A commitment is a really serious agreement to do something. It means putting the full force of personal integrity behind an action. Keeping commitments, even when difficult, creates positive power in the world. It's all a question of priorities.
We all make commitments every day. Some seem small and insignificant-agreed upon time to meet, a promise to run an errand or a promise to follow-up. Others are ostensibly bigger and more important-a formal contract or legal document, etc. It is important to consider all commitments equally important, because this is the way trust is built and maintained. A person's reputation is built upon their ability to make and keep commitments. Your life will work better when commitments are carefully made and diligently kept.
There are five key factors in making and keeping commitments.
All Commitments Are Important: When you agree to do something-do it as agreed. When you agree to meet someone, be there on time. When you fail to keep a commitment you fail yourself first and the other person second.
Be Careful What You Agree To: Many people find it easier to say yes instead of no. It is far better to agree to what you can do, than saying yes to please someone at the moment and later fail your commitment because of being over-committed or because you have difficulty saying no.
Manage Your Commitments: Keep a log of your commitments-Write them down. You may have great intentions, but if you forget to do what you agreed to do, the result is the same as your 'Choosing' not to keep your commitment.
Renegotiate When You Are Unable to Keep Your Commitment: When you discover you are unable or unwilling to complete an agreement, go to the other party/parties and renegotiate.
Manage By Agreement: Instead of telling someone to do something, ask if they would agree to doing it and by when. You have a greater chance it will get done if you ask rather than tell.
By paying careful attention to the commitments you make, tracking them and developing the habit of keeping all your commitments you will be known as a person of integrity. Your life and the world around you work in direct proportion to the quality of your commitments.
Do you honor your commitments? Are you always making commitments to people or yourself that you don’t want to make or have no intention of following thru on? Pay attention to what you’re committing to and to whom you’re making those commitments.
Making commitments, keeping commitments, and repeating this cycle will increase trust. You need to do what you say you are going to do. However, this can also be difficult if you over-compromise and do not deliver. If you do this repeatedly, you may not have a second or third chance to regain the trust of professional and personal people in your life because you will lose all credibility.
Now, do not let this scare you, you cannot be afraid to make commitments because commitments are part of everyday life and business. Making commitments builds hope; keeping commitments builds trust.
Your integrity to the commitments you make is one of the most important factors in achieving a consistent level of joy and happiness. Although you may not be aware of it consciously, if you have a bunch of broken commitments over the last day/week/month/year/decade, you’re energetically drowning in the weight of that lack of integrity.
You know when you’re not doing the stuff you say you’re going to do—whether it was getting up at a certain time this morning, working out, going somewhere, helping a friend or colleague or following a certain routine, whatever it is. To the extent you’re not honoring those commitments; you are not be true to yourself and others, Simple as that.
Until you find a way to somehow increase your willpower or self-discipline, you will still keep failing to keep your commitments. Discipline requires time, effort and respect within yourself. Every kept promise to others and yourself creates more self-trust which builds the foundations of more discipline in the future.
Disciplined people have created a high degree of self-trust between their various states of mind. This self-trust allows them to carry out orders made in the past even when they don’t feel like it. When you find yourself continually failing to keep a commitment then you either need to start smaller or add more leverage. Either the law you enacted is too strict to be upheld or the punishments and rewards you have in place aren’t enticing enough to follow it.
The good news is the solution is simple and you can change everything by starting right now to honor your commitments.… Taking an inventory of your commitments today is the beginning of reconnecting your energy to them and taking action.
Make a list on paper of all the commitments you have outstanding right now. What you made in past that you haven’t done. You have the choice of now deciding which ones you are no longer committed to honoring and decide which ones you will re-commit to honoring. Get completion with these and start to honor them so you can move forward with integrity to do what you committed yourself to do.
Fulfill on your commitment. Take pride in doing what you agreed to do. Realize that being acknowledged as a person of integrity will ultimately make your personal and professional life better.
“The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and clearest manifestation of our proactivity.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
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