How to Follow Through On Self-Commitments

goals productivity Feb 01, 2019

How to Follow Through For Yourself (Not Just for Others) 

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  • Do you struggle with following through for yourself (but will do anything for other people)?
  • Why does this happen? (you’re not alone)
  • 3 step to build the habit to consistently follow through for yourself

Are You Struggling with Following Through for Yourself? I Suffer From This Too.

Are you the type of person who will run yourself ragged to finish something you promised to someone else, but you frequently bail on the commitments you make to yourself?

  • Do you have a string of failed diets?
  • Do you have a record of planned exercise routines that never happened?
  • Do you plan out your day, with elaborate to do lists, but you don’t finish (most of) it?
  • Do you keep moving your plans forward, telling yourself tomorrow will be a better day to do it? You’ll fit it in next week which shouldn’t be as hectic? Maybe next year?

I can list out all these stories you might be telling yourself because I’ve thought all of them…..MANY times.

  • I can’t tell you how many times I built a detailed, healthy meal plan for a new diet, but never followed it.
  • I can’t tell you how many times I joined a new gym for the hottest exercise class but only went once.
  • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planned my day but only did the items on the list that other people requested.
  • I didn’t follow through on my self-commitments because it was easier to fail ahead of time than to experience the agony of defeat if I actually tried and didn’t get the result I wanted.

I’m not proud of this track record. It’s embarrassing.

But, I share it with you because I hear from so many friends and clients that they’re struggling with the same thing.

I beat myself up over it, and so many I talk to beat themselves up for it.

Why Do We Struggle To Follow Through on Self-Commitments?

If we’re so embarrassed and frustrated with ourselves, whey do we struggle to follow through on self-commitments.

Isn’t it easier to just do the thing than to feel the pain of not doing it?

Crazy enough, the answer is, NO it’s not easier to just do the thing.

If it was, we would already be doing it.

Here are some of the common reasons we don’t follow through:

  • We don’t follow through on our self-commitments because it’s easier to fail ahead of time than risk failing after we actually tried.
  • We don’t think anyone is watching. Yet, what we don’t realize is we ARE watching ourselves. We lose trust with ourselves each time we don’t follow through.
  • We feel apathetic. Why does it matter anyway, what’s going to be different this time?
  • We are secure in our comfort zone. We tell ourselves we want to do and accomplish more but our primitive brain pulls us back.

So, this is super normal.

The question is, what do we do about it?

3 Steps to Consistently Follow Through for Yourself

If you want to follow through on your self commitments (like almost all of us do), here’s the three step process I learned from my coach last year.

I hope it will help you too.

1. Start with a Compelling Reason

The first step to follow through on self-commitments is to start with a compelling reason.

Really look at the reason you want to do something and ask yourself, does this excite or motivate me? Honestly, oftentimes a reason may seem compelling but it really doesn’t inspire action. For example:

  • I want to be healthy for myself and my kids
  • I want to avoid getting
  • I want to succeed

If the answer is no, than work to find a new compelling reason, one that inspires feelings of immediate action like committed, motivated, and excited. Here are a few that have worked for me and/or for my clients:

  • I am proving to myself I do hard things
  • I want to feel comfortable in a bikini on my vacation in
  • I don’t want to feel sluggish at 3pm every day
  • I am someone who lives as if I have already achieved what I want
  • I’m not someone who fails ahead of time

Hopefully these examples give you some inspiration.

Take a moment to write out your compelling reason to follow through your new goal or habit. This compelling reason will help you follow through on your self commitments.

2. What is Your “No Matter What” Factor?

The second step to build consistency, and to follow through on your self-commitments is to find your “no matter what” factor.

  • How committed are you to follow through?
  • What do you want to follow through on the most?

In this step, you create some internal rules for yourself. Some examples would be:

  • I will eat what I plan each day no matter what
  • I will exercise 3 days a week no matter what
  • I will plan my next day no matter what
  • I will follow my schedule no matter what
  • I will spend 15 minutes of one-on-one time with each kid each day no matter what
  • I will finish my list each day no matter what

We can give ourselves these rules as a bare minimum we will accept from ourselves. 

