Wellness and Lifestyle change illustrated by woman with outstretched hands.

How often have you broken promises to yourself? You say you will take charge of how you move, eat and sleep, right? And – that CV you were going to update… Wellness in all its dimensions cannot be achieved all at once. What can you do to get closer to your healthier life intentions? Easy. Do not promise what you cannot keep. In this post, we explore how you can really do what you set out to do rather than break self-promises. You will see how to make small changes that make a real difference, and with this new habits form. Read on to get tips on how to do what you will do – and not promise. Its all about feeling and being good to you, yourself and no-one else.

Promise: What Does it Mean? 

The word promise comes from the Latin promittere, meaning “to send forward.” You plan honestly that you will change, undertake or cease something. The expression ‘to promise’ becomes a commitment, and when you break your word trust issues come into play.

If you overuse the intention to do something – and don’t – you are not reliable. Your honor is at stake here – but, what about promises to yourself? 

It is easy it is to promise to yourself that you will change outlook; stop eating fast food; drink less; not smoke; take charge of your career – and then you don’t. Let’s explore if there is a way out of this cloud of distrust and guilt-ridden angst. 

No More Promises

When we end up delaying healthy lifestyle and career changes because ‘life’ and little ‘white lies’ come in the way we feel bad. On top of not achieving what you set out to do, you add on guilt. Why? Wouldn’t it be better to lower the ambition level and take it step-by-step? You will make a change and will feel great that you did. We tend to aim for the stars – whereas reaching the trees is enough of a goal to start off with.

You may feel honor bound to others when it comes to promises? But – what about you? It is said that you need to look after ‘No 1″, but is it easier to break an honest intention to yourself than it is to others? The conclusion is that the power of not breaking a commitment gives you a real sense of achievement. Hence – make no more promises, but take action. Let’s explore how. 

Promises to Others

More often than not a promise or commitment to another person is of a lighter character. You will be on time, mow the lawn, walk the dog or cook dinner. If you don’t you may feel a bit bad, but its no the end of the world – especially if you sugarcoat it with some beautiful excuse. However, a commitment to stay true or a vow is not broken with equal ease – nor forgiven with a shrug or smile. The level of promise is increased. 

The real intention of the word ‘promise’ is that you will commit to your word. When using the word – mean it and do it. If you know that you probably will not – then don’t promise. 

Promises to Self

Why is it that the one person we over-promise to the most is ourselves? You say to yourself that you will take charge of the issues you know you need to tackle to feel better and move onwards and forwards. Yet you don’t. You break promises to yourself regularly and remorselessly. 

Promises are our word of honor that something will come true in a certain way. Before you make another promise to anyone else, commit to yourself the empowering idea that you need to start with you. You will change if you do one thing today. Just one. And as a result, your sense of self-worth and strength will increase tenfold. Perhaps the first change you can do is to promise that you won’t make promises that you cannot keep – to yourself and others.

Wellness Promises You Break

Wellness comes in different dimensions – and is individual depending on need and circumstance. However, in a general sense, it is also the area where we tend to overstretch our ambition levels, overdo with good intent and then give up too early. If you…..

  • Promise to not eat meat for a month – you are likely to crave a hamburger after a week as your intention was not followed by a plan that included an increase of protein from other sources and hence the body screams for it. 
  • Decide to embark on strength training with little instruction or technique you’re more likely than not to incur an injury, right? 
  • Resign from your job without looking at the market, or update your CV you may be in for a rude awakening as finding the right career path can be tricky. 

Wellness in the areas of nutrition, fitness, and career satisfaction tend to get bumped if you simply promise to ‘eat better’, ‘get fit’, or ‘fulfill your potentiality’. If on the other hand you do not promise but plan the likelihood of follow-through and success increases tenfold. 

Action Plans Work. Promises Don’t.

Before you embark on any change you will need a decision to actually change. The process of deciding whether its worth the effort will include your own wishes and wants and possibly influence form others. A doctor may have told you that you have to make lifestyle improvement for example. Or – you are tired of feeling tired.

Any intention is good. It is better if you put dedication into the decision making first. Once you have decided, you can go about it with pure will or stubbornness. However, to enable yourself to go the distance you need a plan.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right. This is the reason for planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail, right?

  • A meatless month may be a great idea.  Your plan to get there will need steps to reach day 30. You need to understand what your body needs. This takes time, effort and learning about vegetarian cooking.  
  • Getting to a toned body can be achieved with a well-thought-out plan, instruction and time.
  • A new job is possible if you get a smart job search strategy going, new application tools and a source where to look for the right employment

An action plan that includes small mini goals, learning, and the ability to see obstacles as opportunities will work. A fellow blogger wrote this:   “It’s also important to note that excellence cannot be judged by looking at where you are at any given point in time, but by measuring the distance you have traveled from the point where you started.  It’s about being diligent and making progress – either a step forward or a lesson learned – day in and day out.

Wellness Change: Promises You Can Keep

Knowing the change is needed, and actually doing something about it is the challenge. This is why the intent is formulated as a ‘promise’. The hard part though is that life is a balancing act. You want to move forward, but hold on to what is comfortable.

Everything has a timespan and an expiration date. Often signs are there and you may even see them. Realising that it is time to act takes effort, guts, and knowledge.

Emotional vs Planned Action

It is easy to get emotional and then act. This doesn’t go well in most instances, and the emotions tend to shift. Staying ahead of the curve can address regrets. The way to do this is to expand your mind, learn more about your surroundings, and getting advice from experts.

Informed decisions make for achievable action plans. Promises that you cannot keep making you feel bad, and therefore it is better to make pledges that you can hold on to. One such pledge is to keep informed about the areas that you know you want to address. You can learn by surfing the web, get coaching and training and overall back yourself up by devoted planned actions.  

Wellness Promises: 3 Step Action Plan Guide

Here are three tips that will help you enhance your ability to deliver to yourself what you set out to do.

  1. Make a contract with yourself. Be specific about what you intend to do or stop doing. Be definite about the results you expect. Reflect on why the results are important to you. What are your conditions of successful completion, and what is the value you get? Be clear about the importance of this contract.
  2. Initiate a plan of action. When will you begin? Build in a timeline and mini goals. Use the SMART method to set your plan in motion. 
  3. Review your skillset. Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to get to your goal? Do you have the necessary skills and resources to get there? If there’s more preparation needed, or you lack the resources right now, then you cannot deliver to yourself. Therefore – don’t push play yet. Revise your action plan to include learning, training, coaching or certification. Getting mentoring, advice and instruction is part of a smart plan. You will enable yourself to get to a level that allows you to achieve.

Check out these books that can inspire your action plans and get you going:

Wellness Promises or Action Plans?

The opportunity to revise your way of thinking is a gift. You can wallow in self-pity, run down the road to stock up on snacks, drown yourself in gin or simply say: “That’s’ enough!”.Promises You Can Keep. Hands joined by little finger.

Make promises to others – when you really value the word and understand the trust that is placed upon you. Do not use the word if you’re already figuring out the excuses.

Self-promises are equally important but far too easy to break. Therefore – write down what you want to achieve and set up a plan.

To Do or Not To Do?

The GOODista brand Logo with link to sign up for newsletter, special offers and more.Action speaks louder than words. When you set about to change something you will gain distance faster but having mini-goals, inspiration, and advice along the way.

What are your goals? I bet you will surprise yourself if you change your tactics, and reach out beyond your known way of dealing with challenges. The results will speak for themselves — both outwardly and inwardly. You will be on your way to a permanent healthier you – it all comes together once you start with the first step. Don’t promise. Do.

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