How to avoid breaking promises. 10 easy steps that will help you keep your promises
Today I want to talk about how so many people don’t say what they mean and don’t mean whatever they say. How people make unintentional, unrealistic promises, and then break them.
I observed that what people say they want to do and what they actually do looks completely different.
I would hear someone say that they were starting working out and they never did so, or that someone wanted to travel and never changed the location. People would say how much they want to do a certain thing and then they would never accomplish it, even worse don’t even start trying.
After my observations, I realized that the habit of breaking promises is a more serious problem than just forgetting to keep your word. It’s a habit, it’s an unconscious pattern.
This is what happens when people say that they WANT something. In reality, they prefer to do, be, or have that thing. It’s not that they want it, but they just prefer to have it. What they say is “It would have been great if I started working out, but I’m not going to, because that’s not what I truly want, I just prefer to do so”. Because if they truly wanted something they would do anything to achieve it sooner or later.
How people act is simply a reflection of their inner state. What people say has nothing to do with others. How people act says nothing about us and everything about them.
People break promises to others because they break promises to themselves
I’m not perfect, but I pride myself on being a person of my word. I would love to give you a few tips on how to start speaking your truth, how to say no when you want to say no, and how to keep your word when you say yes.
10 Helpful Steps To Stop Breaking Promises
- First and for most, it all starts within. People don’t keep their promises to others because they don’t keep promises they give to themselves. You have to make sure you are going to keep your word you give to yourself. If you say that you are going to do your workout you have to do it. Of course, you can’t accomplish it if you have environmental limits there’s nothing you can do. But most of the time we are the limits for ourselves. The hardest obstacle for us is always ourselves. Only after you keep the promises to your own self, you can do the same for others.
- To avoid empty promises, before you say anything make sure you are consciously making the promise. Because oftentimes we are on autopilot and don’t even think and just talk. People have a habit of making empty promises. The good news is that you can change your habits, by becoming aware of them.
- Become present and aware of the moment you are in and your own self. Talk from the presence, that way you are going to be aware of your words.
- Practice mindfulness. Ask yourself if whatever you are going to say is what you truly want. Don’t talk to the people you don’t want to and make promises you don’t want to in the first place. If it happens so either accept the reality and still keep your word or, have the courage to communicate with the person and speak your truth.
- Learn how to say NO. Make promises which you intend to keep. Have clear boundaries. Often people don’t want to face the uncomfortable. They find that saying yes is easier than saying no. But the results of being honest and truthful is far greater than lying and saying yes. It’s way better to be uncomfortable for a minute and to say no than it is to say yes just because it’s “easy”. When you do the right things as a result you are free from guilt and shame.
- Ask yourself if you are willing to keep your promise beforehand. Wanting something and then actually doing are two different things.
*Say what you mean
*Do what you say
- Write it down if you have a tendency to forget things. Make it visible. Don’t write down something you want to remember on the piece of paper you will never see again. Have a journal or an organizer and keep your promises there.
- Set a reminder on your phone and computer.
- Be very clear and specific with your promises. If someone makes a promise to you, you also have to be very direct and specific and ask for more details.
- No one is perfect. If you can’t keep your promise don’t beat yourself up. Apologize to a person, be ready that they are going to be hurt or angry and be present with them while giving an apology, don’t just say it, because you think it’s the right thing to do, truly mean whatever you say. Most importantly forgive yourself. Give yourself another chance. Forgive yourself and you will be also forgiven. The way we treat ourselves that’s exactly how the universe treats us back.
Say what you mean and do what you say
If you keep promises to yourself, you aren’t going to break them for others. Be aware of yourself and live in the moment. Make conscious and intentional promises. Make a commitment to speaking your truth and doing whatever you say. It takes time and practice, but with little effort everything is possible.
“In a world where vows are worthless. Where making a pledge means nothing. Where promises are made to be broken, it would be nice to see words come back into power.” -Chuck Palahniuk
“I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself. I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break. Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise” -Steve Maraboli
“A graceful refusal is better than a lengthy promise.”