Have you ever made a promise to yourself and never followed through? Let’s be real, we all have. It happens! But we shouldn’t make a habit of it. I recently read a book called “Because I Said I Would.” The author, Alex Sheen, created a social movement to help people hold themselves accountable. The premise of Sheen’s mission centers around “promise cards,” small cards that allow you to put your promise on paper, hoping that if you write it down, you’re more likely to follow through.
What started as a solo project, mailing promise cards out of his home, has turned into over 11.3 million being mailed around the world. The book highlights personal stories and encourages readers to reflect on the promises made to themselves and helps the reader comprehend the importance of something as simple as keeping a promise.
Reading this book made me really sit back and contemplate the message. Can it really be that simple? Sometimes it can, and when that is the case, what is holding us back? Why do we look for any excuse we can find?
Have you promised yourself you’d ask for a raise? Did you tell yourself you’d report the sexual harassment you experienced at work? Did you promise you’d quit burning the candle at both ends and focus on yourself for once? Did you commit to getting more sleep or spending less time on social media?
As we enter into the second half of 2019, I’m challenging you to do what you said you would. Why? Because you said you would. You owe it to yourself. Don’t overthink it or second guess it when it can be as simple as that. So many of us work in service industries but sometimes, we have to put ourselves first. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so make sure you’re following through on those promises to yourself and prioritizing your time and being intentional. Quit waiting for the right time, quit waiting for someone else to give you permission and quit making excuses.
I filled out a promise card at the beginning of 2019 and keep it where I can see it daily. It simplifies things and helps ground me when I’m doubtful of my goals or second guessing my reason. Some things I’ve done well with, while some I’ve struggled with. Some I’ve accomplished and some I’ve failed. If you don’t trust yourself to follow through, put your goals on paper and then ask another friend to join in or find an accountability partner.
You can find out more about Sheen’s mission and download your own set of promise cards on becauseisaidiwould.com.