Dependability: time management

word of month character

Each one of us play out a number of roles in our daily life.  It does not matter if we are 5 years old or 55.  Think about it – if you are 5 years old you could be a sibling, student in school and one or two extracurricular activities, grandchild, friend, and you may have been asked to be responsible for something in your church or other social group.

If you are a teen and adult it just multiplies.  We have our roles at work, friendships, citizens, students, family and more.  Each one makes demands on us that we find ourselves making commitments to and promises.  At time we feel stressed because in trying to be ‘dependable’ we may feel stretched too thin and may even feel like we do not have enough free time for our selves.

If we are going to be dependable and keep our commitments we must first be balanced and moderate in the things we promise.  One of the things that always surprises me is how much time a task takes that I thought would take so much less time. 

So in fact it is about time management and priorities.  If we want to be a powerful leader we must only make promises that we are able to keep.  Here is a quick hint I received from something I read recently.

Write down what you need to accomplish the next day –  the night before.
Choose the 3 most important things that will have the largest impact on your business, life or family
Tackle the biggest and hardest one first thing in the morning and stay with it until it is complete.

You will feel great about it and be able to do the other items easier, knowing that big one is complete.   More on time management later.  If you are going to be dependable though, it is most important to know when and how to say no and not to overload yourself.  

Dependability: Definition

word of month character

November word of the month at Balanced Life Skills is Dependability.  Being dependable is about our promises and commitments, our actions and being accountable for those actions.   This month we will explore this even more, to find ways that we can demonstrate our dependability at home and in all parts of our life.   Our students will learn the role that dependability plays in creating a good reputation.

 

Young students:

Dependability means: You can count on me!

Older students:

Dependability means: Following through with commitments even when it’s challenging to do so.

There will be more discussions on this site of this word to help everyone discuss it with their own children and to look at it more deeply with themselves in the coming month. Check back with us or you may join our community for even more information.

 

Rewards for keeping commitments

word of month character

Everyone of us has had a time when someone promised to do something for us and then did not keep that promise. How did it make you feel? Frustrated, angry, let down? We have also experienced, hopefully more often, the times when promises were kept and our feelings were the exact opposite. We were relieved, happy, and felt like we knew someone we could rely on.

If we are a young child and we promise mom and dad that we will clean our room and then we keep that commitment – without being asked to do it again and again – your parents are feeling very happy about you being so responsible and trustworthy. Believe me as a child this is a good thing for parents to feel this way!

At the same time when we keep a promise like that we can say to ourselves that we know we are dependable and that we can reach our goals, because we stick to our commitments. Guess what? The same is true for adults! The people around us begin to trust us and see us as leaders and reliable when we keep our commitments. It makes a big difference.

If we break our commitments though others may not feel that they can trust us, they may be upset with us and it will impact the lives of many other individuals. It also has a big impact on ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. When we keep promises to ourselves there is a pride and feeling of accomplishment. Here is a quick example. When it is time for me to do my work out I sometimes do not feel like doing it. Have you ever felt that way? But as soon as I get started it is OK – but when I am done I feel so good about accomplishing a task that I committed to my instructor and have made known to the entire community I would do.

You will feel the same when you keep a commitment to yourself and to others.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.

Keeping our commitments – a personal story

word of month character

It is very interesting that when I talk to our students about subjects dealing with character, it always make me stop and think about myself. We have been talking about why it is easy to keep our promises to ourselves and others and why it can be hard sometimes too.

It is always easy when it is fun, or we are good at something or if we just love doing it or being around the people we are involved with. On the other hand it is a lot harder when it is something that we do not understand or is boring to us. There really are 3 things that get in our way of keeping a commitment.

I read recently that they are considerations, fears and roadblocks. I have noticed with myself that many times that all three of them get in the way many times all together.

First you have the negative talk, considerations, that happen and you can quickly come up with all the reasons you cannot do something. That many times can lead to fear which are feelings. They may include fear of failure or rejection (two that I battle all of the time). Then of course as soon as the first road block comes up your fears are realized and you are sure that your original considerations were true and so you get frozen.

Now back to promises. The promises we make to ourselves are very important. I have promised to complete the Ultimate Black Belt Test the best way I know how or better than I know how at this moment. I must learn how to overcome the considerations, fear and roadblocks to keep this promise. No matter what comes up I must overcome the negative voice, the fears, and those roadblocks that are bound to get in the way.

Commitment despite conflicts

word of month character

There are very few individuals who do not feel the conflict that comes from the number of different commitments that all of us have made. Those commitments include promises we have made to family, friends, work, school, activities, community and more. How do we deal with all of these commitments in a responsible manner and balance the different areas of our life? Someone said once, “Commitment in the face of conflict produces character.”

All of us need to decide what is important to us and review the promises we have made to ourselves and others in regard to value we place on them. The question really is in the words of Steven Covey, “What are our big rocks?”. Once we know what is really important and what we value then we can be sure that we make the time for those commitments first, with the smaller things of less importance fit in with the important ones.

So if we value family time, then we would want to schedule family time in our schedule, with specific time set aside for that “big rock”. If it is our health, set aside time for exercise and eating healthy. Keeping those commitments will make us feel better about all the other things we “have to do”. It may mean giving up something or doing less of something that we enjoy, but is not of importance or high on our list of values.

Everyday we can ask ourselves what we can do to stay committed to a goal we have, how can we raise the level of commitment. It is our choice and not one that we can leave up to others.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.

Commitments to ourselves

word of month character

One of the most important kind of commitments we ever make is the promises that we make to ourselves. We know that our ability to keep promises to others will have an affect on the way they view us. They will see us as someone they can trust, or that we are reliable, dependable and responsible.

Did you know that the way we keep or not keep promises to ourselves has the same effect on us personally. If we continuously make promises to ourselves, and then break it we are not showing the same respect for ourselves that we show to others. This has a very negative affect on the way we feel about ourselves.

Lets say we promise ourselves to take a walk everyday for exercise, and we do so for 4 days straight. But then we let various things get in the way of our keeping this commitment. In affect we are lying to ourselves, and we begin to see ourselves as not reliable or dependable. This then allows us to give up in other areas of our life on commitments and soon we find that our self respect is very low. Do you know how good you feel about yourself when you keep commitments to yourself?

Showing commitment to ourselves will make a difference in our success in life and it will help us keep our commitments to others.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.