We all make commitments to ourselves – whether it’s to hit the gym three times a week or to start saving money each month.
But often, we find it challenging to keep these commitments.
Life happens, we get busy or lazy, or we just plain forget.
While there may be many valid reasons why you may be unable to keep a self-imposed obligation, it’s essential to try.
Remember, failure to keep a promise to yourself can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and even self-doubt.
Let’s discuss why it’s essential to keep commitments to yourself and how to do it.
- What Does It Mean to Commit to Yourself?
- Why Do You need to Keep Commitments to Yourself?
- 9 Ways to Keep a Commitment to Yourself
- 7 Commitment Examples to Explore
What Does It Mean to Commit to Yourself?
Committing to yourself means making a promise to do something important to you – and then taking the time, energy, and effort to ensure that you follow through on that promise.
It’s about setting goals and taking action to achieve them. But what will this look like?
- Self-motivation to follow through with the commitment: This is likely the most critical aspect of your dedication. You need the motivation and desire to see your commitment through, even when it gets tough.
- A plan of action: This plan ties in with self-motivation. Without a plan, it will be challenging to stick to your promise. A program of action helps you create the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
- Accountability: This is the key to achieving your self-commitments. Whether holding yourself accountable or finding someone to do it for you, answering to someone can help you stay on track.
- Staying disciplined: This is the most challenging part of your resolve. It takes discipline to stick to your goals, especially when you’re feeling lazy or other things are vying for your attention.
Why Do You need to Keep Commitments to Yourself?
Now that we’ve discussed what self-commitment is, let’s take a look at why it’s essential to keep a promise to yourself.
- Self-commitment fosters self-respect: Respecting yourself means taking yourself and your goals seriously. It’s about honoring your word, even when no one else is around to hold you accountable. When you commit to yourself and follow through on it, you are showing yourself that you are someone who others can trust – someone who is dependable.
- It increases your self-awareness: When you make a personal vow, you are forced to take a good, hard look at yourself. You need to be honest about your goals and your ability to achieve them. This self-awareness can help you in other areas of your life as well.
- It builds self-confidence: When you dedicate to something and see it through, it increases your self-confidence. You start to believe in yourself and your ability to achieve goals. This belief can lead to setting bigger and better goals for yourself in the future.
- It sets the tone for other areas of your life: If you can keep a promise to yourself, it shows that you can be counted on – whether it’s at work, in your relationships, or in other areas of your life. Your follow-through can set the tone for approaching other obligations in your life.
- It gives you a sense of accomplishment: It feels good when you achieve a goal. It’s a great way to boost your self-esteem, morale, and outlook on life. Seeing that you can meet your obligations can be a powerful motivator to keep going.
9 Ways to Keep a Commitment to Yourself
So, you’ve promised yourself you will do something important to you. Congrats! Now comes the hard part: following through on it.
How do you ensure you’re not side-lined after making a self-commitment? These nine tips will help you stick to your pledge and achieve your goals.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Making your goals specific and measurable is key. If your goal is too big or unrealistic, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to achieve.
For example, saying, “I’m going to work out more,” is a lot harder o achieve than saying, “I’m going to work out for 30 minutes 3 times a week.” Make sure your goals are something you can realistically accomplish, given the available time and resources.
2. Write Down Your Goals
There’s something about putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) that makes your goals seem more real and more achievable.
When you write down your pledge, it helps to solidify them in your mind and makes them less likely to be forgotten. It also helps you track your progress and see how far you’ve come.
3. Make a Plan of Action
As mentioned, goals with a plan are easier to achieve. When you dedicate yourself, it’s essential to take the time to figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
If you want to eat healthily, you need to make a grocery list of healthy foods, find some healthy recipes, and so on. Remember, having a plan makes self-commitment much easier.
4. Set a Deadline
If a goal is essential to you, setting a deadline can help motivate you to take action and make it happen.
Having a date to work towards gives you a sense of urgency and can prevent procrastination. It also allows you to track your progress and see how close you are to achieving your goal.
However, it’s also essential to set a realistic deadline that you can achieve. Unrealistic deadlines only lead to stress and frustration, causing you to give up on your self-commitment altogether.
5. Find an Accountability Partner
When it comes to committing to yourself, accountability is critical. Having someone to check in with regularly can ensure you stay on track.
This person could be a friend, family member, or even a professional accountability coach.
Ensure it’s someone who will not shy away from giving you honest feedback and will hold you to your plan. You can also find an accountability group or an online community for additional support.
