So every year, for the last few years, I’ve told myself I’d learn how to drive. And while the biggest reason I really haven’t followed through on that promise was money, there are a ton of other promises I’ve made to myself each year that I’ve broken. Like for instance, loosing weight, or going to the gym, getting fit, letting go of my fears, etc, etc. You can’t tell me you haven’t been there too!
Don’t you dare lie to me and say you’ve never made a promise to yourself and then broke it.
Well guess what? 2017 is THE year we stop breaking promises! 2017 is the year we only make promises we can keep, whether that’s to yourself or someone else. Can we stop biting off more than we can chew for goodness sake? Are you with me? If so, here’s HOW we can all stop making fake promises to ourselves in nine easy steps!
The first thing we need to do is:
Write it down!
How the hell are we gonna remember all those promises and goals we made on Dec 31st, when it’s August 28th? Ain’t no damn way anyone’s memory is THAT good! Stop it.
So instead of leaving it to memory, how about we just write the damn thing down?
Now the method you use to write it down can be what ever you want, but I’ve noticed that keeping a notebook and writing my to-do lists down physically helps a ton! I’m a BIG tech gal when it comes to “writing” things down, as I’d prefer to type things up on my laptop or in my phone, but when it comes to making to do lists, if I don’t write it down, it probably won’t ever get done! (Or at least, it won’t get done as quickly as it would if I had written it down.)
Now if you absolutely HATE making lists …
or you’re like me and suck at remembering the things you wrote down (and where you wrote them) you can also write them down on post its and stick them where you know you’ll see them! (My boss does this, and it seems to work really well for her. Hell, sometimes I even end up leaving post its on my laptop at work too. LOL)
Don’t like that idea either? Well, I’m gon’ need you to figure it out damn it! LOL I don’t care where you write it, how you write it, just write it down, damn! But no seriously, writing it down makes it that more solid and harder to break. But if you can’t remember where you wrote it, or you don’t see it every day as a reminder, you may not even remember what you wrote down, so be mindful when you’re picking your “write it down” strategy, kay? Good!
Once you figure out your “write it down” strategy …
Make sure it’s realistic!
Well duh Sanaa, of course it’s going to be realistic! No, I’m serious! LOL Don’t write down anything that you’re not gonna be able to pull off. We all wanna lose weight this year right? But I’m not about to write down I wanna loose 100 pounds over the next few weeks, because well … who the hell am I kidding, that shit ain’t possible! LOL And how the hell is that even gonna happen? See what I mean?
So I’ll use the driving example again, as much as I wanna learn to drive, I have to be realistic about this goal. If I don’t have the money to invest in driving lessons, and I don’t have a car, or anyone that trusts me enough to learn using their car, then how the hell am I gonna learn? (Easy … I ain’t! LOL) And that’s been my issue for the last few years, this goal of mine just wasn’t as realistic as I thought it was.
So every year I made the same promise to myself, and every year I failed.
But now I know better, and so do you, so moving on to the next issue at hand!
Now as stupid as this may sound to you, what ever promise you’re about to make next year, please, please, please …
Make sure it’s something you REALLY want to do!
I told you it was gonna sound stupid! LOL Because I mean why would I make a promise if I didn’t wanna actually do it right? But believe it or not, we do this all the time! How many times have you said yes to doing something for a friend, or even for your boss, knowing damn well you didn’t REALLY want to do it? (A thousand times, I know, me too. LOL) But yet, we throw a fake smile on and pretend that it’s okay, knowing it’s really not.
Well guess what, we do the same damn thing with promises to ourselves, and it needs to stop today! Because honestly, if you’re not ready to do it, and if you don’t REALLY want to do it, you won’t do it.
It’s not gonna just happen because you think it’s important!
You’re not gonna lose the weight just because it hurts everyday to go up the stairs, you have to WANT that pain to go away, you have to WANT to lose the weight.
This is a BIG issue of mine as well, because I tend to make a lot of promises to myself that just sound absolutely amazing in my head, but sometimes I’m not ready to make that change, and then boom, it never happens. I’ve been dying to take fitness classes for the last year or so, but I’ve still never been to one! (Although that did change yesterday because I just went to my first rowing class at the Row House in Chelsea, which you’ll be able to read more about soon.)
