Leaders make promises.  The great leaders do what it takes to keep those promises.

This is never truer than when making promises to yourself.

Beauty of  fading autumn

This is the time of year for “resolutions”, a word that seems stern and righteous.  Resolution sounds like something outside of you.

University of Scranton research suggests that of the 45% of Americans who make resolutions, one in three will ditch them by the end of January and a whopping 73% give up before ever reaching their desired resolution.

Why not make a promise instead?  A promise is personal.  There is more at stake.

Here are a 5 Tips to support you to make powerful promises….

Simple – Don’t complicate the promise.  State it as though you were six years old.  Don’t lump multiple promises together and don’t add side notes or caveats.

Specific – “I promise to lose weight” is vague and not really actionable.  “I promise to prepare a healthy home cooked meal three times per week” is more specific.  Vague and broad statements create confusion.  Specifics lead to action.

Purpose – Understand why you are making this particular promise.  You are likely solving a surface issue, but what if you dug a little deeper to understand the Why beneath the Why?  When the surface issue is resolved by keeping your promise, what deeper need is satisfied or soothed?

Structure – Make your promise and understand how you will get it done.  Promises are simply words unless action is involved.  Sketch out a path of execution.  Your brain likes to follow a path and finds safety in structure.

Forgive – Promises made by you to you are likely the first to be neglected in busy or stressful times.  If you fall off the path, stop for a moment and forgive yourself.  And then hop on the path again.  All you have likely lost is a little momentum.

By the way, these five tips are also designed to support the promises you make to others.

For now, take stock of the things you want to create in the coming year and use the five tips to keep you aligned with those desires by making promises with yourself.

Mary Pat Knight, CEO of Leaders Inspired, is a Transformation Strategist, Speaker, Facilitator, and Coach committed to leadership and emotional intelligence in the workplace. She is known for cutting through corporate drama to create laser focus for powerful business and personal results for her clients. 

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(photo credit:  © Olgalis | Dreamstime Stock Photos)