How To Start Doing What You Say You’re Going To Do
Are you sick of your own excuses yet? It’s time for a little tough love.
We tend to get in your own way, and after a while of letting ourselves down, we stop taking ourselves seriously.
There’s only so many times that you can press that snooze button, while firmly swearing that you will wake up at 6 am before you stop believing that you successfully will – and call it quits.
Have you ever been so stubborn that you continuously try to become a morning person even though every. single. day. you hit snooze 10 times? You’re so determined to make it happen, and yet, you know deep inside that you’re not going to wake up then.
You don’t even buy it when you say it.
Confidence = depleted
We can only disappoint ourselves so much before we stop believing in our word. And we start losing our confidence in our ability to do what we say we’re going to do.
As soon as you set the goal, doubt sets in because you haven’t been able to stick with all the goals you’ve set previously.
It’s the same way that we wouldn’t believe a friend who continuously says she’ll show up for us and continuously bails – with one excuse after the next.
We stop calling that friend. We still love them, but we’re done with getting our hopes up about them because they’ve been deemed as unreliable.
Who wants to waste their time with that letdown cycle?
But here’s the real kicker – we’re the ones we need to rely on the most in order to make our dreams a reality. And yet, a lot of us can show up and perform best when someone else is holding us accountable.
How can we create lives we’re happy about if we’re incapable of keeping our promises to ourselves?
We have to find a way to commit to ourselves, because if we don’t, we’ll always be serving someone else’s agenda, on someone else’s timeline. And our self worth will be squashed because we won’t take ourselves seriously.
So here’s the simplest way to rebuild your self-commitment.
I call it the “evidence amplifier” technique because what we want to do is continue to build up our personal proof that we can consistently commit to ourselves. And that happens over time, and with repetitive action.
Start making small commitments to yourself, and hold to them like it’s as important to you as though you’re running for a presidential election.
These commitments can look like:
I will set my bedtime alarm clock at 10 pm, and be in bed by 10:30 pm.
I will read 5 pages of my book before falling asleep.
I will take two hours to plan out my week every Sunday afternoon.
I will clean my dishes after cooking dinner.
I will leave the party before 11 pm.
I will get outside for movement every single day.
I will drink water after I wake up in the morning.
Tips for keeping commitments attainable
1. Give yourself small time frames, if any.
One of the examples above was to get outside for movement every single day. Notice that I didn’t give an amount of time, or even say to run every single day. Keeping that commitment specific and actionable, while not putting firm timelines or making it overly ambitious, makes it easy to follow through even on days that you have less time or energy. Don’t have the full 30 minutes to execute? That’s okay, just get moving for the time you do have.
2. Make it specific and clear
Instead of saying, “leave the party early enough to get to bed at a reasonable time”, saying, “leave the bar before 11 pm” is specific and easily implemented. You can look at your phone, and when it’s nearing 11, you say your goodbyes.
Make your commitments clear, and easy to execute, so there’s no confusion.
3. Don’t make it too challenging
You’re hard enough on yourself; you don’t need self-commitment goals that are going to push you too hard at first. This is about building up your evidence so that you can challenge yourself into sticking to bigger commitments. Start small, and push yourself, but only to the point where it’s slightly challenging.
So, once you start taking action repeatedly, you’ll start seeing how you’re able to keep showing up for yourself.
You said you’d leave the party at 11 pm, and you’ve done it 3 times in a row. You’re probably feeling pretty good. Your evidence is building, and you’re gaining momentum which allows you to tackle bigger commitments with confidence.
It’s okay if you don’t hit every single day. You’re not starting from scratch, but instead, you’re adding to your evidence on the days that you do commit.
Track your evidence
In order to keep tabs on your evidence, keep a tracker or mark off days in a calendar that you stick to your word. How many days in a row were you able to keep your word? Don’t break the chain. At the end of the month, how many days were you able to do it? More than 20? Is that greater than before? Call it a major win, friend.
We’re all about progress, not perfection over here. And if you have evidence to show that you’ve improved from where you were before – time to bust that myth that you can’t commit.
We’re never going to be 100% perfect at self-commitment and following through on what we say we’re going to do – because that’s life. But we sure as heck can improve our record of how we show up with ourselves.
Because we all want to be our most confident, capable selves and that only happens when we decide that we’re worth prioritizing.
Show up, do your best, and you’re worthy regardless.