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Thread: Promises for yourself - what do you do to keep them?

  1. #1
    filling some space Array UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Sep 2007

    Default Promises for yourself - what do you do to keep them?

    I have alternately good/bad self-discipline, and I can't always figure out whether I'll stick to some decision I've made, or if I'll even remember it.

    I've figured out a good way to make me think of my commitments seriously. I've learned to take written contracts seriously and to the letter. So if I decide some form of action or behaviour is needed, and I decide that it's possible to keep up such action yet I'm bound to change opinions about it, I write a written "contract" for myself what to do.

    I just decided that I am able to devote 40hrs/week to work and equal amount to personal development. So I wrote down my decision, defined "work" and "development" and decided planned and unplanned time for each of them.

    I styled my decision in the form of employment contract to keep it memorable

    I've heard that other people tell about their decisions to everyone to put social pressure on them to keep them.

    Others just decide what they do and then do it, others dont decide and they just do what they do. Still others start by making an investment towards the promise, i.e. they buy a gym card for 2 years, so they have invested for their future health.

    What do you do to keep promises for yourself?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array INTJMom's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    Typically, if I want to force myself to do something, I have to think of someone I respect, tell them what I intend to do, then ask them to keep me accountable by checking up on me occasionally. Usually this is enough motivation to do what I need to do.

    Sometimes my internal motivator is enough. I just decide that I have had enough of my bad behavior and I want to change. I have to be tough with myself.

    Having a deadline is a good motivator, too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array cafe's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    As soon as I commit myself to something there is sure to be something that comes up to make it some feat of monumental effort in order to make it happen.

    If I really want to do something, I try to cut it into small pieces and reward myself for doing the pieces. Like, if I do X, I can go buy a cheap paperback.

    Sometimes I will just try to make the task enjoyable for me. I listen to audiobooks while I do mundane things I do not enjoy doing. It makes it almost like I'm not doing them. I'm just goofing around while passively "reading."

    But I generally have poor discipline, so I'm no expert on making myself do things.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Array snegledmaca's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    I have no way of actually making myself do things. I only do things that feel natural, as a natural progression of myself. If something doesn't feel natural I don't do it. Well, I try not to do it. Sometimes life just doesn't let you. I then devote all my free resources to leave that situation and regain my comfort. And I can't adopt decisions that haven't come naturally. If people try to force me into decisions I resist passionately. But the weirdest thing is that when I'm really forced to do things they become easy. They become natural. I even start enjoying them. It's like that saying, what you are forced to do is not hard.

  5. #5
    pathwise dependent Array FDG's Avatar
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    Aug 2007


    I only do things I want. Some people might think that the things I do actually require "a lot of willpower". But it's not true, I just like doing them, even if they are "tiring" or "difficult".

    others dont decide and they just do what they do
    That's how I behave. I never felt like my life really had direction, I just exploited the circumstances I was in to my maximum benefit.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array substitute's Avatar
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    May 2007


    Tell other people. Then I feel obliged to see them through otherwise everyone will point and laugh and say "ha, you can't keep to anything!" and next time I say anything they'll be like "Oh sure, that's what you said last time!"

    Other than that, I'll second what FDG said - I enjoy difficult challenges and exploiting opportunities. People say I have a lot of willpower but I'm just doing the stuff I want most of the time and don't really feel like I'm having to fight against myself.
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  7. #7


    Even though they have different methods, everybody just does what they want to do. If you're not naturally doing what you want to do, you either don't really want it, or your desire for it not strong enough yet.

    To turn a simple idea into a commitment, I think it's useful to:

    -Jump right in and take the first step (or the next step).
    -Visualize the results.
    -Look for progress I've already made and enjoy it.
    -Pretend like I'm farther ahead than I really am.

    I've never been one to make sacrifices. And I've never tried to entice myself with rewards for hard work. My reward is the way that I do things. I play for the glory.

    Let me know if your new idea works for you. I think it will help. The hardest part is just staying focused on one thing when you want EVERYTHING!

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Array Athenian200's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    Well... I just think of all the negative things that will happen if I don't keep it, and keep reminding myself of them, until I frighten myself into doing what I promised myself.

  9. #9
    scourge Array miss fortune's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Well... I just think of all the negative things that will happen if I don't keep it, and keep reminding myself of them, until I frighten myself into doing what I promised myself.
    exactly what I end up doing for motivation!!!

    "self, do you want to go to the gym?"
    "ugh- not really- sounds like work"
    "yeah, but if you don't do that you'll end up weighing 800 lbs and being lifted out of your house by a crane on the evening news and may be featured on the Jerry Springer show"
    "well, that would be a bit of an embarassment!"
    "plus- you have a physical test for a job coming up- you don't want to end up as a transient bum whose organs are harvested when they sleep at night by some unscrupulous person do you?"
    "umm... not really- I kind of like my organs- I guess I'll go to the gym"

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