As the end of 2010 rolls around taking the time to reflect on the year, your beliefs and values, can perhaps, help the move forward in 2011. It is important that the behaviors we manifest represent the beliefs and values we have. C4K values commitment. Commitment is the willingness to put yourself on the line to ensure that something occurs. It is standing firm to ensure that your purpose is carried out. When you work in an after-school program, part of your commitment is providing a high quality program for youth, and another part is of your commitment focuses on ensuring that you are delivering exemplary performance—in other words, you are being a positive role model for youth.
Many people are reluctant to make a commitment. They seem to intuitively understand that if they give their word they will need to “make good” on it. So rather than commit, they say things like, “I’ll try.” (Yoda says there is no try only do) or “I’ll see if I can get to it”, or “if it works out.” Since everything we do gives young people permission to do the same thing, is it any wonder they give us the same responses when we ask them to make a commitment?
To make and keep commitments you must begin with the “man or woman in the mirror.” Commitment begins and ends with you. Keep promises to yourself and others. Be honest with yourself and others as well. Be loyal to those who are present and those who are absent. Listen, say you are sorry, and keep the main thing the main thing. Set clear expectations about what you are committing to do and the time frame in which you will accomplish it. Give people updates so they know the commitment is on your mind. Brian Koslow tells us, “To increase your effectiveness, make your emotions subordinate to your commitments.” So get out there and make a commitment, however small, and then keep it. You learn to honor huge commitments by honoring a thousand small commitments along the way.
Following are some great quotes that address commitment. Consider them as you reflect on your own performance in 2010.
• "Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” Tom Robbins
• "Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the "right stuff" to turn our dreams into reality.” James Womack
• "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." Vince Lombardi
• “Individual commitment to a group effort -- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi
• “The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it's not without doubt, but in spite of doubt.” Dr. Rollo May
• “If you deny yourself commitment, what can you do with your life?” Harvey Fierstein
• “Great organizations demand a high level of commitment by the people involved.” Bill Gates