If you’re anything like me, keeping commitments to myself is challenging. Staying committed to others who are relying on us is one thing, but why is it so difficult to keep those commitments to ourselves?
When I say keeping a commitment to yourself, I mean doing what you say you’re going to do. If you say you’re going to start waking up earlier, sticking up for yourself, working fewer hours, or eating better, those are commitments to yourself that no one else is going to do for you.
How To Keep Commitments To Yourself
But if you’re always setting goals and plans for yourself but can’t seem to follow through with them, you’re breaking the most important promise – the one with yourself. I found myself getting tired of doing this, so I decided it was time to keep the commitments I make for myself.
In this post, I’m sharing some thoughts I’ve had about self-commitment and how I’m shifting my mindset to prioritize my goals, especially when my doubts try to talk me out of things.
Why Do We Break Promises To Ourselves?
Why is keeping commitments to yourself so difficult? How come it’s easier to keep commitments to other people? Why do we let ourselves down so often and prioritize everything else instead?
Maybe because we’re taught that it’s selfish to prioritize ourselves, especially as a parent. The funny thing is, I KNOW deep down that it’s not selfish to focus on my own needs. I don’t consider people who go after their goals selfish (as long as it’s not at the expense of others of course), yet it’s something I still have trouble with and it has gotten even more difficult after having my daughters.
Perhaps it’s a problem of limiting beliefs; it’s easy to think that we’re not worthy of achieving or getting what we want. We talk ourselves out of things by thinking there are more important things to focus on. Even if we have the time, we find ways to avoid it.
We plan as if we’re going to get what we want — we make lists of things we want to change, things we want to achieve, and the type of person we want to be. But when it comes to making the changes, the little step-by-step things to get us there, we chicken out.
Yes, It’s Okay To Focus On You
The truth is that our goals are often lofty and perhaps outside of our comfort zone (which is a good thing!). The problem is when we set expectations that are too high for ourselves, or we become too afraid of failure that we avoid taking action.
Instead of believing in our needs and wants, we focus on our doubts instead. There might be a little voice in your head that says you’ll ostracize yourself from others if you focus on pursuing what you want. If the people around you don’t share the same goals as you, you might worry that they’ll judge you (whether you succeed or fail).
In reality, learning to value your own goals and desires is the only way you’ll be able to get to where you want to be. Not only does keeping commitments to yourself get you further ahead, but you’ll also feel good about yourself because you kept a promise to yourself.
If a change needs to happen, you have to get a little uncomfortable by prioritizing yourself. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. No one else is going to stick up for your time and get the things done that you want to do, so it’s important that you keep your promises to yourself.
Keeping commitments to yourself is the ultimate act of self-love. Staying true to your word shows that you value your own goals and desires. You are capable of upholding the promises you make to yourself.
How I’m Keeping Commitments To Myself
So what’s changed within me to help me keep my commitments to myself? Here’s what’s been helping me feel okay with prioritizing the internal promises I make:
Get in the right mindset
I recently came across a video where a girl talked about going for ‘hot girl walks‘. She mentioned that while you’re going for a walk, the only things you’re allowed to think about are what you’re grateful for and the goals you want to achieve. That hot girl walk concept is funny to me, but I do like the intention behind it.
Since I saw that, I’ve been noticing more when my mindset turns negative. I try to notice when I’m being hard on myself or doubting my own abilities. The more I become aware of these moments, the better I can act accordingly to pull myself out of this mindset.
Each time I’m faced with something I don’t feel like doing (especially when it’s a commitment I made to myself), I pause for a moment and ask what I need to get me into a better state of mind. Often that’s putting on a playlist with uplifting songs and dancing around to make myself feel better. Don’t underestimate the power of a good playlist to get you in the right mindset.
Repetition Is Key
Something I’ve found that helps with self-discipline and commitment is doing something at the same time every day (or in the same order every day). For example, I struggled for a long time to be consistent with daily exercise.
I would tell myself to keep things interesting by switching up the time I did my workouts each day. Unfortunately this didn’t help with consistency at all. Often thinking about when I was going to do a workout took up more brain space than it really needed to.
What’s helped me to be super consistent over the past few months is working out first thing in the morning. My routine is to get up, go to the bathroom, drink some water, get changed into workout clothes, then do a workout. It’s the same order every morning which means that I don’t even have to think about what I’m doing to do. I’m still a little groggy at that time, so I don’t really give my brain a chance to try and get out of it.
Since I’ve made the commitment to exercise every morning and get up earlier, I don’t really lack motivation around it anymore. If I’m ever laying in bed and not wanting to get up, I think to myself, ‘I don’t want to fall back into my old habits’ and I force myself to get up out of bed.
Continue What Brings You Joy
What are your hobbies? What do you do for yourself? If you don’t know the answer to that question, that is one of your first steps you need to make. Once you find something you genuinely like to do it doesn’t feel like a chore to make slots of time throughout the day to do something for yourself.
After I had my daughters I made it a point to find things that I liked to do. Over the years I never really had a hobby so this took persistent digging deeper with myself and asking myself questions to get to know myself better. So far I’ve learned I love writing, art, candle making, and a multitude of different crafts.
Try different things! You don’t have to break the bank buying supplies. I have found that the dollar store carries a wide variety of supplies that could help you explore further in your hobby. Parenthood is great but it is not your hobby, if anything it’s your full time job that never ends. Find things outside of your kids, friends and family that you can do that will lay a foundation to creating the habit of keeping a commitment to yourself. Everyday I give myself 20 minutes to write, read or find new supplies for a fun project I want to try. Thankfully I have a supportive partner that tells me to take the time and more so if needed, but that support isn’t always the case.
For the mommy’s on here that are single moms with little-to-no support, you. are. not. alone. Give yourself time to find new blogs (Moms Are Always Wright is a great start), find a book you can scroll through on your phone in between feeds or even dedicate one nap a day (your kids’ nap, not yours) to do something for yourself. You deserve it. After all, no one is going to do it for you.