How’s Your Follow Through?
Now that we’re headed for the first month in the second half of the year, how’s your follow through on the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year? If you’re like most people, you find that it’s a lot easier to MAKE a promise to yourself than to KEEP a promise to yourself.
What if you’ve broken your promise to yourself? Do you tell yourself:
- I goofed; I’ll just make a new start next year.
- It wasn’t a good resolution if I can’t keep it.
- I’m weak and irresponsible…it’s no use to make promises to myself.
Take heart! You can CHOOSE to keep your promises to yourself – once you revisit why you made that promise in the first place and once you decide that the benefits are great enough to rejuvenate that resolution.
HERE’S HOW TO GET STARTED
STEP 1 — Have Realistic Expectations: It’s important to realize that a one-time promise doesn’t take care of itself. A promise is a commitment to do something you think is important to you for your life…and some promises require your attention and action every single day. Make sure your resolution is do-able by you and important enough to you to do it!
STEP 2 — Be Specific: It’s hard to act on a broad resolution without specifics to pinpoint areas of improvement. One of my New Year’s promises for me was to do a better job of showing my husband how much I respect him. But that is a very general statement, and I still kept being late for everything that we had planned to do together. Then I got the idea to break my broad resolution into two specific resolutions:
- Honor our agreed-upon meeting times to leave home AND to leave the event.
- Honor our bed-time by getting to bed BY 9:30 pm – rather than STARTING to get ready at 10:00 pm and not arriving until 10:30 pm.
These two specifics are finally helping me honor my overall resolution to express my respect for my husbandto my husband.
STEP 3 — Identify The Problem: If you find that despite the best of intentions you are still not making any headway on your resolutions, step back and ask yourself what the obstacles are. In my case, I have so much I want to accomplish before I join my husband in an activity that I can never seem to get it all done in time – and he ends up either waiting a long time for me or going without me.
STEP 4 — Come Up With A Solution: Once you know the problem, use your imagination to think of ways to overcome the problem so you can follow through with your resolution. In my case, I decided to get up early enough to do the laundry, do my exercises, shower, dress, do some writing and take care of the pets BEFORE my husband gets up. That way I can be ready for him when he wants to go to breakfast together.
STEP 5 – Come Up With An Alternate Solution: Sometimes you are not able to use the first solution, so come up with a back-up plan. In my case, I decided that I could postpone the laundry and my writing if I couldn’t get it all done in time to join my husband for breakfast. And sometimes we agree not to go to breakfast together so we can get started with our work and we set another time for our daily “hot date.”
STEP 6 — Plan Ahead: Go over what you want to do the next day and plan when you want to do what. Write it down on your calendar. This way you can allow time for all your needs, including time to act on your resolutions. In my case, my husband and I share our respective plans for the day and then we decide on a good time to celebrate each other on that day. Keep your plans realistic…if you plan to do more that you can do in a given day, you’ll feel like you’re forever chasing after time, which leads to feelings of frustration and failure.
STEP 7 — Pay Attention: Pay attention to the clock so that you get started on each of your goals when you say you will…and you finish up early enough with each goal to give yourself some breathing space.
You will find that when you take actual steps to carry out your promises to yourself, your self-confidence and self-respect blossom. You stop acting out of habit and you start making yourself into the kind of person you want to be. And you will love living your life more than ever!
I’d love to hear how these steps work for you — feel free to email me at Terry@YourRecipeForLivingCoach.com, or post a comment on my Break Free Blog atwww.yourrecipeforlivingcoach.com. Please know that you are welcome to share this BREAK FREE TIP by forwarding this message to a friend or colleague.
Your Recipe For Living Coach, LLC
A passionate motivational speaker and life coach with a new reality-based, no-nonsense approach, Terry Taylor is the designer of a unique strategy for reaching your goals and loving your life. Her CD program – 8 Steps For Reclaiming Your Life From Conflict, Confusion And The Control Of Others – is available at her website www.yourrecipeforlivingcoach.com, where you can also learn about her newly published book, This Is Your Life: No Apology Needed.
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