Here's Why It's Vital to Keep the Commitments You Make to Yourself

Mar 24, 2022

How often do you follow through on the commitments you make to yourself?

So many of us in the bariatric community are really awesome at keeping the commitments we make to others. In fact, I’m guessing you probably bend over backwards to keep your commitments to others, right?

But, how are you when it comes to following through on the commitments you make to yourself? Like committing to drink more water, committing to work out a certain number of times, committing to get all your vitamins in, or committing to get a full 8 hours of sleep. Whatever they are, do you ever struggle with following through on the commitments you make to yourself?

Why do you think that is? Why do you think it’s easier to keep commitments to other people than to keep commitments to yourself?

One thing I learned is this: Keeping your commitments to yourself is crucial in this journey to rightsize living.

In fact, it’s so vital to your success that you create a pattern where you do everything you can to follow-through on your commitments or promises you make to yourself.

Obstacles Will Test Your Level of Commitment.

Recently, I had made a commitment to myself to get my butt back in the saddle of my spin bike after a long hiatus. I hadn’t been on my bike since before I moved from California to Arkansas about a year ago. One year! Before I moved, I did spin four times a week religiously for years. I used to take spin classes at the gym, but when the gyms all closed down in 2020, I invested in my own spin bike so I could continue spinning and I stuck to my routine of four times a week until I had to break down the bike to put it on the moving van.

So, there I was pumped up and ready to do this! I had my spin shoes on. I had looked up my password for the bike’s app in case I needed it…after all, it had been so long and since the bike had been torn down for the move, I suspected I might need it. I had my water bottle ready and was like, “Woo hoo, let’s rock this!”

I went to my spin bike, went to turn it on and, oh my gosh this is so embarrassing, I could find the power switch! I mean, I’ve ridden this sucker well over a hundred times, turning it on and off each time, and after my one-year hiatus I couldn’t find it. Ugh!

So, what do you think happened?

I got frustrated. My mojo when from amped up to deflated. That little negotiator popped into my head, saying, “Oh gee wiz! There is an obstacle, I guess you’ll just have to do it another time.”

Do you relate to that? When something unexpected gets in the way of your commitment are you ever tempted to give up or blow it off until another day?

As bad as I wanted to blow it off in that moment, I knew full well what would happen if I did that. There are HUGE repercussions to breaking a commitment you’ve made to yourself.

You see, keeping the commitment really has very little to do with getting exercise Whether or not I miss one day of planned exercise is really not going to make a difference in the scheme of my life or my fitness. However, the repercussions of breaking a commitment to myself will reverberate through every aspect of my life.

So, after my little rant, where I might have uttered a couple of words that would have had mom threatening to wash my mouth out with soap, I marched into my home office, got on the internet and did a search for how to turn on my spin bike. It took me about five minutes, but once I found it, I marched right back to my spin bike, turned on that well-hidden power switch, got on, and programmed in my workout and got to spinning.

The point of my story is this: one of the most important lessons I’ve learned on this journey to rightsize living is that keeping commitments to yourself needs to be non-negotiable. Seriously, if you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you doubt you’ll keep the commitment, sometimes you’re better off not making the commitment at all because you can fall into a pattern of broken commitments being your norm and that’s obviously not good.

Establishing a pattern of keeping commitments does several things:

  • It Demonstrates Respect for Yourself. When you keep promises to yourself, it conveys that you matter, your goals matter.
  • It Builds Confidence. You experience firsthand what you’re capable of. It energizes you to do more of the same. In fact, many of us feel a chemical rush or euphoric feeling when we follow-through, caused by dopamine, and you’ll want more of that.
  • It Strengthens Integrity. You trust yourself. You shift from expecting yourself to fail to expecting yourself to succeed.
  • It Leads to Results. Because keeping your commitments fuels consistency, you start to see results. Not just in your health, but in who you are as a person. You grow into a better version of yourself.  

I know it’s not always easy to follow through on your commitments. In fact, I know some days it just really sucks. But, I know you’ve got what it takes to do it.

Decide what bitesize change you’re committed to for this week. Recognize that it’s not so much about the result of that action; it’s really about the transformation that happens when you keep your commitment to yourself. 

Until next time my friends, live with purpose, live with courage and live with delight.


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