Everyone makes promises, and everyone breaks them. Sometimes it’s good that people break their promises, as their promise wasn’t a healthy or good one. Other times breaking promises can mean the end of a relationship or serious loss of trust. Promises are important though because they help us plan for the future and even though we live in a world where much is instant, there’s still a need to think beyond the now, and we can’t do everything right now so some things have to wait for the future.
So what can we do to be better about the promises we make?
First, try to make promises that are realistic and you stand a good chance of being able to fulfill. I love dreaming and always have a big goal, as well as more reachable goals, that I’m working towards. Sometimes it’s good to make promises that you think you can accomplish, but aren’t sure, just to prove to yourself that you can go above and beyond. But these types of promises should be made few and far between.
Second, don’t always make promises, sometimes just do stuff. As I said before, promises are important. But sometimes it’s just as effective or even more helpful to just do something right now instead of putting if off. This is especially true when it comes to healthy living and important life changes. If your partner asks you to do something, try for once to do it right then. If your kids want to do something with you, instead of putting it off and promising to do it soon, do it then.
Third, remember no one is perfect. We’re all human, no one can get it right all of the time, and everyone will break promises at least once in their lifetime. If someone you know usually follows through on their promises, forgive them for the times that they don’t. This way, they’ll be more likely to forgive you when you break a promise too.
This week I encourage you to talk with your kids and partner about the importance of promises, and commit to doing your best with your promises to each other.