How to Honor Your Commitments

honor your commitments with heartHonor your commitments full consciousness by understanding both the value of success and the consequences of dishonoring your commitment.

Commitment is not a seed that you can bury and forget about. The successful development of commitment requires the care of conscious wisdom and the honor of high self-regard.

In this post we considered the Viking-like commitment of burning their boats at the shore. We saw that commitment is only as strong as the decision that preceded it and the process that develops it.

Two things stop most committers:

1. Poor decision-making skills leading up to the commitment and

2. An effective process for following through on the commitment.

Today I’ll share a process that will guide to honor your commitments.

To commit means to be morally bound to do. To bind oneself and pledge oneself is a decision of honor. It’s this level of principled accountability that most need to begin applying to their self-pledges more often.

Are you more likely to honor a commitment made to another than a promise you’ve made to yourself? If so why do you respect yourself less?

It will be well worth your while to consider that question. Participants in a recent phone class did and they all committed to something that was dear to them. I’m inviting you to do the same. Commit to something and use this process to bring it home.

For example let’s say you’ve always wanted to quit your job and start your own business. There are many small steps you could commit to in preparation.

You could even start by reading my free book: Choosing Your Ideal Business.  It will show you how to decide with confidence and eliminate fears about not making enough money.

Let’s walk through this four-step commitment honoring process.

1). Deliberately choosing your commitments.

Use this step to determine what specifically you ought to commit to now. Answer these questions to flush out something that really matters to you.

What decisions have I been putting off?

What’s one life situation that deserves greater consciousness than I’ve been giving it?

2). Making a strong, inspired decision.

It’s much easier to make and keep a commitment when we deeply believe that our investment in time and attention will pay off in a big way. Thus it’s important to understand exactly what making this commitment will mean to you.

Write down the highest value point of inspiration and enthusiasm.

Ask yourself, “What about succeeding with this commitment will make me very happy?”

Ask yourself, “How exactly will it enhance my life?”

Write down a bold declaration of intent.

Read it often and imagine the joyful, enhanced qualities of your life as you read.

3). Understanding the downside.

What’s the downside to not following through on this commitment?

Be very clear on the consequences of dishonoring something that you said was important to you.

How might that affect you adversely? Feel the pain of that dishonor now and use it to recommit. Although looking at the downside now can hurt, it pales in comparison to the pain dishonor causes down the road. If you can’t stand the heat…..

4). Raising the probability of following through all the way to success.

The first thing you need to do is to break the commitment down into something you can definitely achieve in this first week. Momentum is extremely important to establish early.

What precise milestone would I be excited to achieve this week?

If I’ve committed to a similar objective previously and failed, what were all the contributing factors to that failure? How might I respond differently this time?

What else can I do to raise my probability of success?

You could make far fewer promises and commit to honoring all of them. “No thank you” is a complete sentence and a very wise response. Too often we dilute our focus and energy by saying “yes” without full consideration.

You’ll raise your probability of success by writing your commitments down in a sacred place.

You’ll raise your probability of success by expecting success. Ask yourself now; “Do I expect to succeed with this commitment?” If not then ask, “What would cause me to expect success?” Do that thing.

You’ll raise your probability of success by investing in frequent focus and by taking frequent action. Action changes consciousness and perspective.

No problem is solved in the same consciousness that created it. Einstein

You’ll raise your probability of success by holding yourself in high regard.
We raise our self-regard by making our own well being a priority.

You’ll raise your probability of success by making wise, in-the-moment decisions that deliberately bring your commitment to mind.

How can I further guarantee that I’ll honor this commitment?

You can guarantee your own success by using all four realms of your power to act as if success were already a reality.

You can guarantee your own success by creating an environment of support. Often we can adjust our physical environments and call on our network so that our surroundings pull us along to success without so much pushing effort.

Understand in advance that your commitment may be challenged by you poor habits, past programming and the careless comments of others. But that doesn’t count for squat. What counts is your decision to be the man or woman you are and honor your commitments as declared.
Be bold and decide that regardless of those challenges you are determined to complete this commitment.

What has worked well for you in honoring your commitments?

What aspects of this process are screaming out to you for attention?

Comments

  1. Evelyn Lim says:

    I often find myself having difficulty making commitments because I feel obliged to follow up on them. I don’t want to say yes for the sake of pleasing someone. Neither do I like the idea of my friends breaking their promises to me.

    Your piece of advice on “Are you more likely to honor a commitment made to another than a promise you’ve made to yourself? If so why do you respect yourself less?” is a gem! I need to ponder over this!

    Thanks for sharing a great piece of article,
    Evelyn

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Planet Of Dreams

  2. Hi Tom,

    The aspect that is screaming out for my attention is the fact that I told my blog friend Jaden I would finish my novel by the end of October so I need to get it done! Of course, the actual finishing it means the most to me. But I think what I need to do is break it down in pages per week now. It is weighing heavily on me today, because I chose to sleep in instead of work on it.