6. Remove Temptation From Your Environment
If you’re trying to make a self-commitment, removing any temptation that could stand in your way is important.
If you’re trying to eat healthily, start by throwing out all the unhealthy junk food in your house, and if you’re trying to quit smoking, get rid of all your cigarettes and lighters.
If you’re trying to save money, don’t carry cash with you when you go out. The less temptation you have, the easier it will be to stick to your vow.
7. Set up Consequences and Rewards
Consequences and rewards can be powerful motivators. If you’re trying to make a self-commitment, consider setting up both positive and negative consequences.
For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, you could set up a reward system where you give yourself a certain amount of money for every day you don’t smoke.
On the other hand, you could also set up a consequence for a goal, such as not smoking for a week. If you smoke within the week, you have to give up something you enjoy, such as watching TV or going out to eat.
8. Give Yourself Some Grace
While it’s important to be honest with yourself, giving yourself some grace is also essential. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or make a mistake.
Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has setbacks. What’s important is that you get back on track as soon as possible and continue working towards your goal.
Being too harsh on yourself will only make it harder to stick to your commitment and can lead to discouragement. You don’t want to make self-improvement harder than it has to be.
9. Celebrate Your Progress
Finally, it’s important to celebrate your progress, no matter how small. As you progress toward your goal, take the time to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
It will help you stay motivated and dedicated to your self-improvement journey. You don’t have to go overboard —simply acknowledging your progress can go a long way.
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7 Commitment Examples to Explore
Are you looking for ways to change your life but don’t know how to get started? Check out these self-commitment examples for some inspiration.
1. A Resolve to Believe in Yourself
Most of us don’t believe in ourselves. We think that we’re not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.
We don’t believe that we can do what others can do. We don’t think that we deserve the good things in life.
As a result, we don’t go after our dreams or try new things. Unfortunately, this self-doubt can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But if you commit to believing in yourself, you can change your life for the better. You’ll be more likely to take risks and go after your dreams when you believe in yourself. You’ll also be more resilient when things don’t go as planned.
2. Eating Healthy
Eating healthy is an excellent goal for your physical and mental health. Eating healthy has many benefits, including increased energy levels, improved mood, and reduced risk of disease.
Having a resolve toward healthy eating can be challenging, but it’s worth it in the long run. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also be setting yourself up for a healthier future.
3. Exercising Regularly
Exercise is another valuable self-commitment for your physical and mental health. Exercise has many benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep, and boosting mood.
If you’re not used to exercising, start small by dedicating to ten minutes daily. Gradually increase the amount of time you exercise each week.
You can also try different types of exercise to find what you enjoy most. For a fun, effective, and easy-on-the-joints exercise, we suggest trying rebounding (jumping on a mini trampoline).
4. Putting Yourself First
Prioritizing yourself may sound selfish, but it’s essential for your well-being. When you do, you can take care of your needs and wants and be more present and available for those who need you.
An easy way to start is to make time for yourself each day. Take a few minutes to meditate or enjoy a relaxing bath.
When you prioritize self-care, you’ll feel better physically and mentally, which will also benefit those around you.
5. Keeping a Journal
Writing in a journal is a great way to release your thoughts and feelings. It can also be a helpful tool for setting goals and tracking your progress.
If you’re unsure how to start, try journaling for five minutes daily. Write about whatever comes to mind without judgment or self-criticism.
Over time, journaling will become a valuable part of your self-care routine.
6. Avoiding Unethical and Immoral Things
Part of keeping vows to yourself is being true to your values and beliefs. It means avoiding things that go against your ethical and moral standards.
For example, if you believe stealing is wrong, you should avoid taking something that doesn’t belong to you. Likewise, if you think lying undermines your integrity, you should avoid telling lies.
By living in alignment with your values, you stay true to yourself and maintain self-integrity.
7. Saying No to Things You Don’t Want to Do
We often say “yes” to things we don’t want to do out of obligation or because we don’t want to disappoint others. However, this can make us feel overwhelmed, stressed, and resentful.
In this situation, it’s essential to learn to say “no.” It doesn’t mean you have to be rude or uncooperative. Instead, simply explain that you cannot do what they’re asking.
Making a self-commitment can be challenging, but it’s definitely worth it. By keeping your word to yourself, you’re showing that you’re reliable and trustworthy. It builds self-respect and self-esteem.
Additionally, it sets the tone for how others should treat you. And by following the tips above, you can make self-commitment easier and improve your chances of achieving your goals.