Here’s What 9 Months of Small Daily Promises Did For Me.

I committed to daily promises beginning in March of 2020. It made a year that was difficult for our world, turn into a year of personal successes for me.

My Why

In April of 2020 I started getting pretty annoyed by the lull of energy I was experiencing. I would get plenty of sleep each night (at least 8 hours, sometimes more) but was waking up tired. Then I’d get super tired again at midday. 

At the same time I had started learning more about breathwork by way of the book “Sober Curious”. In the book Ruby Warrington talked about being able to create our own energy versus looking to outside sources for energy. 

As I started to look at where in my life I could create my own energy instead of chasing energy-hits through consumption, a lot of positive changes happened for me. 

The beginning of many energy-giving habits came out of a simple practice. With this practice the habits added up faster than I anticipated with a reach that touches all parts of my life. 

The Daily Promises

I had to sit down and commit to myself to a series of small daily promises. Here are the first few I did… 

  • Monitor and manage my blood sugar spikes and crashes by way of food intake. 
  • Which led to kicking caffeine to the curb and finding satisfying alternatives. 
  • Once that was solidified I focused on protein with every meal
  • And finally, once I was feeling pretty solid in the nutrition habits, I picked up a daily breathwork practice

On paper, any one of these can seem like a lot. That is why I broke them down into what I could do daily. I also do not over-commit to any more than one new habit at a time. And lastly I approach them with curiosity.

How did they work for me? 

  • Awake earlier with energy and rarely need a midday nap
  • Lost 25 pounds
  • Exercise more frequently and I have improved many measurements in the gym (Woohoo, 4 Unbroken Strict Pull-Ups!)
  • My resting heart rate and heart rate variability have improved
  • I feel a lot more joy

How to Choose Your Daily Promise

A lot of people come into the gym (especially this time of year) looking for a change in their life but are also really low in confidence in their ability to make that change. There are two reasons that they have lost confidence in themselves. 

  1. They took on more than they could realistically complete in the past and stopped therefore undermining their word to themselves, reinforcing the fatalistic idea that whatever they try just doesn’t work. 
  2. They had not yet found their why for making the change.

Each new habit I take on, I have to sit down a moment and decide:

  • How much does this habit actually mean to me?
  • How would I feel if I broke the promise to complete it?
  • What am I willing to commit to practice this habit? 
  • Is my plan for execution realistic?

Steps to Succeed in Making and Keeping Daily Promises:

  1. Find your Why (mine was to create energy)
  2. Choose one small habit that you can practice every single day
  3. Create the plan to practice that habit
    1. Do I have the resources? (time, equipment, space)
    2. Are there any events or prior commitments coming up that I need to consider?
    3. What support do I need? Who do I need to communicate to around me to be able to keep this daily promise?
    4. What is the minimum practice I will do each day? Over what amount of time (100 days is a good amount to really form a new habit)
    5. What is plan B if plan A doesn’t work? (Start over? Adjust the practice?)
    6. What time during the day will I complete my practice? 
    7. Is there anything I have to say ‘No’ to in order to say ‘Yes’ to this?
    8. What do you need to stay accountable? (A journal? a tracker? A coach?)
  4. Reflect on the practice that you chose and start the process again with your newfound habit and knowledge in place. 

The Payoff of Building Your Confidence

By completing these steps and keeping your promises to yourself, you are building back your honor and integrity to yourself. With each fulfillment of a personal promise your energy will increase making it easier and more pleasurable to complete it again. 

There is a lot to be said for building confidence in yourself and your ability to honor your personal commitments, but it is also important to approach this practice (especially as you are learning) with a lot of curiosity, grace, and kindness for yourself. 

You didn’t complete the promise each and every day? …Ok, learn from that and start again with your new-found knowledge! Writing it down as a failure and believing everything you try isn’t going to work takes the power out of your hands. If you aren’t going to advocate and fight for yourself, who will? This is your time to decide what is worth fighting for.

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