    I like what you say about saying yes all the time without thinking of the consequences. I know I have done that before and feel guilty if I cannot follow through.

  3. Wow, Tom! This is a very powerful article. It leaves me with a burning question, though … sometimes we make commitments and those move us forward in life. We take the first two or three steps going from point A to point B. Well, now we’ve changed. Those two or three steps have evolved and transformed us, and now point B looks pretty uninteresting when compared to point C. Now what happens to our commitment? Has it maybe already served its purpose?

    Okay, so maybe the commitment is about the journey, not the destination. I guess that goes along with having consciousness about what we hope to receive from our commitment. If we’ve received the essence of it, the actual thing itself is no longer important.

    Thanks for letting me ramble and work that one out … hee hee.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

  4. You’ll raise your probability of success by investing in frequent focus and by taking frequent action. Action changes consciousness and perspective.

    I am literally a walking, talking example of exactly this these past few days and it feels good! I’m learning the HUGE difference between focus + frequent action and obsessing + ineffective action and it’s all about remembering what I KNOW to be true.

    When I focus on what I KNOW to be true (my job is to set the intention and take the steps, it’s the Universe’s job to show me the path) and take frequent action, I am happy, fulfilled and busy!

    When I forget what I KNOW (and obsess and freak out because I can’t see the path) I spend a lot of energy fruitlessly and get miserable fast.

    So, the key for me (and to borrow the line from “Nemo”) is to “just keep swimming…just keep swimming…just keep swimming…” 🙂

  5. Your post on honouring one’s commitments is so timely. What struck me hard was the section on understanding the downside. All the projects that I started and abandoned mid-way had one thing in common: I just did not care enough about then to succeed! In other words, I saw no downside to failing & so, happily ‘accepted’ the fact that I had failed to complete them. But what I forgot was that there *is* a downside. I was only succumbing to my poor habits: of procrastination & laziness.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Writer Dad says:

    Understanding the downside is important. When we don’t, then we get discouraged far too easy. Once discouraged, it’s easy to give up. If we know what to expect from the get go, the inevitable punches in the teeth are easier to take.

    Writer Dads last blog post..Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

  7. Ellen I’ll bet it feels better now that you’ve publicly announced your commitment. Forgive yourself (I’m sure you already have) and move forward using those weekly milestones. You could also take a look at what part of writing the novel has you resisting doing it?

    Andrea I totally appreciate your out loud rambling. In fact that’s one reason I recommend weekly milestones; they often change our perspective. Sometimes adjustments need to be made along with making totally new commitments. That’s not weaseling out; that’s deciding anew with fresh information.

    Evelyn that very question is one I’ve pondered myself often. We say we don’t care what others think of us but often we really do. It’s an important lesson to understand how everyone is better served when we make decisions that strengthen our own well-being first.

    Suzanne happy, fulfilled and busy with joyous work is a might fine place to be. it’s wonderful when you know that you made it so by taking frequent and deliberate actions. Lot’s of things can happen when we consciously take chosen action and all of them are good.

    Geetali welcome, that’s a solid realization but I wonder. I wonder if you would have even begun many of those projects if you would have taken the time to consider using a thorough process like this one?

  8. Shamelessly Sassy says:

    Hi Tom,
    This is my first time stopping by here. Great post.
    -Amanda

    Shamelessly Sassys last blog post..Vocabulary Violation

  9. I definitly need to raise the probability of following through with my tasks. I sometimes take on too much and don’t know how to pull back, so I just stop. This retards my ability to finish my goals. By being more aware of what I say yes to and making sure the commitment can fit into my life, the better chance I have at succeeding.

    Thanks Tom. I really need to be aware of how my projects fit into my future.

    Karl – Your Work Happiness Matterss last blog post..You Should be Celebrating Your Average and Tiny Successes

  10. Writer Dad it’s extremely valuable to consider even our greatest fears. Once we do, as you say, we see that we can handle them and they are not as big a deal.

    Karl let me know how the process works for you. More mindfulness up front works well in just about anything. Committing is no exception.

    Hey Sassy welcome, I’ll have to visit your blog and see what your so shameless about. 🙂

  11. I would lke for you to develop integrating commitment with the four realms of your power as you say here:

    You can guarantee your own success by using all four realms of your power to act as if success were already a reality.

    Maybe give a case study or example of doing this and how that helped to keep the commitment.

  12. Hi Tom,

    This was a great post. I agree with Evelyn… “Are you more likely to honor a commitment made to another than a promise you’ve made to yourself?” This comment really stood out to me!