For example, most of us would never just skip a meeting with our CEO. We have a rule (usually unspoken and ingrained) that we would never miss a meeting with our CEO, no matter what. We would hire a babysitter to watch our sick kids, we would delay going home at the normal time to wait, we would do whatever we needed to make that meeting happen.

But, we often don’t treat ourselves the same way.

We tell ourselves stories that let us off the hook.

Now, don’t get me wrong. These reasons CAN BE legitimate. But that’s the exception and not the rule. 

Most of the time we decide on a reason not to follow through because it’s safer.

So, the question on step 2 is – what “no mater what” rules do you agree to abide by, to follow through on your self-commitments?

3. Do The Thing and Keep Going

So, now that you have your structure – the compelling reason and the “no matter what” rules, the last step is to follow through.

This is funny right.

You might think, it’s not that easy….”I have a history where I don’t follow through on self-commitments.”

I’m here to tell you that it isn’t easy but it’s worth it.

  • It’s taking each day one at a time
  • It’s forgiving yourself when you don’t follow through but agreeing to restart immediately (not waiting until the next day or next week)
  • It’s about knowing you won’t be perfect and giving yourself that permission
  • It’s about being willing to fail at the thing vs. failing ahead of time
  • It’s about knowing it will feel shitty before it feels better. You won’t want to follow through but do it anyway and it will eventually become easier.
  • AND, it’s about rewarding yourself for the small wins along the way.

Next Steps ➡ Take Action

  1. Click here to join the conversation over at The Corporate Moms Club on Facebook
  2. Click here to apply for your (no cost) Strategy Session with me. This is the best way to dive into your goals, what’s holding you back, and to make an action plan to accomplish what you truly want.

Recap

As a recap, we discussed

  • Do you go to great lengths to follow through on commitments to other people but rarely follow through for yourself?
  • This is so common.
  • Why does it matter if we follow through for ourselves or not? No one is even watching.
  • It matters because the follow through on self-commitment builds up our inner trust, thus increasing our capacity to do harder things. Those harder things that matter to us.
  • If you want to follow through on your self-commitments, follow the three step process I learned from my coach.
  • It’s been a game-changer for me, and for many of my clients.
  • The three steps are:
    • Define your compelling reason
    • Set your “no matter what” factor
    • Do the things you said you would repeatedly until they become easier/second nature
  • I hope these will help you follow through for yourself too!

 

Do you Want to Dive Into More Detail? Did You Know…

I’m a success coach for corporate moms.

If you’re reading this, my bet is that you’re an ambitious mom who wants all she can out of life, for herself and for her family.

But, like so many other moms, you might be feeling

  • Exhausted,
  • Overwhelmed,
  • Spread too thin, 
  • That you’ll never get back on track to the high achiever you used to be.
  • You’re in survival mode.
  • You might be feeling like you’re failing at everything as a result.

I can relate. I used to be all of these things (and more). But, then I found a coach who helped me get exactly what I wanted 

  • Achievement
  • Belief in myself and my new identity (one that incorporates but isn’t defined by motherhood)
  • Purpose
  • Direction
  • Clarity
  • Results

I help other ambitious moms do the same thing.

I work with other ambitious moms like you to create and execute the mindset, strategies and routines that are required get out of survival mode and achieve your goals, both personally and professionally.

Think of it as a re-set for ambitious moms, like you, who want to maximize what you do, who you are, and all you impact, to make the most out of your life. Do you want to:

  • Regain control of your current career path
  • Create better balance (don’t believe the naysayers, it is possible)
  • Migrate to an alternative career path such as part-time or
  • Build your own consulting business

The first step is a complimentary Strategy Session where we talk about your goals, your obstacles and create a mini action plan for you. 

Click this link to schedule your free Strategy Session. 

This is time focused on you and your goals, and how to get to the next level. 

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