If this graph was about your investment portfolio, you wouldn’t say it’s “flat”. Unfortunately, this is a graph of COVID-19 deaths in the United States and the global trend doesn’t look much different.
Even with these tragic losses, people everywhere are feeling fatigued and worn down by physical distancing. Many are annoyed by being expected to wear masks and are anxious to return to normal activity. Well, pressure exposes cracks. This shouldn’t surprise us. The longer a commitment lasts… the more hardship it requires… the more likely we are to give up.
Here are five tips that can help you keep your commitment through this crisis. Your promise to better humanity, even if that means just yourself, is needed now perhaps more than ever. Fatigue is a siren telling you to rest, not to give up. It is telling you it is time to recommit, it is time to dig in.
1. Increase Access to Resources
Make your promise easier to keep by making the resources it requires more accessible and convenient. For example, let’s say your promise is to take or wear a face mask, but you only have one and honestly forget sometimes. Increase your mask supply. Put one by the front door; one in a purse or pocket; another in the car. If you are committing to a healthier lifestyle, park your bike near the door as a reminder to ride instead of drive; place a calorie counting app predominately on your mobile phone’s home screen; keep vitamins in multiple locations. Check out The Promise Planner worksheet for other best practices.
2. Use Social Media
Intentionally follow multiple social media pages that share tips and tricks that help you keep your promise. If you’re struggling through mental health challenges, are you following pages that share evidence-based advice on that topic? If you’re focused on graduating, is there a page that shares studying habits and tactics? Don’t just follow a page and call it “done.” Take time to really research pages; find support; and litter your feed with positive messages.
Here are because I said I would’s social media pages:
3. Leverage Pre-commitment Today
The Collins Dictionary defines Pre-commitment as “a decision or set of decisions taken in the present in order to limit options in the future.” Put more simply, what can you do to restrict your ability to break your promise in the future? Here are some pre-commitment examples to illustrate this tactic.
- Keep your phone out of reach in your bedroom so you’re less tempted by this distraction when attempting to get good sleep.
- Download a website blocker extension for your internet browser. Add websites that are time-sucks in your life and the website blocker extension will prevent access.
- Say no to the free stuff. Some people may be working towards health goals, but free chips or bread with a food delivery seems too good to pass up. Tell the restaurant not to include the free food items when you order and automatically restrict the possibility of self-control breakdown.
Watch our Personal Development video series on YouTube for more habits and tactics.
4. Start a Virtual Book Club
Don’t let those virtual relationships you started die. Gather up a few friends or family members and start a book club with a personal development book. You aren’t the only one who’s feeling worn down. Help yourself and others through this crisis. And if a whole book is intimidating, just commit to a few chapters. If you need a book to start with, check out the because I said I would book and our accompanying Book Club Guide.
5. Calendar Your Brains Out
Being at home so much has had strange effects on our daily routines. Time is blurring together and it is becoming easier to ignore our responsibilities. Calendar out ALL of your promises, even the little ones. Take all those things that have been stressing you out and lock them away in your calendar. Then say to yourself “I have scheduled a time to handle that later, so no need to worry about that now.” The next step is actually doing those tasks, but at least you have taken the first step.For more tips on calendaring and time management, check out this video.
Bonus Tip #6 Call out the Bystander Effect
The world is in crisis and your promise to help others is critical. But the world is stressful right now and it’s easy to get nervous or uncomfortable in new situations. When a moment needs our support, we sometimes tell ourselves “someone else is going to handle that, right?” and we just walk past or ignore a situation. This is called the Bystander Effect. Learn more about how to conquer the Bystander Effect in this fully animated video we created. If you’re looking for promises you can make to fight COVID-19, check out our library of Individual Action Plans.