Commitment – defined as being either the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, or as an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action, as in a responsibility or duty. Many of us find it easy to be dedicated to a cause – as long as that cause isn’t US!
Women are not singularly affected by this, but I’ve found that my Image Consulting clients are often ready to commit to many different worthy “causes”…but they don’t consider themselves worthy of being a “cause”. Other women find that sense of duty and / or responsibility to someone or something other than themselves to be centering and enjoyable – not restrictive.
Just for a moment, think about where you are in this particular phase of your life. No matter what your current age, your professional status, or personal achievements, they are all part of phases in your life. Some phases last years, others just a few months. Many of those stages are filled with lists of things to do, tasks to complete, and duties to perform. Sometimes, you may feel as though you can’t possibly do it all!
And then you read self-help literature, hear a broadcast or a radio show that encourages you to take care of yourself, first and foremost. Now this isn’t hard when you have free time, but how can you stay true to the commitments you make to yourself when life feels overwhelming and it feels like time is slipping away from you?
Regardless of the size or seriousness of the commitment you’ve made to yourself, recognize that you deserve the time necessary to follow through.
When you make a promise to yourself, consider the following:
- Taking care of yourself helps you take care of others. Realize that, to take good care of others and to be there for friends and family, you need to keep your commitments to yourself first. You can be of the most good to others if you feel fulfilled in your own life.
When you don’t do what’s important to you, you might even experience feelings of resentment toward others. After all, they’re getting all of your precious time, and you’re getting none.
Refrain from “spreading yourself too thinly” in life: keep your commitments to yourself among your highest priorities.
- Acknowledge that keeping commitments to yourself is very important to you. Because we’re each individuals, we have our own ideas about what’s special, needed or necessary in our lives.
Because you’re human, you have a perfect right to want something. And you’re worth whatever time and effort it takes to fulfill that promise to yourself.
Remind yourself that you deserve to experience and enjoy the results of your personal commitments.
- Review the reasons you made the commitment in the first place. Some reasons you may have made this promise to yourself may be: to improve your health, have a more pleasant attitude, feel more contented about life, or just because you want to do it. Remember that it’s okay, and even important, to do some things just because you want to!
Whatever your reasons, take the time to review them regularly. This way, you’ll be doubly motivated to keep your commitment to yourself.
- Reflect on the steps necessary to keep your personal promise. Think of all the strategies you can use to ensure you stay on the path to accomplishing your goal. For example:
Place a note on your refrigerator reminding you of your commitment.
Every week in your calendar, journal or a program on your smartphone or tablet, write down the progress you made that week in terms of keeping your commitment.
Praise your efforts with a “good job” jotted in the margins of your diary.
- Share your commitment. Discuss your wish to commit to something with your partner, a close friend, or a family member. Talking about what’s important to you with those you cherish makes your commitment real and attainable.
Plus, you’ll hopefully get plenty of encouragement and support from your loved one in your efforts to accomplish whatever it is that you seek to do.
You might even ask your spouse or friend to ask you about your commitment weekly or once in a while to help you stay true to your course.
Regardless of your life situation, you can keep your commitments to yourself. Endeavor to fulfill your promises to yourself by using these strategies and your passion for life will blossom.