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February 28, 2007 / missknowitall

Promises Worth Keeping

Dear Little Miss,

How do you make a binding personal decision – one you wont depart from after the emotion of making it passes?
~ El Vaquero Perdido

Dear Lost Cowboy (I hope I translated that right or my Spanish teacher will kill me),

‘Tis the season to ask this question.  “New Years” is over and most of us broke the resolution to “eat healthy” when we opened the heart shaped box on Valentines day.  We are beginning to feel that we are just too busy to exercise and too stressed to stop smoking.  Most of us don’t even remember the promises we made to ourselves or why we were so foolish to make them in the first place.  The point is that it is really hard to keep a promise when the only one holding you to it is… well, you.  There are quite a few things you can do to help you keep your “personal decision” but I will just mention a few.  If mine don’t work I suggest you research sites like weight watchers and alcoholics anonymous because they have great tips on keeping your personal goals.  My advice is to try to remember and bring back the emotions you were feeling at the time you made this personal decision.  If you were holding your child in your arms and promising you would start a savings account so your child could go to college, then go hold your child again and bring back that vision and relive that promise as often as you can.  Another thing you should do is set up small baby steps that will lead to your ultimate goal and set deadlines for meeting these smaller goals.  The last thing, most certainly not the least thing, I will suggest is to treat your personal promise like a contract: Put it in writing.  Write down your goal and write down what steps you will take to achieve this goal.  Have someone witness this contract.  Then, and this is what does it for me, pick something that you love and give it up if you don’t make your deadlines (good things to give up here are: your x-box, your ice cream, your fancy coffee, and any other little luxury) and you can’t have it back until you reach the finish line on your goal.        
 

Promise me you will keep your promise to you.

Miss Knowitall

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