058 How to get better at keeping commitments

We all hate when commitments aren’t kept. Especially when they’re the ones we break. Like anything though, we can get better at keeping commitments. Here’s how.

How to get better at keeping commitments

This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

It’s easy to keep commitments. All you need to do is STOP making them. But that’s not practical, nor helpful.

Instead, if you’re going to push yourself, you’ll likely break a commitment or two. In fact, you’re probably not really pushing yourself unless you do. And that requires also working on getting better at keeping commitments. Here’s some ways to do so:

  1. “Wait before you yay.” Enthusiasm will make commitments your sanity cannot cash. Take time to evaluate the likelihood of your continued enthusiasm for an idea before you make a commitment to get behind it.
  2. “Weigh before you yay.” Someone once said, “Things always take longer than they do.” It’s easy to be overly optimistic in planning how long something will take. In fact, researchers have found that we tend to overestimate how much time we will have to do something per week when the task is remote, rather than immediate.
  3. Make communication your non-negotiable commitment. The only commitment you should never give up is the commitment to communicate. Two things to communicate: who has the ball and at-risk commitments.
  4. Step up when others are at risk. Your sacrifice should be greatest when the cost of failure on your part is greatest.
    Better to sacrifice your comfort, time, whatever than ask it of others.
  5. Own the missteps. Resist making excuses even if there are other contributing factors. You’ll gain more support by fully taking responsibility for the missed commitment than by placing blame on others, even if others are at fault. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”
  6. Regularly review how you are keeping commitments.  Ask others their impressions and choose an area to improve.

This week’s Challenge Me:

As you were listening to this episode, what changes came to mind that you could make to improve your ability to keep commitments? Waiting, Weighing, Communicating, Taking ownership, or Reviewing. Pick an area and make a commitment to work on one thing.

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