Something like 7 years ago (or more now) I ran across an interesting page/social movement. It’s called “Because I Said I Would” and it really resonated with me. In their words:
because I said I would is a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept.
There are a TON of great resources and examples of how people have infused this “mantra” into their lives, and some really moving ones at that!
Personally, I have always felt like I was/am a “person of my word” and “my word is my bond”, however I frequently do not feel the reciprocity from others. I don’t mean to say that in a “high and mighty” way – just as an observation. I also don’t think it makes someone a “bad” person or a “failure” in some way, truly I think there are more systemic issues typically in play.
For many, the idea of setting boundaries with others is scary, and because of that it’s very easy for their time to get monopolized by the “wants” of other people. As well meaning as any person may be when committing to something, if everyone else’s “needs” get prioritized over what one truly wants to do – then it’s really difficult to be a “person of your word” and stick to the agreements that are made.
Secondly, it’s very hard to take personal pride in keeping one’s word/agreements if inwardly those agreements aren’t being adhered to or honored. Many people who are unsatisfied, unhappy or generally not in their ideal “place” in life might very well break agreements to themselves, and with little regard. It starts with you, always, and if you treat yourself like you don’t matter and your promises can be broken, then of COURSE you won’t be there for others. Start small. Hold yourself accountable and put those things on the calendar that are for YOU. Then – do it, and when you are tempted to say “I don’t need to do that workout” or “I don’t have time for that bath I wanted to take tonight”, you say “because I said I would” to yourself and go keep that promise! Fun things (like baths) or not as fun (like doing dishes), all those are things that you can “practice” keeping your word to yourself, and then let that ability flow outward.
Stick to your word, for yourself and others. Think before you agree to something and see if you TRULY want to do it, if it honors your beliefs, or if it’s something that adds value to your life.