May 17, 2023
“How do I keep promises I make to myself?” This is a question I
get asked a lot, and it’s one that all of us can benefit from
knowing the answer to.
The ability to make and keep promises directly impacts our level
of success in everything we do—whether it’s a promise to go to the
gym regularly or stick to a diet, to double down on a side hustle
or a relationship, or to follow through on writing a book or
starting a podcast.
Listen in as I talk about the common reasons we don’t stick to
our own promises, and why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up when we
fail to meet our own standards. I also share four powerful tips for
making better promises and seeing them through to fruition!
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- The word “promise” can be used as either a noun or a verb. As a
noun, a promise is “a declaration or assurance that one will do a
particular thing, or that a particular thing will happen.” As a
verb, when you promise something, you “undertake or declare that
something will happen,” or “give good grounds for expecting a
particular occurrence or situation.”
- Promises can quickly become too strict a commitment that holds
too much emotionally-negative weight when not kept. If you’re
constantly beating yourself up over broken promises, try changing
your definition of “promise” from that of a noun to a verb. That
means committing to the path rather than the destination. It means
committing to the pursuit of the goal: the process, baby steps, and
small wins required to accomplish what you set out to do.
- We know that we can keep getting away with broken promises when
the only person we’re accountable to is ourselves. Take the
pressure off of yourself by sharing your commitments with people
you’re comfortable confiding in. This not only helps you grow your
sphere of accountability beyond yourself, but it also allows you to
gain precious feedback from those you trust.
- Lean into positive reinforcement. Reward yourself only for
promises you actually keep, and dismiss the promises you fail to
keep. When you assign feelings of happiness, contentment, and
fulfillment to small kept promises, you’re more likely to follow
through with larger promises.
- If there’s a particular promise that you’re continually
breaking not long after making it, consider that you don’t really
want it. For the sake of your mental health and the likelihood of
fulfilling all other future promises you make to yourself, you
might want to walk away from that one promise you keep failing to