Have you ever found yourself constantly pushing tasks aside, promising to do them later, only to never actually get around to them? If you’re like many people, this habit of delaying commitments, even unintentionally, comes at a surprisingly high cost.
Think about it. How many times have you told someone you’ll call them later, only to never follow through? How often do you add items to your to-do list but fail to complete them? Have you ever committed to helping someone, only to let them down?
Individually, these may seem like harmless actions when done once or twice. However, when repeated over time, these small failures to honor commitments have a profound impact on our lives. Every time you break a commitment to yourself or someone else, it sends a message to your subconscious mind and the world around you that your word can’t be trusted and that your promises hold little value. This not only hinders your progress towards achieving your goals but also erodes trust and respect from others, as well as self-respect.
On the other hand, when you consistently honor your commitments, the words you speak carry power and meaning. Honoring your commitments can be summed up simply: you do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. Although this principle may appear straightforward, there is great power to be found in honoring your commitments.
It’s important to establish your word as law, both to yourself and to others. By doing so, you affirm your growing authority over your own ego. As Stuart Wilde once said, “It’s important to establish your word as law unto yourself and others because that in itself becomes an affirmation of your ever-developing authority over ego.”
Like any skill, this takes practice. There will be times when you won’t be able to be flawless in honoring your commitments, but as you align your words with your actions, you tap into the power of manifesting your desires. You gain control over designing your life.
Here are three key practices to help you honor your commitments:
Learn to say no: To maintain integrity, avoid committing to things you can’t guarantee you’ll follow through on. Say no to anything that doesn’t align with your essential priorities. Every day, we face choices between saying yes and no. Our inboxes are flooded with requests and favors. When we say yes to numerous small things, we inadvertently say no to the important ones. To overcome this, prioritize your commitments and be willing to decline what doesn’t align with your goals. If you struggle with identifying your main priorities, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter and receive The Instigator’s Compass, a guide to finding the courage to carve your own path.
Honor commitments to yourself: Start by honoring the commitments you’ve made to yourself. By doing so, it becomes easier to honor commitments made to others. Make it easy for yourself to succeed by limiting the number of tasks on your to-do list. Focus on completing those tasks, building momentum, and adding more later if needed. Additionally, make small changes to your behavior that you can commit to. For example, if you want to establish a daily writing habit, commit to opening a notebook every morning. By making simple commitments and following through, you teach your brain that you can change your behavior, making it easier to tackle other changes.
Honor commitments to others: Once you’ve learned to say no and honor commitments to yourself, it’s crucial to honor the commitments you’ve made to others. Often, we violate these commitments in seemingly small ways. For instance, not following through on a promise to clean something up, failing to meet a deadline, or arriving late for a meeting. While these actions may not have catastrophic consequences, they chip away at trust and reliability. To prevent this, strive to be consistent in your words and actions, even in the smallest of commitments. By doing so, you enhance your ability to create the life you desire.
When you consistently honor your commitments, you develop a sense of power and control over your life. You become someone who follows through on their word, and this transformation positively impacts your self-image. Take the challenge to spend an entire week honoring the commitments you’ve made to yourself, saying no to unfulfillable obligations, and honoring your commitments to others. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the transformative effects of this simple practice.