Coaching Corner: I would like to change that agreement!
By Marilou Butcher Roth, Master Coach
You may be familiar with the concept of making and keeping agreements, and today let’s look specifically at the agreements (conscious or unconscious) that we make with ourselves.
Take a moment and think about those times when you decided to lose weight, drink more water, change a habit, etc., etc., etc. Your intentions were of course admirable, your desire immense, and then, your life managed to come up with other ideas for you, and your best intentions went by the wayside.
It happens to everyone at some point, and frequently for most. No need for shame or embarrassment. Let’s look a bit deeper to see what is actually at play. You already understand that when you make an agreement, you either need to keep it, or communicate the change. If neither of these two happen, you probably will find yourself feeling not so great, perhaps not even realizing why. The reason you feel this way is that you are out of integrity with yourself.
We unfortunately do not give as much thought to the agreements that we made with ourselves. When you have a desire, and then an internal call to action, (i.e. lose weight, drink more water, etc.), you are actually making an agreement with yourself. And, these agreements need to be handled exactly the same as your agreements with others.
As an example, let’s say you decide to work out three times each week. Oh yeah! You know what you want to do, where you want to do it, and how. You make it through the first week like a champ! Boom! Going into your second week, you make it the first day, patting yourself on the back, knowing you are on a roll. And then IT happens. You get a call that you deem to take priority, right at your scheduled workout time. No big deal you tell yourself. And, yet, it is!
There will always be “things” that show up, you can count on that. If you merely blow off your exercise times, you will find yourself feeling bad at some point, bringing your self judgment to a full blown activity of its own. Just as with agreements with others, when you let yourself down, you will feel lousy.
Don’t despair. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. When you decide to engage in your chosen activities (agreements with yourself), consciously acknowledge that you are, in fact, making an agreement. You may even benefit from writing these down. I _________ agree to _________. There it is, looking you right in the eye. And when (because it will) something comes up, you need to consciously change the agreement. Again, it may be helpful to do this in writing. The change might be to cancel the activity entirely for that day or, perhaps, move the activity to another time.
You then will be accountable to yourself, overflowing with self awareness, and maintaining the integrity that feels soooooo good!