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Serious Promises

by Randall Craig on May 27, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational, Time management

Tagged as: , , ,

Have you ever made a promise to yourself, and then not kept it? Maybe you swore to yourself that if “it” happens one more time, then you will do something about it. Or that “Next Year”, things will be different (yet they never are). Or maybe you promised to lose weight, spend more time with your family, change your job, or volunteer in your community.

All of these promises can’t be kept for one simple reason: we aren’t serious when we make them. When we are dissatisfied, or when we are faced with a disappointment, we feel the need to do something; unfortunately, that something is usually a false promise to ourselves. Once we make that promise, we are off the hook.

Unfortunately, when we habitually make false promises, then break them, we slowly grind away our self-confidence.

A more effective way to deal with the stress of disappointment or dissatisfaction is to buckle down, give yourself some breathing room, and resolve to look at the issue dispassionately at a specific time later. Then commit to an activity at the time you later consider the issue. Throwaway promises made when you’re under pressure are rarely kept.

This week’s action item: There is no reason to wait for a time of disappointment or dissatisfaction to make a personal promise to yourself. This week, choose one thing that you’ve been thinking about for some time, and then calendarize at least one action item immediately. If you’re going to make promises to yourself, you may as well keep them.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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