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Lisbeth Calandrino
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“Cross your heart and hope to die?”


This week I taught a class in goal setting for a customer service department. While doing my research, I came upon some interesting information about goal setting. Yes, you can read the ‘Secret,’ memorize your goals and say you’re going to be the best. But being the best is more than a mindset; it’s a lifestyle. (If you  haven’t read the ‘Secret’, it’s based on the law of attraction. Basically what you think about is what you get and attract.)

If you want to win, you have to act like a winner. What we know about winners is that they don’t give up. They may fear failure, but they continue on their path.

Winners also keep promises to themselves. Breaking a promise is different than not getting your goal. A promise is more emotional. Remember “Cross your heart and hope to die?” A promise is about emotion—you don’t want to break a promise.

Winners look and play the part of the winner. So, maybe what’s more important is deciding you want to be something—make it personal and decide to keep your promise.

For the past 4 years, I’ve been lifting weights at the gym and keeping score. I have dozens of sheets with numbers—how much I’ve lifted and what day of the week. They’re goals. I like keeping score. It makes me feel like I’m doing something.

But, am I really? I seem to have lost my reason for going to the gym. As I look at the numbers, I realize I haven’t pushed myself very much. My excuses are my rotator cuff pain and my old ski injury. I shouldn’t say I haven’t improved or reduced my body fat, because I have, but I’m bored. I found an old Jillian Michaels CD, the 30 Day Shred. I decided to start with the beginners 30 minutes of weight training and aerobics, what a difference. After the workout I felt like I had done something.  Jillian knows what she’s doing. For the first time in a long time I felt I was doing something for myself.

I remember as a kid, my mom broke promises. There was always a good reason why we couldn’t do something, but when you’re small, the reasons don’t matter. Mom seemed to be okay with us not taking our trip to NYC to see my cousins, because I got the measles, but I just cried. (I don’t think we ever went to NYC that year to see them.)

Maybe I don’t make promises, because I can’t depend on myself to keep them?

  • How about some promises to yourself? To be healthy would be a good promise if you want to live longer.
  • Promises to enjoy life and do the things that give you pleasure.
  • Promise to find things to love—a person or a pet or your garden.
  • Promise to become the best mom you can be to yourself.
  • Make a few promises to yourself, and see if they feel different than the goals that you can’t remember.

Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.

Hannah Arendt (1906 – 1975)

Filed under: Business Practices

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