Last Updated on June 7, 2022
If you’re anything like me, keeping commitments to yourself isn’t easy. Staying committed to others who are relying on us is simple enough, but why is it so hard to keep those commitments to ourselves?
When I say keeping a commitment to yourself, I mean doing what you say you’re going to do. If you say you’re going to start waking up earlier, sticking up for yourself, working fewer hours, or eating better, those are commitments to yourself that no one else is going to do for you.
But if you’re always setting goals and plans for yourself but can’t seem to follow through with them, you’re breaking the most important promise – the one with yourself. I found myself getting tired of doing this, so I decided it was time to keep the commitments I make for myself.
In this post, I’m sharing some thoughts I’ve had about self-commitment and how I’m shifting my mindset to prioritize my goals, especially when my doubts try to talk me out of things.
Why do we break promises to ourselves?
Why is keeping commitments to yourself so difficult? How come it’s easier to keep commitments to other people? Why do we let ourselves down so often and prioritize everything else instead?
Maybe because we’re taught that it’s selfish to prioritize ourselves. The funny thing is, I KNOW deep down that it’s not selfish to focus on my own needs. I don’t consider people who go after their goals selfish (as long as it’s not at the expense of others of course), yet it’s something I still have trouble with.
Perhaps it’s a problem of limiting beliefs; it’s easy to think that we’re not worthy of achieving or getting what we want. We talk ourselves out of things by thinking there are more important things to focus on. Even if we have the time, we find ways to avoid it.
We plan as if we’re going to get what we want — we make lists of things we want to change, things we want to achieve, and the type of person we want to be. But when it comes to making the changes, the little step-by-step things to get us there, we chicken out.
Yes, it’s okay to focus on you
The truth is that our goals are often lofty and perhaps outside of our comfort zone (which is a good thing!). The problem is when we set expectations that are too high for ourselves, or we become too afraid of failure that we avoid taking action.
Instead of believing in our needs and wants, we focus on our doubts instead. There might be a little voice in your head that says you’ll ostracize yourself from others if you focus on pursuing what you want. If the people around you don’t share the same goals as you, you might worry that they’ll judge you (whether you succeed or fail).
In reality, learning to value your own goals and desires is the only way you’ll be able to get to where you want to be. Not only does keeping commitments to yourself get you further ahead, but you’ll also feel good about yourself because you kept a promise to yourself.
If a change needs to happen, you have to get a little uncomfortable by prioritizing yourself. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. No one else is going to stick up for your time and get the things done that you want to do, so it’s important that you keep your promises to yourself.
Keeping commitments to yourself is the ultimate act of self-love. Staying true to your word shows that you value your own goals and desires. You are capable of upholding the promises you make to yourself.
How I’m keeping commitments to myself
So what’s changed within me to help me keep my commitments to myself? Here’s what’s been helping me feel okay with prioritizing the internal promises I make:
1. Get in the right mindset
I recently came across a TikTok video where a girl talked about going for ‘hot girl walks‘. She mentioned that while you’re going for a walk, the only things you’re allowed to think about are what you’re grateful for and the goals you want to achieve. That hot girl walk concept is a little silly to me, but I do like the intention behind it.
Since I saw that, I’ve been noticing more when my mindset turns negative. I try to notice when I’m being hard on myself or doubting my own abilities. The more I become aware of these moments, the better I can act accordingly to pull myself out of this mindset.
Each time I’m faced with something I don’t feel like doing (especially when it’s a commitment I made to myself), I pause for a moment and ask what I need to get me into a better state of mind. Often that’s putting on a playlist with uplifting songs and dancing around to make myself feel better. Don’t underestimate the power of a good playlist to get you in the right mindset.
Related Post: 5 Daily Habits For A Healthy Mindset
2. Repetition is key
Something I’ve found that helps with self-discipline and commitment is doing something at the same time every day (or in the same order every day). For example, I struggled for a long time to be consistent with daily exercise.
I would tell myself to keep things interesting by switching up the time I did my workouts each day. Unfortunately this didn’t help with consistency at all. Often thinking about when I was going to do a workout took up more brain space than it really needed to.
What’s helped me to be super consistent over the past few months is working out first thing in the morning. My routine is to get up, go to the bathroom, drink some water, get changed into workout clothes, then do a workout. It’s the same order every morning which means that I don’t even have to think about what I’m doing to do. I’m still a little groggy at that time, so I don’t really give my brain a chance to try and get out of it.
