Louis wanted to go home. He was headed out the door from the holiday lunch at Steve’s PaleoGoods HQ when Steve stopped him.
“Coming back for the workout?” Steve asked.
Louis had plenty of stuff he needed to do, including practicing for a video game tournament. A couch and a controller seemed like a lot more fun on a cold December afternoon than a hard workout, a lot of sweat, and little air.
But Louis said yes and came back a few hours later. Why? Because he promised Steve he would. He promised that he would pay attention to his fitness.
A promise. What a difference that can make, when we promise others or we promise ourselves. The simple act of stating that we will do something can cause us to actually do something. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We give our word, and we follow through even on hard things because we gave our word.
On the flip side, however, we know how often some of us break promises. Despite our best intentions, we fall short.
“I’m going to eat clean today. Well, I mean, after this piece of cake.”
“I’ll go to the gym tomorrow. Just too busy today.”
“I promise I’ll call you on Sunday, Mom.”
Whoops. We mean well, but our actions don’t always follow our intentions. That’s understandable. Life is packed with study and work and love and obligations that pile up day after day. And working out is hard! Eating clean takes work!
But here’s the important part: we have to take care of ourselves. We need to eat clean food from good, sustainable sources (like this healthy salmon) and we need to get to the gym. Because if we do these things—if we eat clean and we work out—we will have more energy for everything we want to do in life. Sure, we’ll be healthier and we’ll live longer but, more importantly, we’ll live better while we live.
So this means we need to keep our promises. Like our friend Louis in the photo. He’s a busy kid, but he made a promise to Steve that he would show up to work out. So he did.
What promises can you make today that you can fulfill tomorrow? Or next week? Next month?
Here’s an easy trick that will often help you keep your promises: write them down and have a friend hold you accountable. You can start right now.
- Write three promises you’ll make for your health this week. For example: I promise to work out three times this week. I promise not to eat candy this week. I promise to sleep seven hours every night this week.
- Write them down or send a text to yourself with your three promises.
- Send that text to a friend or give them that piece of paper. Ask them to hold you to your promises. (If they want, do the same for them.)
If you do this, at the end of the week you’re more likely to accomplish your goals. It’s the simple (and yet often forgotten) method of holding ourselves accountable.
We’re here to help each other, and that means helping ourselves, too. Make those promises and keep them. Take charge of your health. You got this!