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New Year’s, New Promises. Making Sure You Put “You” First.

We’ve all done it. Maybe not intentionally but we are all guilty of one thing. Every New Year’s we make commitments, resolutions, and promises to ourselves that we are going to do “x”, stop “y”, or perhaps try “z’. However, come February, most of our superficial promises to ourselves get put to the trash can of life when, well, when life happens. Have you ever contemplated of why that is?  Do you get frustrated when you break promises to yourself or has it happened so often that it doesn’t even phase you anymore?  Is the thought of having a lackluster approach to your goals got your skin crawling?

Listen, we have all been there. The difference between those people we see on social media like Rachel Hollis (The author of Girl Wash Your Face) and us is that we broke promises to ourselves. We have let others’ priorities get in the way of the things we want for ourselves. It’s a bad habit and I am going to help give you some tips to break this habit once and for good. You owe it to yourself.

First you need perspective. Imagine a colleague or friend asks you to do something for them, let’s say, to help them move into their house before the snow storm hits. You say yes, and you mean it because this person means something to you. That Friday, as promised, you show up, 15 minutes early, and begin to help load boxes into the U-Haul because the forecast changed, and the storm is coming that night. In all honesty, you didn’t want to move boxes that morning when you woke up because you pushed yourself a little too hard in the gym the night before, but because you promised to help your buddy move, you forced yourself out of bed.  You kept your promise like a good friend. Like what others expect of you. However, what if you promised to do something like this for yourself? Especially if you knew you had some wiggle room to reschedule the move? What are the odds that you would get up, get moving, and do what you had planned to do?   My point here is we are so eager to keep all our promises to those we love, even strangers, but when it comes down to brass tacks, we rarely every keep promises to ourselves. The reality is, when we break promises to ourselves we are hurting ourselves. We only have one life, one body, and rarely second chances so why is it that we always put ourselves last; even to the detriment to our health? Why don’t we matter to ourselves?

No matter your answer, the good news here is you can start to develop healthy ways to make sure you put yourself first so that come this New Year, not only do you do “x”, stop “y”, try “Z” but you also find you can do “ABC” too. Here are some tips and tricks to start implementing now so that you never break a promise to yourself again.

  • Name it and Claim it. That’s right. Pronounce what you are going to do. Write it down. The more places the better. Put it where you can see it daily, so you have a constant reminder of what you want to do for yourself.
  • Visualize Your Perfect Day. We don’t wake up every morning in a good mood. Sometimes, it’s a struggle to get out of bed. However, if you set aside 10-30 minutes each morning visualizing and running through your head what your “PERFECT” day is going to look like, you will start the day off with confidence, a better mood, and ready to attract awesome. This gives you a 100% better chance at keep promises to yourself because your attitude and mood are in check.
  • Find an accountability partner. Life is better when you aren’t the only one doing something challenging. Finding someone with the same goals or someone you trust to cheer you on and keep you accountable to your goals set you up for success. Accountability partners also push you to do your best, create friendly competition, and because we are prone to please others, we are more likely than not, by nature, NOT going to give up, because our partner is counting on us.
  • Track You Progress Often and Reflect. Check in with yourself on your goals and commitments periodically to make sure the main thing is still the main thing. If you are off target, if the commitment is achieved, or no longer valuable to you, you can adjust. Maybe you fell off the wagon. That doesn’t mean quit. It just means, pick up where you left off. Learn from your mistakes and jump back on the saddle. Reflect on what is working and do more of the same or adjust and try something new.
  • Reward Yourself. If you have set out some big goals, develop a personal rewards system for yourself that keeps you driving towards your end goal. When goals are HUGE, they can seem too daunting a task to achieve. By breaking them up into smaller sections with little rewards like a new planner, a healthy shake at the new juice joint in town, or those adorable shoes that just went viral online, you tend to have more success at completion.