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Keeping Your Commitments

Living a Better Life® (from the editor's desk)
by Michelle Jones

It happens often. We make commitments with the best intentions, we make plans, then something happens.

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Our plans might include continuing our education, losing weight, exercising more, saving money, finally making those home repairs that have been on the "To Do" list for much too long, spending more time with the family, getting more rest... you name it!

The best part about growing older is being able to understand life a little better. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Even just a few years ago I would have agreed with the common thought that we have a difficult time keeping commitments because we just don’t have willpower. But not any more.

Instead, I would like to propose the idea that we all have areas in our lives where we DO keep our commitments.

Which means... we ALL have willpower.

So what happens to throw us off-track?


We are busy. Probably too busy.

We get tired, emotional, stressed-out, unfocused. Not to mention that our comfortable lives; with dishwashers, microwaves, cell phones and computers, may have spoiled us. Just a bit. Maybe we think everything should be easy and instantaneously acquired or accomplished. Maybe we don't even realize, or believe, that those commitments also require a lot of W-O-R-K.

In addition, with today's modern family lifestyles and everyone going in different directions all at once, we are so overcommitted we probably can’t even keep track of our commitments, let alone stick to them!

Go ahead, test my theory. Open a blank notepad and write down how many commitments you are trying to keep right now.

The larger your family is, the longer your list will probably be. Though it's probably safe to say, we all have quite a list.

Now, the question is, which of those commitments are the ones we are going to keep? (Assuming none of us perfect and able to keep them all.)

The answer is simple. The ones that are OUR priority. And everyone's priorities are different.

Here are a few examples:

If your job is a priority, you will keep that commitment and be successful. You’ll give your full effort each day, approach your job with a good attitude, and always be on the lookout for ways to make yourself more valuable to your company.

If your family is a priority, you will keep that commitment and always be there for them. You'll let them know you love them, all the time, and spend quality time with them. If you have children you'll spend one-on-one time with each one as often as you can. If you’re married you will love for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health.

If your household finances are a priority, you will keep that commitment and do the work it takes to manage it well. You'll keep track of your finances by paying your bills on time, creating a budget, getting out of debt, and starting a savings or investment plan.

The same goes for everything else on your list. You are much more likely to be able to keep your commitments if they are your priority.

The only things on your list that you will not be able to remain committed to are the areas that are not a priority for you.

My column this month is a great example. In fact, this month's entire issue shows my commitment to you, our readers at BetterBudgeting. You see, my family is being transferred out of state and I’ve got moving boxes all around me, even under my feet as I type this now. While most of my life is currently on hold, I'm still here for you!

One more thing to consider. Don’t forget to list Spiritual Growth along with all of your other priorities. Personally, I don’t think I’d be able to keep any of my commitments without this one being right at the top.

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Copyright © 2003 by Michelle Jones. All rights reserved.

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