Promises Kept: 7 Tips To Help You Follow Through
How many promises have you kept to yourself? I am guessing if you are anything like me, you have made many promises that you did not keep. You made up excuses about why you weren’t able to keep your promise. But then these excuses leave you feeling empty and frustrated with yourself and your lack of willpower.
After going through this all-to familiar pattern, my relationship with myself was on shaky ground. I started policing myself, beating myself up for not being able to follow through. This turned into a negative self-fulfilling prophecy cycle which sabotaged my success. And in the end I let myself down.
Have you been there? You might even be dealing with this negative cycle right now.
Most often, people are in this cycle from failed diets. They constantly make empty promises to themselves and in the end are unable to follow through.
Through my studies of psychology, and learning from some amazing teachers, I have come to the conclusion that we, human-beings, can do anything we set our minds to.
This is called: Self-Efficacy.
Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to successfully accomplish a task.
OK, so now how do we apply this wonderful and amazing theory to our lives?
Here are a few tips that I use to help me keep promises to myself:
1) Make the decision ahead of time.
Before the time comes to follow through on the promise I made to myself, say it is going to a yoga class every Monday night, I make the decision on Sunday that I am going. That way there is no decision to make on whether I will go or not on Monday. It’s already done.
It has been theorized that willpower is like a muscle, it gets stronger as you exercise it, but it does weaken as the day wears on. This is why many fitness experts say to exercise in the morning, when you are rested and have a fresh supply of willpower. So when you have made the decision ahead of time, it’s done. Don’t use precious energy trying to debate with yourself. It is just way easier to just go to the darn class!
2) Put it in the calendar.
After I have made the decision, I put it down in my calendar. That way it is as good as done. I don’t have to think about the time or whether I am going to go.
It is just like a doctor’s appointment or any other type of appointment or meeting. Would I mark an appointment down in my calendar and wonder the night before whether I am going to go or not? Certainly not. I am going.
Now, do you care more about your doctor than you do yourself? Of course you don’t! So don’t treat your doctor better than you would treat yourself!
3) Be realistic.
If I am not fully committed to the promise to myself, I am not going to follow through. So I make sure the promise is something that I really want to accomplish before I start making promises.
Think about a relationship with a significant other. Would you believe that the person is going to follow through if they kept promising you something and never did it? The same is with yourself. If you continue to make promises you don’t intend on keeping, you will not be able to build the trust needed for your most important relationship: the relationship with yourself!
4) Set an expectation.
Before I jump into making a promise to myself or setting a goal, I want to be very specific about what I hope to accomplish and I write it down.
The power of writing is absolutely incredible! Get specific with the expectations for your promise-write down the EXACT steps you need to take in order to keep it! This will change your life, so take out your journal and get writing!
5) Think about your future self.
Whenever you make a promise or set a goal it is because we want to feel a certain way. So when I start to formulate a promise, I think about my future self. How do I feel now? How will I feel when I have kept my promise?
Thinking about my future self really helps me picture this in my mind. It helps me understand why I want to do it and start to brainstorm about any obstacles that might get in my way.
6) Treat yourself as you would your best friend.
Think about how you treat your best friend. Do you make promises to her? Do you follow through? Treat yourself just as well, if not better than you would your best friend.
Many of us go around treating others much better than we treat ourselves. Why do you do this? Do we think it is selfish? Maybe because we don’t like ourselves that much?
Well I’ve got news for us: We are all we’ve got!
At the end of the day we are the only ones we have. So it is about time we start treating ourselves the way we treat our friends!
A promise kept is a great way to start strengthening the relationship you have with yourself.
7) Be someone who you can depend on.
If you can’t think of a promise you want to make to yourself maybe first start with the promise to be someone who you can depend on. This is a great characteristic in a best friend. Start thinking about things that you can do to prove to yourself you are someone who you are able to depend on!
Tell me what you think of these tips and how they work for you!