However, I didn’t have it in me last year to make these changes, I didn’t really WANT it. Honestly, I’m still a bit scared to go out alone and do things I’ve never done. I was held back a lot as a child, and it’s now taken over my adult life as well. But I’m slowly trying to break out of it so I can do things that I believe I’d be interested in. (Like Aqua Zumba at Z Club NY, or another rowing class perhaps? And especially DANCING. Which although I’m not that great at, I think I would be if I had some lessons and actually let go of my fear and just did it. So we’ll see what happens this year.)
Another way to stop breaking promises to yourself is to …
Tell a friend
Have someone keep you accountable! Isn’t that why people pay for personal trainers? They’re literally paying to have someone make sure they stay on track, because, who can’t just work out and lose the weight on their own? Well guess what? You can have the same thing for free if you tell someone who cares about you just as much as you do.
And yes, they have to care about you, just as much as you do, if not more, or telling them won’t do a damn thing. You’ll need a friend that will push you when you’ve had enough, and will remind you why you started in the first place.
And when you DO start, make sure you …
Take baby steps
You don’t have to do it all at once! Don’t add your promises to your to do list like it’s just another thing to check off, and it needs to happen right now. Break it up into mini goals. If you’d like to lose weight, break it up into how many pounds you’d like to lose each week. If you’d like to eat better, start with writing down what you’d like to eat, and what you don’t want to eat, then work it into your grocery shopping list, and then start making those meals.
Don’t just say you’ll change tomorrow for the rest of your life either.
Make it really small and say you’ll eat better tomorrow. Then when you’ve completed that goal and kept that promise, you can make it a little bigger and say you’ll eat better for two days in a row. (And since you just finished doing this the day before, you’re already half way there, so two days should be easy, right?) Then make it a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger each time, and before you know it you’ll be doing this every day without even thinking about it.
But don’t forget to …
Acknowledge the steps you’ve completed!
Yeah you may have cheated and ate a cookie, but what about this morning when you passed up the donut and drank a smoothie instead? Stop worrying about what you did wrong and worry about what you did right!
Every time you complete a small step, celebrate. Girl go ahead and treat yo self! LOL (Hell, treat me too. LOL Just kidding.) But you get my point, right?
Oh, and please make sure you …
Put some effort into it!
Don’t just say you’ll do it then give up, try again damn it. Don’t nobody ever make it on the first try, and if you do, then more power to you! (Teach me your ways. LOL) But no seriously, just because you fail doesn’t mean you should just give up.
Habits are hard to break, so it’s going to take some time and effort to do so.
And if your promise is something small like, I’d like to spend a little bit more time with my child because I work too much sometimes, don’t beat yourself up when it doesn’t happen the next day. Even 5 minutes with your kid is a great start. It may not feel like much to you, but they’ll appreciate it. (Trust me, I know! LOL I see the difference it makes with my own daughter.) Sometimes I feel weird about giving her 2 minutes before I go right back into work, but she loves it. And she says it too!
Last two pieces of advice for us all is to …
Let go of fear!
Because sometimes we don’t do something we want to because we’re scared and that gets up absolutely no where! Last but not least, you need to …
Keep the end goal in mind, and remind yourself often!
Because this is something else we always seem to forget. It’s not enough for us to write it down and to tell a friend, but we also have to constantly remind ourselves of what we really want! Remind yourself damn it! When it gets hard, or you think it’s no longer important, remind yourself why you made that promise to yourself again!
Yeah, he’s a “great” guy, but remember what happened the last time you answered his text?
Yeah, do you remember why you deleted his number now? Kay, good, don’t answer! Block his ass! (And don’t go back and unblock him because you’re bored.) Move on!
(And don’t judge me because I was just talking to myself out loud, just keep reading damn it. LOL)
NOW how do you feel about making promises this year? Think you can handle making a small one without breaking it now? I sure hope so! I didn’t sit here and write this post for my own good you know! LOL You better put this thang to good use! How about you start now?
What’s one promise you’d like to make to yourself this year?
C’mon, write it in a comment below and let me know! Hell, if you want, you can email it to me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me be your accountability partner. How’s that for some motivation?
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Thanks for reading!