Honoring your scheduled promises? For me, this title brings up feelings of respect and love and also an uncomfortable sense of things getting real. I mean, talking about honor and promises in relation to my schedule? What’s your initial response?
Honor as a noun means honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. High respect, as for worth, merit, or rank. Synonyms for honor are integrity and sincerity.
Promise as a noun is a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc by one. An expressed assurance on which expectation is to be based. Synonyms for promise are agreement, assurance, commitment and word.
How do these qualities relate to your schedule?
Whether you told someone you would stop by their house to pick them up, you told a friend you’d pick them up at the airport, signed up for a yoga class for a little zen time, planned to meet friends for happy hour, signed up to be a speaker at a networking event or planned to read a book, it all comes down to honoring a promise – a promise to show up to others or a promise to show up for yourself.
Admittedly, I viewed honoring a promise to others differently than honoring a promise to myself. If my commitment (aka promise of time) involved another person, you can bet I’d be there. However, if I planned something for myself, it wouldn’t be uncommon for me to snooze, slide or reschedule whatever the activity was.
Here’s where this becomes a slippery slope:
Believe me, I’ve ready many personal development books that let me know this is all backwards. I need to honor myself – put myself as a priority – take care of myself first. One of the instructions we hear before any airplane flight takes off is put the air mask on yourself first – and then assist your child or others you may be traveling with. I don’t think I’m alone with this being easier said than done, am I? Whether you’re a caretaker of children, aging adults, or a growing business, I think you can relate to the challenge it can be to shift a way of being from “It’s okay, I’ll go last” to “I am honoring myself, I’m going first”.
All of these situations – and there’s many, many others – relate to honoring a scheduled promise, with others, with business agreements, with yourself.
In the book Girl Wash Your Face author Rachel Hollis talks about promises to yourself. I haven’t ever really considered events on my schedule as promises to myself. And what’s deeper for me is that I hadn’t consider dates or goals for myself, whether it be a new health activity or reading a book or drinking ½ my body weight in ounces in water or following a business process consistently as a promise! I thought it was just a goal that I wasn’t serious enough about and it wasn’t a big deal for it to slide.
After reframing any intentions that are important enough to me to either make it on my calendar or become a plan that I’ve invested time in formulating, I can see that what I say yes to is a promise to myself. It’s a reflection of me in how these things are executed, whether others see them or only I see them.
Here’s 3 ways to Honor Your Scheduled Promises
1. SAY NO
Be more intentional about what you are doing, where you’re going and who you’re hanging with. When everything on your schedule is aligned with who you are and what you’re doing in the world, it’s much easier to enforce boundaries and honor your scheduled promises. It may take time to weed out and detangle the appointments or people who are on your schedule that you don’t really want there but stay with it. One thing at a time.
When you are in a situation that feels like there’s less at stake, practice exercising your new honoring muscle. For the adults in your house, invite them to serve themselves so you can sit down at the same time they do so you can enjoy a warm meal. Leave washing the dishes to later or ask them to help out. At the start of a phone call with your chatty friend, let her know that you have an appointment at the top of the hour and you’ll only be able to chat with her for the next 20 minutes. Set a time. Honor your promise to yourself for your next appointment/activity.
3. SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOU
Create an appointment in your schedule for reading that book. Leave time in between appointments for breathing, decompressing, reflecting, appreciating and honoring all you do. How you live matters. It speaks volumes about who you are. Be in integrity – with others and with yourself. You are a person too and deserve your own respect. Others watch how you manage your schedule and when you’re late and when you flake out, it speaks about who you are. Be mindful of the promises (appointments) you have made with yourself and with others.
When you’re making commitments, consider using the word promise instead and see if it helps you shift how you show up and follow thru on what you’ve committed to. Honor yourself...respect yourself...the same way you do others. See what you accomplish and how you feel.
Janina Goldberg has been a Process Management Master and Coaching expert for over 25 years! Over the past 5 years, she has refocused her expertise in helping entrepreneurs who want to up-level themselves personally and their business. She really listens to your big goal ideas and helps you distill them into achievable plans with inspired actionable next steps. She also co-creates the (behind-the-scenes) foundational documents for everything business owners do so they feel more empowered as a business owner. Janina transforms the “It’s all in my head” activities that business owners do week after week into organized, centrally accessible documents with step-by-step details and templates for ease in consistent execution.