Some people live by keeping their commitments. Unfortunately, others suffer through them.
When breaking promises goes from an occasional mishap to a regular occurrence, it can create havoc in your life. Before you know it your integrity becomes questionable, your promises become meaningless, and your good intentions are forgotten.
What’s worse is that keeping commitments can be a real challenge for you. It may not be as simple as just starting to commit better. But instead, it may take more extensive time to understand your flaws and create new and better habits.
It’s worth it to dedicate time and attention to overcoming your commitment challenges, regardless of their persistence or origin. When you become a more committed person, you can feel as if you have more control over your life, create real change in your personal self image, and create a significant improvement in the image others have of you too.
Let’s look at how we can tackle your commitment issues and make changes in your life for the better.
Why Is Keeping Commitments So Hard?
The reasons are countless as to why you just are terrible with keeping promises or seem to lack the ability to keep up with commitments overall. Keeping commitments is hard when you don’t have the desire, ability, or motivation to do it.
Here are a few scenarios that quickly turn your intent to commitment into a dishonorable event:
- Uncomfortable Commitments: What happens when you have options that are easier or feel better than the commitment that’s in front of you. Maybe you committed to getting up early and helping someone move. Staying in bed and sleeping longer is much more attractive and easier option than doing any of that. When you commit to things that you really don’t want to do, you essentially are forcing your body to move through what your mind does not accept.
- Unrealistic Commitments: There can also be times when you make a commitment that you simply shouldn’t have. You may have over-extended yourself or misjudged your capability or availability. Therefore the structure of your commitment was faulty from the beginning. Why promise to arrive at a certain time when you rely on a completely different person for your transportation! It could work out but then again, it didn’t.
- Unnecessary Commitments: There is also the occasion when you commit as a courtesy. Even when you don’t want to do it, your compassion for the other person persuades you to say you will. The issue here can be that your emotion is short-lived. And when faced with taking action, your momentum has already died off. You may still have love and compassion for the person you made the promise to (Mom). But that emotion does not transition into fuel to do the task or motivation to keep the promise.
Desire, motivation, availability of time or energy, and even a lapse in memory can all contribute to broken promises and failed commitments. And with all these obstacles on the trail, it can simply be hard to keep up.
How Can You Make the Commitment Process Easier
A good place to start in becoming better with commitments is to be better in evaluating if you should even commit.
- Be honest about whether or not you want to commit
- Evaluate well if it is realistic for you to commit
- Lean on more than your motivation as a means to ensure that you commit to the end
Arm yourself with the best scenario before you take on resonsibility you just are not ready to take on. Gain comfort in establishing boundaries and you will save headache for yourself and for the person that you commit to. No is not always the best answer, but it can be a better answer than a broken promise in the end.
Benefits of Keeping Your Commitments
If you plan on saying yes to requests or simply have to, such as at work, you may need to evaluate your long-term strategy of being stronger in fulfilling your commitments. Knowing the benefits of committed behavior can serve to reinforce your efforts when you may not always be mentally in the game:
- When you make a commitment and see it through, you may gain more self-respect and self-confidence.
- Honoring what you commit yourself to do can form of self care, self love, and self respect to you! Remember, not all promises are to others. You also can make and break promises with yourself.
- You can positively impact your feeling of confidence to try new things, take on challenges, or make decisions without the co-sign of another person. You know that you can rely on yourself to be diligent, try harder, study more, or put in the commitment toward your goals.
- And keeping commitments will impact the feeling of safety and security others have with you. Others will trust you to honor your word, be present when needed, or feel more respected and cared for.
Committing to tasks, requests, and obligations is not easy and even harder to do with regular consistency. But the benefits are immeasurable when you learn to appreciate the personal and interpersonal benefits of changing your habits and keeping commitments.
How do you take the next steps to have long-term improvement in your commitment capabilities?
Examining If You Are Ready to Be More Committed
As with any habit or behavior change, to become more committed you first need to acknowledge your obstacles.
- Are you disorganized?
- Do you suffer from people-pleasing too much and therefore suffer commitment burnout?