    One of my strongest passion is for honesty and honor. I hate it when other people break their commitments, and I am that way to myself. That’s why I rarely make commitments, but if I do, then every ounce of me is dedicated in following through. Only recently have I applied the same accountability to commitments to myself.

    Al at 7Ps last blog post..10 Tips for Immediate Productivity Results

  13. Tom, you’ve made some excellent points about how we can sometimes not honor the commitments we make to ourselves. I sometimes don’t honor my commitments to myself – and I think it’s because I see them as only affecting me. But, is that saying that I don’t think “I’m” important? It may well be the case. And that’s not correct thinking.

    So, I commit to change this mindset. And, as long as I’m at it, I’m going to commit to losing the last few pounds of fat hanging around my midsection – to get me to where I want to be in terms of health and fitness. And, to give myself a deadline, I’ll say I’ll be there by Christmas.

    Thanks for the reminder that we can’t forget about ourselves.

    Lances last blog post..What Are We Missing?

  14. Hi Tom,

    I agree. We do need to look at the downside of commitments we make, even though on the surface there may not appear to be a down side. If we stop to analyze the complete outcome, we become informed “consumers” (for lack of a better word), before we proceed forward.

    There’s nothing better than knowing exactly what we’re getting ourselves into.

    Barbara Swaffords last blog post..Parties, Spam and Hanging Chads

  15. Al at 7P: Your words strike a chord: “

    One of my strongest passion is for honesty and honor. I hate it when other people break their commitments, and I am that way to myself. That’s why I rarely make commitments, but if I do, then every ounce of me is dedicated in following through. Only recently have I applied the same accountability to commitments to myself.

    Honouring commitments made to yourself needs to be taken every bit as seriously as those made to others.
    I find that I apply Steps 1 to 4, as recommendsed by Tom, particularly well to my professional situations. But these very skills seem to go on the blink when it comes to personal goals!

    Geetalis last blog post..They Came Only To Speak Of You

  16. Laurie this process fits using your four realms of power very well. Since you’re making a commitment start with the spiritual realm and be sure you choose something deeply meaningful to you. If you’ve already chosen work that makes you sing then any aspect or objective will fit. Point two is all about taking that commitment and feeling (emotional realm) it as if it already were a reality. Point four nicely brings in the mental and physical realms by things we say and do. It’s a natural fit to use the four realms. Have you given it a shot? Which realms are you having difficulty applying?

    Barbara you’re right – anything that inspires a full commitment definitely merit s a full investigation into all the possibilities.

    Al & Geetali isn’t it curious how it takes even more dedication and awareness to keep our own personal pledges to ourselves? That’s why I frequently ask myself this, Am I holding my own well-being i high regard by taking this action?

    Lance I’m honored that this post has inspired you to such grand self-pledges. Hitting a healthier weight is a commitment I recently made to myself as well. I’ve broken it down to 3 pounds weekly and that way in just three months I’ll be where I want to be.

  17. “Are you more likely to honor a commitment made to another than a promise you’ve made to yourself? If so why do you respect yourself less?”

    Yes! I do tend to take commitments to others more seriously.

    Wow. You just gave me a lot to think about.

    Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..Aging: May I Please Get Off This Path Now?

  18. What precise milestone would I be excited to achieve this week?

    If I’ve committed to a similar objective previously and failed, what were all the contributing factors to that failure? How might I respond differently this time?

    What else can I do to raise my probability of success?

    These questions are great. Break the commitment into small, achievable steps, learn from your past experience to increase your chances of success, and always ask what is the best thing you can do right now to continue moving forward. It’s like being your own life coach 🙂

    Marelisas last blog post..30 Ways to Increase Your Creativity

  19. Tom,

    Thank you for this meaningful post. I am new to your blog and happy to be here.

    You hit the nail on the head for me. I know that one of my STRONGEST commitments I have made that I must learn to keep is to quit making so many commitments. I seem to be much more concerned about making people happy than being true to my calling and expression in the world. That has changed and is changing, but I still know that demon has a spare key to my attic and I must be vigilient. Thanks again!

  20. Tom,

    At coaching school I remember one of the students describing a very effective but fun “commitment game”.

    Basically, each person in the group (< 10 if I recall correctly) would call into an open conference call every hour, on the hour – and briefly state what they were going to complete in the next 60 minutes.

    And call in they did each hour with updates and support and laughter/tears.

    There were no fixed rules that you had to commit and complete and commit again every hour – think ‘fun’.

    But most people attending said they felt their commitment muscles were being stretched just by participating.

    (Of course, the tasks themselves ‘should’ be achievable in less than 60 minutes – so estimating those was good training in and of itself).

    And with a supportive group, a lot can get done in 5 or 6 hours of this type of (self) coaching activity!

    Mark McClure / Career Coachings last blog post..Some Goals Do, Some Goals Don’t!

  21. Vered know what you mean. I’ve obviously pondered this aspect of self-respect myself or I would not have written it so.

