What kind of promises have you made to your friends / classmates / children or those that you work with? Following through on those promises is a way for us to show our responsibility. Most of us have at sometime made a commitment though that we found ourselves not keeping. Those commitments may be to others – but the hardest ones to stick to are the ones that we have made to ourselves. How can we do a better job of keeping commitments that we make to ourselves?
1. Be specific to what we are committing to. If I say I will eat healthier, what does that mean? What will eat or not eat? Do I have an eating plan, what time I will eat, how many calories, will I prepare my food ahead of time? Being specific about what we will do will help us when our willpower is weakening.
2. Be accountable to someone. There are always times when we will want to give in to our own selves, but having a partner that will hold our feet to the fire may be key to our ability to fulfill our promises to ourselves. Need extra leverage? Put a dollar value to it. If you do not complete your promise – it will cost you XX$$.
3. Start small and practice. The more you are able to keep small commitments on a regular basis, the more momentum you will have for getting the bigger ones done too.
Why is this so important? It is our ability to keep commitments to ourselves that shows the measure of respect we have for ourselves. Respect for ourselves, trusting ourselves to keep our promises that we make to ourselves opens the doors for our ability to keep promises to others.
If we are a parent – our practice will set a great example to our children and we will be able to help them to keep their commitments without being seen by them as hypocritical.