Make 5 Promise Rules

Do you remember the golden oldie, Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep? I think that is good advice.

What's your policy on promises? Mine is exactly the same as the song title. I don't make promises I can't keep. That's how I live my life.

If I say I'm going to do something, then I try my very best to do it. This helps me sleep well at night, but sometimes it also makes me really, really tired. Why? Because I often over-commit when it comes to friends, family, and career.

Dealing With Promise Breakers

Often it seems that others I interact with don't understand that simple principle. I've been doing a lot of grumbling to darling hubby because of all those who blow off commitments. Sure would make life easier sometimes if I just blew them off the next time they ask me for a favor.

If you find yourself failing to meet your commitments, here are 5 rules you might want to incorporate into your life.

5 Promise Rules

1. Don't make a promise if you can't, won't, or don't intend to keep it.

2. Learn to say no. That's a biggie. If you blithely agree to everything asked of you, knowing you don't plan to follow through, stop it. That drives people crazy. So just say no instead.

3. When you make a commitment, also make a plan to keep it. Write it down so you won't forget. Then mark a date at least 2 weeks ahead of time so you have plenty of time to follow through. Make a day planner your best tool.

4. Treat all commitments as contracts. If you create deadlines or contracts in business, follow through or renegotiate. An agreement to guest blog should be treated with as much respect as a contract to publish a book. It also applies to showing up for meetings on time and everything else under the sun that in which you interact with others.

5. If you can't keep your promise, contact the person you promised immediately. Let them know you can't do it. If it's something you really want to do then ask for a future time slot. We all have to renegotiate occasionally. Only you know your life and your specific time demands. It's okay to renegotiate if you find you can't keep your original promise. Just be sure to do it in advance of the deadline.

Takeaway Truth

Why keep promises? Other than it's important for business trust, it's crucial to personal integrity. It's also a way of teaching integrity and honesty to your children.

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