Many of us are trying to do really important things: get a book written, get healthier, get some kids raised, get a business launched.
These are big-time tasks that aren’t accomplished overnight. Changing mindsets. Changing habits. Changing schedules. Changing priorities. Easy to get overwhelmed. Easy to get sidetracked. Easy to get discouraged. Easy to self-sabotage.
One of the things I’ve tried to focus on lately in my writing is to make a commitment to myself and follow through. This means that I make a commitment to myself to write a certain amount every day, blog a certain amount every week, hit certain deadlines I’ve given myself. No one is going to swoop down out of the sky and get this done for me. I have to make a commitment and follow through.
This is not revolutionary. This is simply how things get done. What is revolutionary is what I’ve noticed happening inside me when I make manageable commitments to myself and follow through: I am treating myself like a friend instead of an enemy. And this is something, if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I’m focusing on. To be a companion to myself instead of an A#1 critic.
If we made a commitment to a friend, we would do our best to make good on it. We would honor what we set out to do because we care about our relationship with that person.
We treat ourselves badly when we make commitments to ourselves that we don’t honor. We’re sending the message to ourselves that we don’t actually value what we’re working on and it doesn’t really matter that much anyway. So, why not be flakey. We’re sending the message to ourselves that we’re not worth the follow through. This is a real problem.
But when we make a commitment and follow through, we see that we can trust ourselves and we can build on that trust. For so many of us, this is a huge issue. We’ve self-sabotaged SO MANY times that we’ve lost trust in ourselves. Making one small manageable commitment and following through can be a huge olive branch we extend to ourselves and a foundation from which to build.
Are you working on something big? Needing some momentum (or “traction” as Stephen Pressfield brilliantly wrote about on his blog recently)? Why not start with one small, manageable commitment. Don’t be crazy about it. Not like, I’m going to stop sleeping for the next week so I can get my word count done. Or, I’m going to walk the 20 miles each way to work in order to lose this weight. NOT THAT.
Hear me when I say that this is not one more way we heap shame on ourselves. Just the opposite, actually. This is a way we learn to trust ourselves, believe in ourselves, again.
One manageable commitment. Something you know you can get done. And then follow through. Do it. And then celebrate the doing of it. You wrote for a half hour this morning? You took the baby out for a walk? You wrote that difficult email? You stayed away from dessert today? You finally planted those herbs? You made something with your own two hands? Well, break out the champagne! You’ve got a little MO to work off of. And that’s really something!
Most importantly, you’ve told yourself that you’re worth fighting for, that your projects matter, and that your contribution to this world counts.
Make a commitment to yourself and follow through. Then celebrate the heck out of it!
What’s something you’d like to commit to doing? Something you’d like to follow through on as a way to honor yourself?
Remember, I believe in you!!!!!!