    Marelisa that’s often my intention when I write. I want to share my most effective coaching processes with my readers. Now you know my secret. 🙂

    Harmony welcome, by saying no thank you more often you will honor your true calling. Make them happy by expressing more of who you are. I can’t think of anything more pleasing or inspiring.

    Mark I’ve played that game and it is effective. I use that same level of group accountability in my coaching groups.

  22. Hi Tom, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. One of the main reasons I struggle to honour my commitments sometimes, is that I’ll let one horrid task overwhelm me to the point I won’t look at my to do list.

    It’s something I’m really struggling with. Also, I make too many commitments to others, then struggle to get everything done. And I really begin to feel overwhelmed.

    I think I really need to work on getting over the horrid task thing. Most of the ones I dread are connected to a past business. And I think it’s the connections I have the problem with, as opposed to the actual task.

    Also, I should stop making commitments to others, until I get on top of what I’m supposed to be doing myself. I like to do things for others but I can’t do them at the expense of putting food on the table.

    Thanks Tom. You’ve helped me to see this a bit more clearly now.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Business Referrals: Are You Making This Huge Mistake?

  23. Cath you’ve made some really excellent observations. I’ve had a very similar experience which I talk about in my very next post. Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Great article, Tom. I’m very glad I found it. 🙂

    One thing I’m still struggling with is the decision to either stubbornly stick with previous commitments or to go with the flow as life changes.

    You mentioned in a previous comment:

    “Sometimes adjustments need to be made along with making totally new commitments. That’s not weaseling out; that’s deciding anew with fresh information.”

    Well sure, but if you committed to doing something, it’s still not following through all the way, regardless of whether or not a new commitment is made. I don’t understand how one can commit to doing something in the future. You could say that you’ll put in the effort, but there’s no way we can guarantee a result. We may be the creator of our own realities, but we can’t control all of life.

    All we know is right now. Making a promise about something in the future feels like a lie, deep down. Could you share your insights on this matter? It doesn’t feel crystal clear for me.

    Ariel – We Are All Ones last blog post..Adyashanti – The End of Your World

  25. Good information. Keeping personal commitments is difficult. The irony is, though – by succeeding with them we are always happier than if we hadn’t.

    Yet, it seems, at least momentarily that maybe we would be happier if we would be lazy or stay in our comfort zone or whatever.

    But, alas, we never are.

    So, in a sense, staying with your commitment is also a commitment to well being and happiness because we are always happiest when we are in control. When we conquer ourselves.

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..How to Make a Better Future for Yourself

  26. If I’ve committed to a similar objective previously and failed, what were all the contributing factors to that failure? How might I respond differently this time?

    Also… Is it oversimplistic to say that this time I will simply exert more effort?

    Though, I would say, it’s always prudent to combine strategy with effort as much as possible.

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..How to Make a Better Future for Yourself

  27. Ariel those are good questions. I say forget about sticking to a commitment just because you’ve made one. Things do change ans when they do we need to face up to the new circumstances. When I said, “Sometimes adjustments need to be made along with making totally new commitments. That’s not weaseling out; that’s deciding anew with fresh information.” I was mainly thinking about self-pledges.

    However when it involves another then we need to bring them in on the conversation to re-commit or not. Most folks appreciate the honesty and even legal contracts can be adjusted if both parties see the merit in it.

    You’re right of course about committing in the future. This reminds me of Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God, and his marriage vows. He and his wife re-commit to them every morning if they still feel the same way. That way they bring present moment awareness to their marriage. That’s ideal. If you tell me the commitment and the circumstance I’d be better able to advise you. For me the commitment brings a greater level of sacredness to the whole pledging process.

  28. Bamboo you’re right man it’s all about how good we feel. Personal competence is key even though it’s all subjective.

    As for your second comment, I wasn’t even thinking of more effort. My brother always told his wife to try harder when she was losing in our family poker games and more ridiculous advise was never given. We review for strategy’s sake like you said. If we really look there is always an adjustment we can make.

  29. Great post! Whether you promise to yourself or to others, promises are not made to be broken. It’s a commitment bound to make.:-)

  30. Retirement Planning – Welcome to Delightful Work. I’m pleased to meet another commitment keeper.

  31. master mind says:

    Honor only determines the healing rate of your troops.

    If your honor is higher then the person your attacking your percentage of the amount of troops you can heal will drop.
    Though if their honor is higher then your rate will increase to heal more troops.

    for more

    http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-get-honor-on-what-you-say

Trackbacks

  1. […] too much, I guess, it’s important to choose your commitments wisely. And make sure that you place just as much importance on promises you make yourself, as those made to others. Do you exhaust yourself by taking on too much sometimes. How do you deal with […]

  2. […] inspired to a Viking-like commitment by reading Brett’s blog […]

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