I heard someone say recently, and I’m paraphrasing, “You will never be wealthy if you don’t keep your word to yourself.” My first thought was, man, I’ve been letting myself down. If I committed to doing things with my husband or my best friends and then didn’t, I would feel like a flake. Why don’t I feel like that when I break commitments to myself?
This truth hit me so hard. I break commitments to myself.
I’m not talking about the times I’ve changed my mind. I’m talking about the times I’ve felt down about not completing something I committed to myself. When we lived in Oregon, my husband’s grandma was my best friend. I would swing by before picking up my daughter from school. I’d help her mop her house, garden, or have a “rootin’ tootin’ rootbeer” with her.
We moved away from the small town she lives in about seven years ago. We have gone to visit throughout the years, but nothing will replace me being able to swing by whenever I want. Or, more importantly, whenever she needs us. I committed to reaching out to her every Tuesday morning and have broken that commitment more often than I’d like to admit. I called her often for years, but life has only gotten busier. Now Tuesday mornings are filled with work, and my calls aren’t realistic. I silence the alarm, say I will call later, but later sometimes never comes.
She often complains that her daughters don’t reach out to her very often. Her son has passed away. Her siblings are back east, and her husband has also passed. She has decided to continue living in their home. It’s far away from any of her family members. Our grandmother is lonely. My father-in-law and his wife (not my husband’s mother), make a special trip to visit her more often than anyone. My husband calls her frequently because he knows she needs it, usually on his drives home. I haven’t made this commitment known to her, or even to my husband, only to myself.
And, it feels terrible not keeping commitments to yourself.
After hearing this idea, I applied it to other areas of my life. If you don’t keep your word to yourself, you will never be at peace. I am not talking about the times you change your mind. I’m only talking about the times you feel bad because it is something you wanted to do, but you didn’t. I decided only to say I will do things that I will commit to, and I have pledged to reach out to Grandma again. This time in a way that I can do. I’ll also involve her great-grandchildren if I am unable to talk for very long. At the very least, drop her a line to let her know someone is thinking of her.
How often have you committed to yourself to start journaling, eating better, going to the gym, or whatever, and broke that commitment? How did you feel? What are you willing to recommit to today? Reach out and share your decision with your first call, the first 5 minutes are on us!
Wishing you The Gift of Commitment,