The Distinction Between Commitment and Attachment

Photo credit: Isaac B2 via Flickr.com

I learned a long time ago from my grandfather that there is a distinction between commitment and attachment. Pop always used to tell me that those who are committed will always succeed.  I have never set out to accomplish something and failed as I am prepared to change course, when need be, as I am not attached to this path. Pop would tell me that when I was attached to something, I was fixated on one idea and could not open myself to other ideas or possibilities. Since life is full of possibilities, I “tried this on” and have created many possibilities for myself and my life. I fully subscribe to this distinction and believe this has created the space for me to stay committed to my wellbeing, health, and fitness.

Miriam-Webster defines wellness as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.” Webster indicates that daily exercise is a means to promote wellness and provides antonyms such as illness, sickness, and unhealthiness for the word wellness.

Now that we are into the third month of 2013, you may be like the many people who resolved to eat better, exercise more, eat less, etc. and are struggling to keep your resolutions. Stay committed! I am a mother of two boys, ages nine and five, pursuing my doctorate degree, working full time, and I am happily married. I am committed, not attached, to exercise and I make this a priority in my life.

It might help to write your commitment on a piece of paper and refer to it often to keep you motivated. Maybe even post it on the refrigerator.  For example:

I commit to:

1. Exercising at the same time each day

  • It may be a kickboxing class or Zumba© dance class (both are so much fun and burn more than 500 calories in one hour)
  • Rollerblade, bicycle, or run with the kids

2. Buying fruits and veggies that I clean and portion into snack bags, or containers, immediately so they are available for a quick snack

3. Eating every three hours

  • Avoiding high sugar items
  • Incorporating protein in each meal, including snacks
  • Avoiding white breads (Quinoa, brown rice or oatmeal are great options)

5. Sleeping at least eight hours per night

6. Enjoying one or two cheat meals per week

7. Using an app, such as My Fitness Pal, to track calorie intake and exercise

Remember, be committed, not attached to your plan.


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Michelle Licata, FLVS 2013 Teacher of the Year, is a National Board Certified Teacher. She chose to teach social studies because she enjoys exploring past and present “real life” issues that really matter to her students.



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