I can keep commitments. I am rarely late for a lunch date, and on the extremely rare occasion I forget an appointment, I am utterly mortified.
I am totally speculating here, but it seems to me, women are hard wired to keep commitments – it’s threaded into our DNA. Women are caregivers by nature and by nurture and when you care for someone, you keep commitments. This is a very good thing. Our caregiver commitments protected us from extinction. Women are responsible for the future of the human race – but hey, no pressure!
But can you keep commitments to yourself, especially self-care commitments? If you are at all like me, it’s a struggle. Somehow, the bit of DNA that codes for keeping commitments to oneself is overshadowed by our caregiver commitments.
Fortunately keeping commitments is a skill, a skill you can transfer to your self care commitments. That tiny shift can make a massive difference.
As with most things, increasing your awareness is the first step. Notice how often you keep commitments to yourself (or not.) If you keep them, BRAVO! If you are not this exceptional woman (yet), start to gather data – both the wins and the misses. Be curious and kind with yourself as you gather this information. This is NOT an exercise in self-shaming. Simply gather evidence to help you reach a thoughtful conclusion.
As you collect your data, look for patterns. What is different about a WIN versus a MISS? What were you thinking, how were you feeling, before, during and after each win or miss?
Take some time to identify what is truly important to you. Audit your priorities – often. It’s a highly recommended quarterly activity. Sadly, this reassessment is neglected until the turn of the calendar year, tax time or life throws an interesting twist/crisis in your path. What would a quarterly audit of your routine activities illustrate about your priorities? Would it show your priorities are actually your priorities? Are you spending your time where you think you are spending your time? Again, gather information. Be curious. Be kind to yourself.
Sometimes we have been adjusting our priorities for those we love for so long, we are uncertain what we would want for ourselves. Explore ideas. Recall what you used to love back in your early twenties. Pay attention to where your mind wanders – our day dreams are full of information.
Sometimes we take risks. Sometimes we play it safe. Choose the former. I’m not sure yet, but 30+ years from now, I believe I would rather remember with fondness the risks I took and stumbled through rather than remember with regret the risks I never took.
Keeping commitments to oneself is possible. Increase awareness, audit your priorities often, listen for your dreams and take a little risk. Not only will you keep commitment to yourself, but you will enrich your life and the lives of those you love!
Live Life, Love Life, Always
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