Making promises to ourselves is something we all do and sometimes we can find these promises difficult to keep. Breaking a promise we make to ourselves to start a new habit or to move in a certain direction, even once, can make us less inclined to carry on with our intention; keeping these promises is key to staying on the path to where we want to get to. It today’s article we’ll look at a 5 tips on how to keep your promises to yourself. But before we begin, let’s have a quick look at why we should keep our focus and follow through on the things we promise ourselves.
We make promises to ourselves because we want to achieve something, to learn something new or even change a pattern of behaviour. These promises initially come from a sense of self-worth; if we didn’t value ourselves then we wouldn’t make promises in the first place. Ultimately we make these goals and these promises because we want something we don’t have already, keeping our promises can help to make us more focused and increase the desire and effort we put in to achieving what we want.
So without any further ado, lets look at five techniques that can really work:
1 – Make promises that are realistic.
This one is about setting a goal you can actually achieve. If you have little running experience and you promise yourself you will run 100 miles a week and run a quick time in a marathon, you will not see this goal as achievable and are likely to quickly give up. If however, you change you goal to running five times a week to get fitter and one day run a marathon this goal will be much more easily achieved because it is realistic and something you can see yourself doing. Whilst I say make goals realistic I don’t mean you have to aim low and not go after great things, but making a difficult goal in the first place can be off putting. If you want to acheive something great then it can be broken down in to smaller steps.
2 – Write it down
Verbal agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re not written on. Committing promises to paper solidifies them and helps to keep you accountable because you can’t argue with what you write in black and white. There are a number of ways you can do this, personally, I find breaking a big goal down in to yearly, monthly and even daily steps helps me to see the progress I am making and keeps my head in the game; which leads to a sense of achievement as I tick things off, which in turn leads to an increase in motivation.
3 – Remember why you made the goal in the first place and keep it as a priority.
Undoubtedly other things will come along and distract us or knock us off course. If our goal is, for instance, to learn new skills so we can get a job we will enjoy more, then keeping our eye on the prize will help us to remember why we made the goal in the first place. Equally, keeping the promise as a priority will keep us focused and make us more likely to keep inching close to where we want to be.
4 – Reward your successes
Staying focused can be difficult so when we stick to our promise and finish our daily or weekly goals we should reward ourselves in some way. My reward for working out today and writing this article will be to kick back and watch the football later on. Maintaining self-discipline is a difficult thing to do and after all no one else is going to recognise or reward us for this. Rewarding ourselves will help us to continue with what we are doing as we will feel even better about what we have done. This tip will reinforce the positive feelings we get from keeping our promises and will boost our self-trust and self-confidence.
5 – Don’t beat yourself up if you slip a little.
It is important to not be too harsh on ourselves if we break a promise now and again to ourselves. If we do miss a day then we can re-align ourselves with our promises by following the steps above to get in tune with why we made these promises to ourselves.
Sometimes we will make promises that we don’t necessarily want to do that much but know are will benefit us in the long run, a good example is all the new gym goers at the start of every year who after a few weeks or months never return to the gym. The ones that stay for the duration are those that use the above tips and develop their own techniques to keep their promises to themselves. These same people will start to see results soon enough so this will increase their motivation to keep at it. Keeping promises to ourselves, once we get in to it, helps us to keep on keeping promises and gives us something to draw on so we may aim even higher.
The promises we make and keep help us to increase the trust we have in ourselves. Trusting yourself in turn gives more faith in your abilities and helps increase self-confidence and self-esteem. Increasing these qualities not only helps us to have a better self-image but can give us more integrity when dealing with the outside world.
How do you keep promises to yourself?