How to keep promises to yourself

Today is the day. You've been telling yourself all week you'll get the chores done and have time for you and today is the day that's happening. The chores are almost done, the kettle is calling, and you can't wait to sit down and drink a hot coffee - in peace. Then the phone rings, a friend needs help, or the kids are sick, and suddenly that hot coffee disappears in a puff of smoke and your "me time" is pushed back, and back, and back. Keeping promises to yourself is tough isn't it? There's always so much demand for your time that you can find it difficult to prioritise you. And breaking promises to yourself doesn't really matter does it - I mean who is it hurting right? YOU! That's who it's hurting. And that's why I'm here - to show you how to keep promises to yourself so you'll stop hurting!


We make promises all the time don't we? You promise your kids you'll play with them. You promise your Hubby you'll get him his favourite chocolate when you go to the supermarket. And you always keep those promises. When you tell someone else you'll do something you do it. So why do we think it's okay to break the promises we make with ourselves?

How To Keep Promises To Yourself | Chocolate for the Hubby, done. Play with the kids, done. And yet you always break promises to yourself?

Examples of promises to yourself

A promise to yourself can be anything from getting to drink a hot coffee to having a full spa day away from the kids. Here's just a few...

I will drink at least one coffee before it goes cold every day.
I will spend £10 on a treat for myself.
I will ignore the cleaning so I can watch my favourite TV show today.
I will book that spa day I've been wanting for months.

How To Keep Promises To Yourself | Book that spa day today!
Book that spa day today!

I will keep that chocolate bar for myself.
I will stick to a cleaning schedule so I have more time for me.
I will organise my home so things are easier to sort and I get more time for me.
I won't let the school holidays ruin my routine.
I won't sleep in when I get the chance.
I will sleep in when I get the chance.
I will set up that business I've wanted to try for years.
I will get myself out there because I need it.
I will work hard to make my business work for me.

I could go on forever listing promises to yourself. It's easy because anything you think you should do for you, or that you even think of as a possibility is a promise to yourself. 

Why you think it's okay to break promises to yourself

First of all who is it hurting right? I love this quote from Craig Jarrow, the Time Management Ninja:

It's too easy to break promises with yourself. After all, no one knows except you.

Craig Jarrow

He is so right! When we promise ourselves something the main reason we break it is because we think it doesn't matter. No one else knows we made the promise, we're the only ones that will suffer and we can make up for it later. Except we never do do we?

In Chris Jarrow's blog post 5 ways to keep promises with yourself he says we should take self-promises as seriously as the obligations we take on for others. His post is great, and you should really check it out.

How to keep promises to yourself

So, we've talked about the types of promises you make to yourself, and why you think it's okay to break them. Now it's time to talk about how you can keep those promises to yourself and start to move forward.

  • Imagine it's for someone else. Keeping promises to other people is always easier - so why not just think of your promise in that way. Pretend it is for someone else and you are more likely to keep it!

  • Write your promises down. By writing it down you are not only making it visible but you're also increasing the chances you'll follow through. 

How To Keep Promises To Yourself | Write them down so you can see them everyday.

  • Treat yourself like you would a friend. You would never ditch a friend in her time of need. You would never ignore her plea for help. Think of yourself as your best friend and you'll suddenly realise you're being a bad friend. It's time to build bridges and fix your relationship with YOU.

  • Hold yourself accountable. It may "only" be with yourself but the promises you make are important. Making yourself accountable could change things.

  • Change your beliefs about promises made to yourself. I know you think they're silly sometimes - I mean promising you'll get a hot coffee, is that really a promise you need to keep? But yes, it is. It's not the promise itself but how you think of yourself. You're telling yourself you're unimportant if you can't keep promises - just the same as if it was a friend. Your friend wouldn't stick around for long if you didn't keep promises would they? Promises made to yourself are just as, if not more, important than promises made to others.

The benefits of keeping promises to yourself

Throughout this post I've been talking about how these promises don't really matter. How they're just with ourselves and it's not really hurting anyone, and I've been trying to get across that this isn't actually true. Did you know that by keeping promises to yourself you can actually boost your confidence? I know it doesn't sound plausible but it's true. Here's a few more benefits of keeping promises to yourself.

  • Boosts productivity
  • Boosts happiness
  • Reminds you you are valuable and worthy

The first and best victory is to conquer self.


Taking care of yourself is so important but you often feel like you don't deserve it. By keeping promises to yourself you're reassuring yourself that you are worthy of the time. You work hard for everyone else so you should be able to have some down time.

How To Keep Promises To Yourself | Enjoy that hot coffee and maybe even read a chapter.
Sit, have that fancy coffee and read a chapter.

Once you keep promises to yourself you'll start to see the positive results and will get more done as well as feeling more happy. Isn't that worth it?

How To Keep Promises To Yourself | I cover why we break promises, and how you can keep those promises to yourself, so you can boost your self confidence!

Do you keep the promises you made to yourself?