Last week of the year, this space between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is one of the most sensitive times of the year for most people. We cannot help but reflect back on the year, what is done or isn’t done, which promises will sneak into the next year because we know there is no chance in hell we can pull it off in the next couple of days. I have one of those, it’s called my Online Program. Some time in late October, I stopped even playing that game, I realized, with everything on my plate, I can’t do it in a way that works so I wasn’t going to do it just for the sake of doing it.
There are, however, promises that sneak up on us, those we promise to ourselves but don’t say out loud, like: I will do yoga every day, do a long walk outside rain or shine and stop eating processed foods. How is that one working for me? Not so well. You see, the problem with promises we make to ourselves is, they are safe from scrutiny, criticism and accountability but they don’t make us feel any less shitty when we don’t do them. And this is because our promise to OURSELVES, has far more weight than any promise we make to someone out loud.
The promises we make to others, we do with much more ease, because if we don’t, we look bad and people will do just about anything to look good. It’s one of the strongest forces that gets us to do things (that and belonging). And promising things to others, or having people hold us to account is powerful, because we will get things done, but keeping our promise to ourselves is even more important. It isn’t easy, but it matters because when we relate to ourselves like we are not our word, or we don’t matter, it is that much harder to complete things in life. We are always having to overcome an already established story about ourselves: we don’t do what we say we would do.
So think about those things that you already promised to yourself. Write them all out, check off what you kept, cross off those that are irrelevant, acknowledging that you didn’t do them and re-promise the rest. As you do, you will be giving yourself another chance to do it right. Will you succeed? That’s up to you, but at least, you have a way bigger change at it than if you just swept it under the rug. Because things swept under the rug are still in the room, we just can’t see them. And often, we don’t even forget they are there.
Give yourself a gift of clean slate this holiday season. Keep your list. Even if you mess it up, at least you know how to reset it. Wishing you the best.
Happy Holidays to all,