Have you ever made a promise to yourself? What was it, actually the more important question is did you keep it? I bet you didn’t. Why is it so easy to break a promise to ourselves? When we make a promise to a friend or our family we move hell and high water to keep that promise. I am big about keeping promises, but for some reason, I have struggled my entire life to keep the promises that I make to myself. Then I finally figured out why a few years ago when I read the book Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.
We undervalue ourselves! When it comes to making a promise to someone else it is easier because we don’t want to let that person down by breaking the commitment we made to them. When you break a promise to yourself the only person you are letting down is yourself, but after doing it over and over again it becomes a habit. We create all kinds of wild excuses not to keep the promises we make to ourselves.
I can not tell you how many times I have said I was going to lose weight the right way by eating healthier and exercising, then the next night I am eating pizza for dinner and scrolling through social media after my son goes to sleep. Do you know what I tell myself? What everyone else does. “I will start tomorrow”.
After doing this for so long I programmed my brain to automatically reach for any excuse to break whatever promise I have made to myself. My way of thinking needed to change because waiting around for motivation that only lasted so long wasn’t cutting it. In order to create the life you want you must hold yourself accountable for the life you created because let us be honest you and your choices are what got you here so let’s flip the script and let me show you how to keep a promise to yourself.
How To Keep a Promise To Yourself
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Most people go big when they start this journey, but what you need to realize the bigger the promise the harder it is to keep. I suggest you start out small. Make a small promise to yourself the first few times so when you follow through on that promise it’s a win. This will build your self-confidence so you will begin to trust yourself to follow through with what you commit to. Making and keeping promises to yourself is creating a foundation that will work for the rest of your life, so starting off with little promises like eating healthier start to incorporate one healthy meal a day.
Write it down
I don’t care how big or small the promise that you made for yourself is, write it down. When you put pen to paper and actually write down your promise it is the first step to keeping it. Place it somewhere you will see it so you are holding yourself accountable to follow through on it.
You can also create an alarm or reminder on your phone so it pops up during the day so remember the promise you made to yourself. I have found that when you write down your promises and visually see them you are more likely to do it. Put it on a post-it on the bathroom mirror so you see it every morning when you are brushing your teeth.
Fit the promise into your schedule
We are all busy most days so the best way to commit to your promise is to schedule it into your everyday routine. I know what you are going to say I don’t have a minute to myself, but I am here to call BS because that isn’t true. How much time do you spend scrolling on social media after you put the kids to sleep? I am going to bet if you are anything like me at least an hour.
That is time you can spend keeping your promise. track your schedule for one week account for every hour and see where you have free time. Once you do that you tell me what you are doing with your free time and how can you work on the commitment you made to yourself.
What is your WHY?
Why are you making this promise to yourself? That is a loaded question, because finding out the why requires you to dig a little bit deeper into yourself. It has been proven time and time again when you have a WHY you are more likely to hold yourself accountable to keep your promise. Write down your promise in a notebook and list at least 3-5 reasons why you are making this promise to yourself. This will help give you motivation when the initial excitement wears off.
Hold yourself accountable
No one is coming to save you, remind you, or hold you accountable for a promise you made to yourself. So you are going to have to do the heavy lifting here. If you want to change for the better you have to do it yourself. Holding yourself accountable is the best way to do that. Since we spend so much time on social media the easiest way to hold ourselves accountable is to post it. I found that the thought of letting people down is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
You can also use a reward system. Now when I say a reward system I don’t mean have a cheat day if you are trying to lose weight. What I mean is go buy yourself a new outfit because of the progress you made or treat yourself to a spa day as long as it doesn’t derail the promise you made to yourself you can give yourself whatever reward you want.
Forget the shame and regret of past faults. It is time to pick yourself up dust yourself off and make one of the most important commitments of your life the commitment to yourself. Making and keeping a promise to yourself is one of the greatest self-love acts you can do.
It took me a long time to get to this point, but I finally arrived and am putting myself first and my family is benefitting from it every day. Every time we follow through on making a promise to ourselves we prove to ourselves we are trustworthy and can rely on ourselves confidently. So what are you waiting for time to get started on a journey that can change your life one promise at a time?