Making promises is easy. Keeping them? That all depends on what we’ve promised but sadly, the most common broken promises are the ones people make to themselves. These promises should probably be the most important as how we treat others will always be a reflection of the love and respect we treat ourselves with.
Let’s look at some sample promises that people make every day:
I am going to lose 30 pounds.
I am going to quit smoking.
I am going to spend less and save more.
The longer the duration becomes after the promise made, the more difficult it becomes to keep. Conviction is a funny thing. It wanes with time as more pleasant options appear. Why is that?
We’re human. It’s a natural tendency to seek out comfort and that makes following through all the more challenging, when any factor becomes unpleasant. We must understand, from the moment the promise is made, that we will be challenged to a greater degree, with every day that passes. We should all realize the importance of keeping the promises we make to ourselves.
Doubt is the conviction killer. If your goal of losing weight is not being realized, you’re very likely to give in to temptation and start overfeeding again. No man wants to admit himself a failure so it’s far easier to make excuses for a lack of progress and simply consider that today isn’t the best day for achieving your goal. The buffet seems to be far less judgmental and forgiving (for the present moment anyway).
Today is the best day to make change happen. The only thing standing between you and your goal is following through and that requires having a plan in place.
1) Create a goal. Without a goal in place, you will fail. Are you going to quit smoking or just cut back? What does “spending less” mean to you? Put a dollar amount on it. Have a timeline setup for goals that allow for it, such as weight loss. Write your goal down and stick it somewhere you can see it every day.
2) Put doubt aside right from the start. Accept that at some point, you’re going to be psychologically challenged in completing your goal and that means you’ll doubt yourself. Commit to allowing doubt to creep in and dismissing it just as easily.
3) Avoid situations that will bring temptation. Just because you are going to cast doubt away doesn’t mean you should invite it in. If giving up cigarettes is your goal (and public smoking hasn’t been banned yet in your city), you need to avoid the bar scene until you completely overcome that which still appeals to your senses. If you’re addicted to sex, strip clubs probably aren’t the best option for Saturday night fun.
4) Make it public and ask others for help. It’s far easier to give up on a goal when nobody knows you’re trying to achieve it but yourself. If you are ready to lose those 30 pounds, you need to let friends and family know. First of all, they’ll hopefully refrain from baking a huge chocolate pie for dessert when you visit but it also makes you realize that failing means more than just letting yourself down. It means more when you put it out there for everyone to know about. Friends also have a way of helping you through the peaks and the valleys (hopefully).
In the end, you’ll find that you can follow through with absolutely anything if you refuse to accept any other alternative. Setbacks will happen. Maybe your goal was to lose those 30 pounds in three months and you lost only 20? Is that a failure? Not even close. Just 10 more to go and in return for completing the journey, you’ve learned a great deal about dieting and how your body best loses weight. Even if you don’t always get every result you hoped for, following through is about crossing the finish line.