Why Breaking Promises to Yourself is the Real Reason You Are Stuck

We deeply value keeping the promises we make to our kids, friends, colleagues, and loved ones yet, without much thought, we are quick to break promises to ourselves. Why is that?

It’s committing to waking up 1 hour before the kids to exercise, then hitting snooze on the alarm because you were tired. Or what about deciding to stay out of the bag of chips our husband brought home, only to tell ourselves we deserved it because we ate well that day?

Would you promise your kids you’d take them to the park and then bail because your favorite episode of Fixer Upper was on? Would you promise your boss your report would be done by Wednesday, and just not do it? Chances are, the answer to both questions is a resounding NO.

The worst promise you can break is the one you make to yourself
— David Kirsch

Whatever the promises are that you’ve made to yourself, you’ll find that when things come up, or you don’t feel good, you will tend to find all the reasons in the world why you can't do that thing. The truth is, keeping promises to ourselves is the greatest form of self-love there is, therefore breaking them, is a form of disrespect.

Want to know how to break the cycle?

Act as if

Breaking habits are hard, so when making a promise to yourself pick only 1 - 2 habits to work on at one time. Habits are created over many years, so creating new ones will take time too. The key is to embody the person who does the thing you’ve promised to do. If it was to exercise 3 times a week, act like a person who does that. They would make sleep a priority, have their clothes prepared the night before, and they wouldn’t skip leg day even if their day was hard.

Find an accountability partner or coach

We’ve already established that we are more likely to keep our promises to others, so use that to your benefit here. Lean on close, supportive friends and family, or hire a coach who will hold you lovingly accountable.

Celebrate your wins

How often do you put down your accomplishments, brush them aside, or refuse compliments? Now is not the time for that. Be sure to celebrate when you keep your promises. This is a big deal so when you’re making progress be sure to celebrate it!

Today I kept a promise I made to myself by going to a yoga class. Three weeks ago I shared this goal with a peer coaching group. When I realized this morning that I would have to say again, “Yeah, I didn’t do that yet!”, I decided it WAS happening. Let me tell you, it was so worth it. I wasn’t great, and certainly my flexibility has suffered since the last time I practiced yoga, but the satisfaction of keeping that promise felt amazing.

How different could your life be if you too, kept your promise?


My name is Tarrah, and I'm a Holistic Health & Nutrition coach, who helps busy stressed out moms find the best ways to fuel their bodies and show up with the energy they need to "do all the things". I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. If you are ready for a change let’s connect for a free consultation to see if we are a fit.

If you’ve not grabbed a copy of my Ultimate Sugar Free, Energy-Balancing Snack Ideas for Busy Moms guide, be sure to get it today. Head on over here and click on the top banner for your copy.

xo Tarrah