Promises to Myself

promises“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,                                                                                                                                    But I have promises to keep…”  –  Robert Frost

This is my year for living passionately, for making the commitment and the space in my life to regularly nourish body and soul. This is the year that I’m inviting health and vitality and balance into my life. But even though I know what I need to do to get there, I won’t necessarily stay on track.   It’s easy for me to lose sight of the importance of healthy practices and to just stop doing the things that make me feel good.

This year, though, I really want to keep my promises to myself, and In considering how to do so, I was inspired by Leonie Dawson’s idea for Weekly Rituals.

The idea is that you commit to something only once a week, making it a ritual for that day. I like this approach. I have “all or nothing” tendencies, and once I get out of the habit of doing something regularly, it’s sometimes difficult for me to introduce it back into my life. (Maybe that’s not “all or nothing.” Maybe that’s just lazy!) In any case, that ‘s why I love the idea of weekly rituals.

I figure that if I commit to doing something only once a week and for a minimum of only 10 or 15 minutes, I should be able to keep my commitments to myself. Normally, once I start on something, I keep at it, and 15 minutes soon turns into 30, 30 minutes into an hour and a half. And once I’m doing something once a week, whether it’s writing in my journal or getting out to exercise, I’m likely to do so more often than that.  So here are the weekly promises I’m making to myself:

promisesWeekly Promises to Myself

Mondays: Yoga

Tuesdays: Something artistic (photography, creative writing…)

Wednesdays: Practicing Gratitude

Thursdays: Journalling

Fridays: Meditation

Saturdays: Blogging

Sundays: Hiking

I’ve already had to tinker with this schedule. Friday, it turns out, is not a great day for doing something artistic. It’s the end of the week, I’m tired, and often there is some kind of social event that evening. But I can easily fit in a meditation session first thing Friday morning. And I can be an artist another day. Problem solved.

(As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I’ve built in a second strategy to help me keep my commitment: accountability. You know my plans. Uh oh…)

So I’d better head off now and practice some gratitude! I’ll keep you posted on how well my “Promise” strategy works.

What are the promises you make to yourself? How do you keep them?



About Sally

Poet, seeker, author, mom. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us and learning to trust in the journey.
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6 Responses to Promises to Myself

  1. kingmidget says:

    Very interesting. It is very similar to what I realized I had to do a few months ago. To no longer get frustrated by what I wasn’t able to do, I had to stop biting off more than I could chew. To set my sights lower. So, like you, I am only committing to the idea of small pieces, but making sure they are there, sprinkled through the weeks. My river walks aren’t going to be every weekend, but maybe every other weekend. I found a Thursday night yoga class that I really enjoy, so that’s on my calendar. There’s a lot of reading on the calendar these days as well. What’s lacking is the creative stuff. I’m not writing fiction much these days, but that’s OK. Somewhere along the way I hope to and expect to start again, but until then I’ll survive. And when I start to write again, I’ll just try to make a commitment to a reasonable level of time and effort rather than obsessing about all the time I wish I could write, but can’t. And there are other things. A painting class here or there. Little tastes of freedom and peace and art and love.

    I actually refer to all of this as my non-resolution resolution … to not be so goal-oriented, to not be so focused on tomorrow and next week and try instead to think about today and experience today.

  2. Jerry says:

    There is such a fine balance between positive intentions and setting ourselves up to fail. We all have a different fulcrum point, I think finding our own fulcrum point is the key.

    • I think you’re right. I know that I want to be healthier but I also know that four days a week at the gym is never going to happen (mostly because I hate the gym!) Making smaller promises to myself, and promises to do things that I love, feels like a better way to go.

  3. smilecalm says:

    promising to make promises
    that i will try and keep 🙂

  4. Pingback: Creative Flow | Deliberately Delicious

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