. I think a person can learn a great deal about themselves when they stay true to a commitment. Because whether we realize it or not, we’re actually facing our own fears when we commit to something we can’t control:)

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