Keeping promises to yourself

Forget New Year's resolutions, I am referring to all those things that you have promised yourself over this past week.


I'm going to eat right this week, I'm going to drink more water every day. I'm going to put away that big pile of clothes in my bedroom this week. I'm going to declutter my kitchen counter this week. You get the point.


Do you find yourself at the end of the week looking back only to beat yourself up internally because you accomplished very few of those things. if any? Perhaps you started off Monday eating healthy but by Wednesday you had fallen back into old habits; well you're not alone.


So why is it that we don't keep our promises to ourselves? Sometimes we promise ourselves more than we can deliver. We put too much pressure on ourselves and too much on our to do list. Then overwhelm sets in. Sometimes we have great intentions but "life" gets in the way. Sometimes we don't have a big enough "why" as to why we should keep the promise. Sometimes we don't respect or love ourselves enough to honor our promises to ourselves,


Whatever your reason may be, here are some ideas on how to take a look at these broken promises and how to decide which ones you should keep:


First of all "brain dump" everything that you have promised yourself over the past few days by writing it all down on to a piece of paper. Write down EVERYTHING. The nagging list of to-dos, the thoughts in your head around your body, your habits, your home, your car, your work, your life. Write it all down and keeping writing until you have emptied your brain of all thoughts.


Next take a look at the list and prioritize the items on the list into three categories:

URGENT | NECESSARY | OTHER


Anything in the "urgent" category should then be prioritized into today, and tomorrow's to-do lists. Just get it done! You categorized it as urgent for a reason.


Next look at the "necessary" category and schedule time in your calendar to do these items over the next week if they are something that will only take a few hours. These are the things like pay your bills, grocery shop, do laundry, daily activities that are the necessities in life.

The last category of "other" will most likely be the long list of promises you are breaking to yourself and this is the list that you now get to look at, and ask yourself honestly do you really want to do the item on the list? Are you committed to doing whatever it takes to keeping that promise? If the answer is no, remove it from the list. If the answer is yes, you will need to look at that promise and decide what actions you need to take daily in order to keep that promise to yourself.


Perhaps your "other" list looks like this:

Lose 25 lbs

Drink more water daily

Exercise regularly

Get a manicure every 2 weeks

Learn a new hobby

Clean and organize my house

Clean out my car

Read more

Learn how to meal prep

Save part of my paycheck


Take each of these and prioritize the top 3 things that you can do within a few hours. Do one of those things each week until it is crossed off the list. Next, look at the promises that will take longer, like losing weight or getting into an exercise regimen, then plan how you are going to attain that promise. Break down the steps into daily small changes you can make in your day that will help you get closer to that goal being kept and that promise being kept.


Pay close attention to the voice in your head on a daily basis, are you cheering yourself on by celebrating the small wins in each day or are you beating yourself up because you're not perfect?


Choose to be kind to yourself. Choose grace and compassion for yourself if you fail.

You'll find over time that you will keep more promises to yourself if you treat yourself the way you treat your best friend.



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