The other night, I made the decision to wake up early the next morning and go to a 6:30am Crossfit class. I don’t like getting up that early, but I had a morning meeting at work, so going to the 6:30am class was the only way I was going to get a workout in that day. I packed up my workout bag and change of clothes, so I could just get up the next morning and go.
My alarm went off at 6am, and I felt like shutting it off. I was TIRED. I didn’t want to get up and go workout. At that moment, all I wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep. I thought about skipping the workout and putting it off until tomorrow.
Keep Your Promises
Ultimately, I got up and dragged myself to the gym. I’m glad I did. Would it have been the end of the world if I had skipped? No, not really. But in general, I think it’s important to keep the promises you make to yourself. If you say you are going to do something, it’s good to follow through.
Integrity in Relationships
We understand the importance of integrity when it comes to interpersonal relationships. If I tell my wife that I’m going to do something, it’s important that I actually do it. When my actions match my words, trust is built. It doesn’t happen overnight, but little by little, brick by brick, we build a trusting relationship.
The same principle holds true with the commitments I make to myself. If I say I am going to do something, it’s important to follow through. Little by little, brick by brick, I become a man who can be counted on. I can trust myself to do what I say I am going to do.
Self-integrity is important to mental health and well-being. There’s an area of research called self-efficacy, which explores people’s beliefs about their ability to change. Not surprisingly, self-efficacy is a strong predictor of actual behavior.
How is self-efficacy developed? The easiest way to develop self-efficacy is to experience success. Past behavior is a strong predictor of future behavior. This is why it’s important to keep the promises you make to yourself. If I observe myself, time and time again, keeping my commitments, I come to view myself as someone who keeps their commitments. I can be trusted. Because of this, if I need to make a change in my life, I have the confidence that I will be able to do it. No matter what happens, no matter what obstacles I face, I know I will be able to take the actions necessary to move forward. That confidence is priceless.
So, even if it’s something small like waking up at 6am, if you tell yourself you are going to do something, make sure you do it.