Follow-through is one of the most powerful and trust-building tools in your time-finding tool box. Especially at this time of year, when so many of us have made resolutions – what we do next is important on a multitude of levels.
When we make resolutions we are basically making promises to ourselves. And our follow-through (or lack thereof) impacts our confidence, our self-trust, our expectations and – at a core level – our relationship with ourselves.
So, What Happens When I Don’t Follow-Through?
You might want to say that it doesn’t really matter. After all, you’re the only one who knows, right? And it wasn’t that important anyway … or so you tell yourself.
Actually, I’d argue that it is very important – maybe even more important when you’re the only one who knows. This ‘small’ matter of follow-through boils down to a big message you give yourself about how much you can count on YOU! It speaks to your integrity. Not your ‘public’ integrity, but the integrity of your quiet, private heart.
When you don’t follow-through on your promises to yourself, you undermine self-trust and this saps you energy and confidence, as well as your fundamental sense of empowerment in your life.
From a time management perspective, lack of follow-through leaves you less focused, efficient, and effective. You simply aren’t with yourself.
Okay, I See That Follow Through is Important … What Next?
Focusing on follow-through is where you begin to feel, in a very every-day-way, the positive power of promise-keeping.
Let’s say that you’ve resolved to get more exercise. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, these months after the turning of the year can be a challenging time to start and maintain an exercise regimen.
Now that you know it’s important to keep your promise, how are you going to start and keep it going? Collecting ideas and information helps, so following are some tips. Keep in mind that the key is to find what works for you, and then DO IT!
I recently read a timely article titled “How Can I Keep My Exercise Routine In the Winter?” that offered some interesting ideas for keeping to your routine, no matter what the weather. Mindset and motivation are important, as is having the right equipment.
Another article (this from the NY Times) offers advice such as:
… find something you can do indoors, plan to exercise with a friend or do something — like update your playlist — that can make your workout more fun.
In addition, the importance of mindset is again highlighted:
“If you are one of those people who are going to back off, you are just going to have to find something to make you do it,” Dr. Pivarnik said. “It has to be a behavioral thing in your head. It’s not going to happen just because the weather is nice, you have to think about it.”
Follow-Through: What’s The Big Deal?
Follow-through provides you with benefits on many levels. First, you receive the concrete benefit of the goal you had planned to accomplish. Whatever your resolution or promise had been, you must have valued it – so following through gives you value in return.
But the even deeper benefit that you receive is the enhanced self-trust that follow-through builds. You come to know that you can count on yourself and believe your own promises, no matter what.
Your relationship with yourself becomes more integrated and meaningful as your thoughts, promises, and deeds are in sync.
And the other wonderful thing about follow-through is that it works as a trust-builder, whether the promise you’ve made is a large or a small one. In fact, I strongly suggest you start with small, doable promises and then keep building on the positives.
With yourself as a trusted and trustworthy partner, your confidence soars – and the sky is your only limit.