My Annual Letter of Commitment With Myself

Posted on January 3, 2012

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Caution: The following is a serious post. For those followers of my blog who prefer humor, read no further. Just hold your breath and a new post will magically appear tomorrow which will make me sink to new lows as a human being and will make your life worth living again.

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Many years ago,  I trashed New Years resolutions as being too difficult, too vague, having no accountability. Instead, I created a “Letter of Commitment,” a  contract between me and myself, with reasonable steps, clearly defined, and having built-in accountability.  Here was a road map I would use for the year, one that would both inspire me and would give me feedback about my journey.

I chose five areas of my life: health and fitness, professional, family, spirituality, and physical accomplishment.  The five areas chosen were important to me.  Other areas might be important to other people.  At the top of the page was my overall declaration for the year, something like “I am a powerful, loving, courageous woman.  I commit to bringing the following five areas of my life to a higher level this year.”

Then I took each area.  Each area had its own declaration. For example, health and fitness was “I am a healthy, fit woman. I feed myself nourishing food, attend the gym regularly, and will have lost 10 lbs by the end of the year.”

Under that, I divided the year into sections.  The first said “By March, I will have signed up for one class at the gym, gone to the gym three times a week to walk on the treadmill, eliminated sugary baked goods from my diet.  I will have lost 2 lbs.”

That continued with “By June…,” “By September…,” “By December…”  The point is that by the end of the year, I was eating in a healthier way, had dropped pounds, and was going to the gym regularly.

This isn’t to say that I achieved all of my goals in their entirety.  But by the end of the year, I could say that in all five areas I had chosen, I did, indeed, make measurable progress.  In a couple areas, I met my actual goal.  I could look at myself and say, “I am one year older than I was last year, and I have taken myself to a higher level.” That, for me, is one definition of “getting better with age.”

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