Making A Commitment to You

 It's the beginning of a new year, and many of us are considering what changes we can make in our lives to improve. New year's resolutions are a dying trend- and thank goodness! It's well known that resolutions never stick, and there are plenty of other blogs and articles that can explain why, so I will not waste your time on that here.

So, what does work? There isn't a magic formula that works for everyone, since we are all so different- but there are some very general principles we can talk about that can help you get closer to your goals.

Resolution vs Commitment

The short answer here is: resolutions are typically temporary, while commitments are long-term. In my last blog, we talked about fixed versus growth mindsets, and the differences between resolutions and commitments are similar. Resolutions are short-term, easily attainable goals that may make you feel great in the moment, but do not yield long term results. Making a commitment to yourself is being in it for the long haul- through rough and easy patches, learning new things, changing old habits for good, and making your growth a permanent part of your life. Achieving one thing is great for the moment but cultivating a growth mindset will keep you achieving for many years to come.

“Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose- and commit myself to- what is best for me”
— Paulo Coelho

5 Ways to Make A Commitment to Yourself

Self-care: Self-care covers a wide range of self-supporting behaviors. Most people associate self-care with physicality- dressing nicely, spa days, and long bubble baths. Those are wonderful self-care practices, but let’s also think about self-care holistically. How can you pamper your soul? Meditation, reading inspiring books or watching videos that contribute to your healing journey are great ideas. If you live in a warm climate (or if its spring or summer), getting outside in nature and just being present with it works wonders to ground you and clear out negative energy. The point here is not to forget one or the other- we need to take care of ourselves physically of course, but also emotionally and mentally as well.

• Working on your goals: Each day, complete one task that moves you one step closer to you goal. Organize one room in your house. Write one blog. Exercise for 10 minutes. Do this consistently and avoid or minimize any distractions that get you off track.

Build yourself up: Changing your habits and patterns of behavior will take time. Do something every day that reinforces your new habits and behaviors. Fight through fear and discomfort to become more comfortable with the new you. Change, even good change, can be scary and uncomfortable; but the more you fight through those feelings and show up from your place of power, the easier things will get. You have to build up to that point, and not expect to be there at the moment you make your decision to change. And also remember that we all adjust to change in different ways and timelines- your journey will be different from the other 7.5 billion people on earth- and that’s okay.

Say 'No' to keep your energy and peace: I'm glad to see other coaches and bloggers discussing the importance of saying 'no'. Normalize the word 'no' in your life and do so without holding onto guilt and expectations of others who may express disappointment. 'No' doesn’t require explanation- you do not need to give reasons for managing your energy and your life in the way that you choose. Also, don't expect others to explain either- I think it's easy for us to set that boundary in one direction, but not understand when we're on the other side of it.

Standing up for yourself: This goes along with the last point. Hold your boundaries firm, and do not be pressured by threats, ultimatums or other negative behaviors people will project onto you when you do. This may be especially hard for empaths and sensitive souls who feel others’ emotions- we have a need to control those reactions, more or less because they are uncomfortable for us to feel. However, we must learn to be comfortable in that discomfort, and allow others to own and deal with their emotions. That is not our job to do.

We are constantly told how we need to be there for others and commit to others and different things. We cannot fully show up for these people or commitments if we first have not learned how to commit to ourselves. There is the old metaphor of putting on your own oxygen mask first, and this applies in many different areas of our lives. Some may call it selfish (and beware of those types, they are manipulative) but focus on the self really is the best thing you can do, firstly for you, but also for your loved ones. Being your best version allows you to show up differently in all areas of your life. Making a life-long commitment to your mental and emotional health, to your goals, to your physical well-being is the best investment you will ever make.

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