- Do you make too many commitments?
- Are you easily distracted or have trouble saying no?
It is important to be honest with yourself in order to find the root of your problem.
From here, you can develop a plan on how to improve.
Examining who you are as a person and how you manage your life can help you gain an understanding of how you keep on top of your usual daily tasks.
- Identify your problem-solving skills. If you are strong in resolving problems, you can feel safe to commit to being that “fix-it” person for someone. However, if you do not do this well for yourself, then you may want to offer ideas but not commit to a resolution.
- Embrace yourself as an independent or team player. If you are asked to take on a task on your own but you typically excel through the support of others, try not to commit out of your comfort zone. Not only will it not create the optimal environment for your success, but you may also just feel unmotivated because you are not in your ideal conditions.
- Break your habit of half-listening or filling in someone else’s blanks. You may be perfect for the job if you knew fully what the job is. But if you don’t know, don’t commit yourself to a theory. If you have the habit of cutting people off and then saying “I can do it” without hearing the whole plan, it may be worthwhile to practice patience and listening before commitment.
Really take time to examine who you are, what habits you have today, and how they may be impacting your commitment consistency. These details make a difference. And can potentially quicken your success to become a more well-equipped, reliable, committed person.
How to Improve Your Commitment Skills
No matter where you are on your readiness scale, there are some tips that you can put into place today to help you be more committed and conquer keeping your promises more frequently.
- Set smaller goals rather than making grandiose plans that are difficult to keep up with
- Review your intended commitment, with yourself or the other person, to determine exactly how you will get the task accomplished before making a promise to get it done
- Visualize the successful outcome of keeping your commitment. Actually seeing the end in your line of sight can create better focus of your intended target.
- Talk about your commitment out loud to assist with memory recall of what’s on your to-do list
- Find an accountability partner who will help you stay on track
- Write down all significant details of your commitment in a prominent place including the deadline
- Set reminders in your electronic calendar
Your commitments are simply goals that you intend to accomplish on time and in full. Therefore treat them like goals and create a plan of success to support your best form of achievement.
A Bonus Tip on Using Planning to Improve Commitment
If you find that you often start projects with the best of intentions but then fail to follow through, planning may be your core commitment issue. It’s not your failure to be honest in your commitments, it’s that you cannot back up your good intentions with strong delivery through planning.
Using a planner can be an excellent way to record all of your intended tasks, keep them organized, and serve as a reminder when your day gets busy. This can help you see at a glance what needs to be done, when, and for who. It can also help to keep your non-negotiable commitments in one place so that you can easily refer to them.
Using a planner on a regular basis, reviewing it at regular intervals, and checking off your tasks when completed can create significant order in your life. For those that suffer from meeting commitments due to disorganization or frequent memory lapses, using a planner can be a game-changer!
Transitioning Into a Committed Person
If you have been pretty poor at keeping commitments for some time, it is likely that you not only have a poor image of yourself around commitment but others do too.
It is important not to lose your momentum for improvement because of your past. And even more important is that you don’t let negative self-talk or others’ comments take you away from your goal.
Keep focused on your end-game and reflect on any positive changes that you make in keeping commitments along the way, big or small.
If you feel that your past broken commitments have caused tension with others that you care about in your life, let them know that you are actively working on improvement.
Listen to any suggestions that others may have for you on your new commitment journey. And don’t shy away from taking responsibility for your past actions so as to work actively on rebuilding trust.
No one is perfect in all aspects of their life, but take heed that working on improving yourself and improving your relationship with others is worthwhile and commendable.
Keeping commitments is an important way of showing up for yourself and others. By committing to your commitments fully you demonstrate integrity to others and build self-confidence within yourself.
Being honest about what you are capable of doing and understanding how you manage your personal life obligations can support you in your endeavors to become a better-committed person overall.
Start small, be consistent, and share your intentions and your wins with others. Building the habit of commitment may take diligence but the wins are worth the effort.
What are your thoughts? Have you come up with ideas to improve how you commit to your commitments since reading this blog post? Let me know in the Comments below!