A Look at the Inner Promises We Make to Ourselves

One Writer

And the tightrope balance of accountability.

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Tomorrow, I’m going to get up in the morning early so that I can get started early on my writing. Well that was the promise but here it is 11:30 a.m. and I’m just getting started. Not sure that qualifies as early. I still have sleepies in my eyes and I have yet to have my coffee.

This can go one of two ways: I can either berate myself, get frustrated, and consider the day starting out as nearly a total loss or I can handle it with a bit more deliberate maturity than that.

Dangerous thoughts are not promises or goals — they are unhealthy thoughts from an unhealthy place.

When I was a child I used to ask my father how can I stay skinny. I’m pretty sure he thought that was a joke and didn’t take it too seriously but then again how could he know the promises I would begin making myself by the time I was twelve. Tomorrow, I won’t eat as much. Tomorrow, I will walk more. Tomorrow, I will do an extra 15 minutes of calisthenics. Tomorrow, I won’t eat at all.

Some promises are dangerous. They are the inner workings of a mental illness, the reactions to an unhealthy mindset, or unrealistic pressures that we place upon ourselves. Addressing that you do this is the first step toward creating healthy internal dialogue and working on that issue.

It is crucially important to recognize the place from which your self-inflicted goals are coming. When you lay in bed at night and make your promises to yourself for the next day, as I do, or if you make these over coffee, no matter — consider the source.

Promises made, promises broken — asking for help.

These promises we make ourselves can be broken so so easily and if you spend your life beating yourself up over it you are going to be a bruised and bloody mess. Life is hard enough without giving yourself a hard time.

Recognizing that some goals will require outside help is also a mature way to handle this — tomorrow, I am going to quit smoking, stop taking pills, stop drinking etc. Tomorrow, I will leave him. Sometimes, we tell these things to ourselves, over and over and fall short each day.

This is a whirlwind of emotion and a constant state of feeling like a failure. You need help here. It is ok to get the help you need — not just OK but advisable, honorable, respectable — commendable.

Falling flat on a promise.

Handle it with maturity. So, I promised myself I’d get up early and start writing and I did not do so. What this calls for is a redirection. I might spend a brief moment looking over why I did not get up early: I rolled around for an hour and a half and couldn’t go to sleep until nearly 4 a.m., the bed was too soft and comfortable this morning, I didn’t sleep well last night, etc.

But do not spend too much time in the Self-Analysis Zone. There are two kinds of people in this world — those who make excuses and those who make things happen. Which do you want to be today?

Redirect your goal into something more reasonable for the day and then set out one foot in front of the other with a positive attitude. Re-prioritize based on the time that you have and the new circumstances, and just get started.

It really is that simple.

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Stay positive with yourself

I’ve learned over the years to cut myself some slack and keep it real, on a healthy level. This did not happen overnight. Eventually, you are going to have to stop berating yourself for not achieving unhealthy, unreasonable goals and learn to make yourself the promises you can keep.

So give yourself a break today. You are the keeper of your thoughts and you can change them when you want. Give yourself a chance today to be your own best encouragement. Then, get started. It is a new day. New opportunity. New time. And you are capable!

Here are some great suggestions from Lifehack if you need a little inspiration:

11 Promises You Should Make to Yourself
Think you have a boring life? The definition of boring is dull or not interesting. Maybe you've been doing the same…www.lifehack.org

15 Ways to Make a Difference Today

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Are you trying to live your best life? Imperfect, but trying? Yeah, me too. I believe creativity, authenticity, and growth, a little each day, can help. Click on a few of my articles and see if you’d like to follow my work, then hit the “follow” button. Come along with me. We're all in this together.

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