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Broken Promises

How to keep a promise to your future self

We've all done it – started a day, week, month, or a year with good intentions.
We've made lists, planned schedules, committed to a cause, or made resolutions and promised ourselves that something would be done.

Sometimes the promises we make to ourselves with the best intentions just don't come to fruition. It's human nature that usually we prioritise the promises we make to everyone else, forgetting about making time to take care of 'me'.

If you have ever promised a neighbour, a friend or a relative that you would show up for them, you are likely to see it through. We can do that for ourselves too! In learning to do more for ourselves, we can build our self-esteem and make a difference to our future self.

Here are five tips to get you started!

  1. Only make promises that you can keep; this is important - if you make promises that are too tough to keep, you are setting yourself up to fail. Start with small changes, they can have big outcomes!

  2. Write the promise down - in writing a declaration to yourself you have formed a stronger contract with you. That note to self is a reminder of what you are setting out to achieve and when you want to achieve it by. Try using our ‘Note to self’ tool to get you started!

  3. Visualise yourself after you have kept that promise. Visualisation techniques are useful for motivation; if you have a clear vision in your head, you’ll be motivated to get to that end goal. Have confidence that you will be that person!

  4. Prioritise your promise – placing your ‘Note to self’ at the top of your to do list is imperative, remember this is about you and your self-worth! Put you and your promise first – your future self is depending on you.

  5. Reward your success! Keeping a promise to yourself is wholly rewarding, but why not plan something to celebrate reaching your goal - even small wins are worth congratulating yourself for!

    SUCCESS STORIES to inspire you

One last thing… if your life is full of keeping promises to others and you feel overwhelmed by meeting others needs, be kind to yourself. It is remarkably easy to put everyone else at the front of the queue for help! Try starting with a small change you want to make for yourself; like one less sugar in your tea, or a 15 minute walk every lunchtime. If you can keep that promise, try making another. Build the promise-keeping habit brick-by-brick, it will soon become second nature.



How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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