Since I’ve made the commitment to exercise every morning and get up earlier, I don’t really lack motivation around it anymore. If I’m ever laying in bed and not wanting to get up, I think to myself, ‘I don’t want to fall back into my old habits’ and I force myself to get up out of bed.
Related Post: How To Have Self-Discipline When You’re Feeling Lazy
3. Following my North node
I haven’t really talked about astrology on the blog before, but it’s something that I’m often exploring to learn more about myself. Of course, I’m hesitant about taking it too seriously, but discovering my North node is something that’s given me an extra dose of motivation to stay committed to myself.
The North node is essentially the traits you need to develop in order to fulfill your life’s purpose and find happiness. I discovered that my North Node is in Capricorn, which means that I need to stay disciplined, honor my desire for success, and go after my goals. My opposing South Node is in Cancer which means I’m prone to retreating from the world and dwelling on the past.
When I start falling back into old habits and thought patterns, I think about whether that’s helping me to fulfill my purpose. Often it’s not, so I encourage myself to focus on what will help me achieve my goals instead.
If you’re curious about finding your North node, you can do that here.
Question: What commitments do you want to keep to yourself?
Overall, I’ve learned that keeping commitments to yourself means getting your mindset right, repeating what works, and learning more about yourself so you can focus on what you need.
I encourage you to think of a goal or habit you’ve been wanting to master for a long time. Ask yourself why you haven’t been following through with it, and then make a commitment to go after what you want. After all, no one else is going to do it for you.
Well said Catherine. I struggle at time with my morning routine!
I appreciate your time in writing this blog. It’s so helpful to know that I’m not the only who struggles with trying to “be selfish” with myself. My whole life was dedicated to taking care of others and making sure they were happy. Once my children grew up to wonderful young adults, I’m finding that my happiness needs a little help!
Reading this has sparked my attention and I feel like I’m ready to make some good habits for myself.
You’re definitely not alone, Pamela!
Great words Catherine!
I needed to read this today.
You were spot on when you said that staying true to your word shows you value yourself and the goals you set.
Thank you, Stacie! I’m glad this resonated with you.
It’s really true. It’s very hard to keep commitment to self.
Absolutely, you’re not alone in feeling that!
Loved your article, I could find myself throughout your words.
I totally agree! Consistency is key when it comes to sticking to your self-commitments.
I wake up every morning at 6:30 am to make sure I have time to workout. Of course, it is not always easy, and sometimes I just feel like I want to lay on my bed, but the desire to kickstart the day, to stick to my commitments, to have more time to evolve helps me a lot!
Have a nice day,
Thank you, Mathilde! My goal is to someday be able to wake up that early consistently haha
Love this post! I agree that your mindset can impact whether or not you’ll stick with your commitment. I have made it my commitment to wake up on weekdays at 7:30am, as it allows me to both focus and complete my to dos for the day. Although some days it’s hard, I’ve always remember what I had promised myself and think about the benefits of doing what I am doing. Thanks for the post! 🙂
That’s so good to hear, Kyra! It’s definitely not easy, but it feels so good to keep those promises to yourself.
Love your blog
it helps me so much ❤
Thank you, Zainab!
What a great post! I totally agree with you that getting into a routine and sticking with it is the only way to go. I’ve been there with exercise as well, and now try to do it first thing in the morning, although I definitely failed at that today. Your blog itself is also beautiful. I love the graphics. Do you create those? I’d definitely be interested in hearing about your process!
Thank you so much, Natalie! I do everything myself for right now. I am working on creating a hub for sharing blogging tips soon though :)
Amazing Article. At the End Self Commitment matters. Thank you For such a powerful post.
Thank you for writing this articles from this, I know how to make commitments with my self
Thanks a lot for this post. But what if you set a goal that is beyond your comfort zone (after all that’s what they tell us)and you let yourself down by not achieving that goal. even though you were committed to it. What idea can you take from that situation, to practice in your future goal setting?
I would never treat my commitments to others like I do those to me. Thx for the reminders and ideas.
much appreciating blog, thank you for writing such a helpful log.
Absolutely Correct. Thanks for sharing
Just love your writing style! Ans you hit the nail on the head here–yes, we may be good with keeping commitments to others but why is it such an obstacle to keep them for ourselves, especially if they are self-healing rituals? I am an RN working in acute medical settings, so this dynamic plays out for me as I think I take excellent care of my patients, but am still overweight and not eating well…Thans for the insights here!
I love, love this article. As women, and caregivers we tend to always put our needs, wants, desires on the back burner, for the sake of our spouse, children, or even other family members. Thank you for this very special article.
Thanks a lot for this post. Nice information about the blog.