I’ve had some tough conversations over the course of the semester regarding commitments, obligations, and following through with responsibilities. These conversations have been with others and also with myself. I’ve had an inner dialogue that is positive at times and not so positive at others. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from these conversations, and something I make a conscious effort to work on every day, is to do what you say you will do. Living a busy and full life has to be balanced enough that you can do something well and give things the time and attention they deserve.
“Do what you say you will do” has become sort of a mantra for me. I strive every day to be a better person, to do the right thing for the people in my life who do so much for me, and although I’m not perfect, I do try to be reliable. I don’t like to let people down, and try my hardest to keep my promises. Your ability to deliver when other people ask things of you speaks greatly to your character as a person, and is a critical skill for every working professional to learn. Some ways you can help make sure you always follow through:
Don’t agree to or promise anything you aren’t 100% sure you can deliver on: Commit fully to everything you say you will do. Saying yes is a contract and means that you will dedicate the time and energy necessary to complete the task.
Learn to say no (and often): Turning down tasks or projects you simply don’t have the time or the passion for reaffirms your commitment to those things that do matter. It’s respecting your time as well as the time of other people.
Plan your time and keep a schedule: Love your calendar! Give yourself constant reminders of deadlines and obligations to ensure that you don’t come up short or forget something completely. This also allows you to follow through on all of your obligations because you can give each of them adequate time and attention by planning ahead.
Stop making excuses: Nobody wants to be given the run around. Sometimes things happen; it’s a part of life that everyone can relate to on some level. Don’t make excuses; offer to make it right.
Don’t be afraid to be honest: Sometimes the truth isn’t what people want to hear. It’s still the right thing to say, as long as you say it in the right way. You want the reputation of somebody who is truthful and reliable, not somebody who tells people what they want to hear. Trust me, it’s the way to go. That way, you never get caught in a lie.
I’ve made some significant progress on following through with my commitments, but I still have a long way to go. A big factor in maintaining my motivation is staying self-confident and rewarding myself for wins big and small. I will continue to push myself to be a better, more reliable person, because not only is it the right thing to do, it feels good. It benefits my self esteem and benefits others while bolstering my track record and allowing others, as well as myself, to see my full potential.
My advice to you for the day: do what you say you will do!
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