Commitments are important. To others for sure, but especially to yourself.
Sometimes life gets in the way of your commitments and your practice falls by the wayside. When this happens, and it will happen, it is important to start again as soon as possible. Get back into the gym, pick up the pen, climb back onto that horse. The negative momentum builds quickly so it is vital to not allow it too much of a grip. This can only be accomplished by dusting yourself off and taking a step forward.
A slipup in your practice is also an indicator for you to stop and evaluate your commitment. Why did it slip? Why has your enthusiasm waned? Have you overcommitted yourself? Lost interest?
Taiichi Ohno of Toyota developed the 5 Why’s method in the 1950’s which, in essence, is to question something again and again like a child until the root of the issue is found. If you have lost interest, why have you lost interest? Because it seems to take up all of your limited spare time? Why is that? You are sleeping later? Why? Because you are spending more time with someone and not getting to bed at the same time as before? Keep going until the true reason appears and then work to fix that.
Once a commitment is made it is important to see it through, no matter how justified you feel the reason for quitting. It helps if the commitment has a predetermined end date, or desired end state. This helps to set the stakes and to gauge where it falls in your chain of priorities. One year is a great place to start for a serious commitment. You can test the waters with something once a week for a month, something else for a semester. Your greatest commitments – marriage and children – will be for the rest of your life.
Whatever you have committed to, make sure to fulfill your end of the bargain. Show up every day and get the work done. Be mindful about what and how much you commit to as it will affect how much time you have for your other commitments and your free time.
Don’t commit lightly, but when you do, finish what you started.