How often do you make an appointment with yourself only to break it? Oh, you know, “I’m going to get up at 5:30am to go for a run.” The next morning the alarm goes off and what happens? Snooze button.
All too often we let ourselves down. We keep our business appointments, our doctor appointments and a million other commitments all day long. And yet, when it comes to keeping promises to ourselves, we are willing to sacrifice ourselves, and we come up with all kinds of excuses to justify it.
It happened to me earlier in the week.
I awakened with a headache and cranky from a poor night’s sleep. I got out of bed, plopped myself on the sofa and started to talk myself out of my sunrise meditation practice. “No, I’m choosing not to do it. I’m too tired. I had a bad night’s sleep. I won’t be able to concentrate. All I want to do is have a cup of tea and lay on the sofa in peace.”
So here’s the thing: When we let ourselves down there’s a little voice that whispers, “You failed.” This sets a negative tone for every single thing that follows. “I’m a failure” shrouds the events of the day. It’s like an insidious little worm, “I’m a failure” attaching itself without conscious awareness of it’s genesis.
The great news is that the converse is also true. Keeping promises we make to ourselves sets us up for success. “Yes, I can” becomes the underlying mantra. Every action becomes easier and every task takes less effort. And when a setback does happen, it is much easier to rebound. “Yes, I can” becomes the unconscious mantra underlying continued positive action.
Either way, every single day we create a positive or negative ripple effect that follows us throughout the day. And the best part is … this is one area where you have complete control. Only you control your actions. The choice is entirely yours … do or don’t do. It’s in your hands.
That morning as I sat on my sofa I listened to the real wake-up call, “Whaaaa? You’re going to break your appointment with yourself? Go outside on the deck right now and meditate — even if it’s only for 10 minutes. And then stretch — even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Do it now.”
Within 30 minutes my headache was gone, my mood lifted, and I enjoyed my tea thinking, “This is a prime example of why keeping promises to ourselves and honoring our commitments is so important.”
So every single time you start to make excuses think to yourself, “No! I choose me. I choose to set myself up for success. I choose a positive ripple effect.”
Beyond keeping promises … Do you get taken hostage by the first bad encounter of the day? This will help: You Step On Dog Poop. Now What?