Rewards for keeping commitments

Everyone of us has had a time when someone promised to do something for us and then did not keep that promise. How did it make you feel? Frustrated, angry, let down? We have also experienced, hopefully more often, the times when promises were kept and our feelings were the exact opposite. We were relieved, happy, and felt like we knew someone we could rely on.

If we are a young child and we promise mom and dad that we will clean our room and then we keep that commitment – without being asked to do it again and again – your parents are feeling very happy about you being so responsible and trustworthy. Believe me as a child this is a good thing for parents to feel this way!

At the same time when we keep a promise like that we can say to ourselves that we know we are dependable and that we can reach our goals, because we stick to our commitments. Guess what? The same is true for adults! The people around us begin to trust us and see us as leaders and reliable when we keep our commitments. It makes a big difference.

If we break our commitments though others may not feel that they can trust us, they may be upset with us and it will impact the lives of many other individuals. It also has a big impact on ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. When we keep promises to ourselves there is a pride and feeling of accomplishment. Here is a quick example. When it is time for me to do my work out I sometimes do not feel like doing it. Have you ever felt that way? But as soon as I get started it is OK – but when I am done I feel so good about accomplishing a task that I committed to my instructor and have made known to the entire community I would do.

You will feel the same when you keep a commitment to yourself and to others.

Read about Mr. Joe’s commitment to the Ultimate Black Belt Test that started in January 2009 and will be completed with the final test in February 2010. He recently committed to the “Live Like a Champion” journey that begins in January 2010. His journal is My Journey.

Teamwork – making contributions

images-2Everyone of us is on a team. Our most important team we are on is our family. Mom, Dad and all the children are teammates. So what are we bringing to the team? What are the strengths we bring that make the team better? It is very seldom that we see everyone is good at the same skills. That is what makes a team so strong. What I may be weak at, may be your strength. When we pool the strengths of each of us then we are able to accomplish tasks and goals that would have been much harder if we had tried to do them by ourselves. At the same time a team can make us better at skills too. You may not be real good at organization, but if you watch and listen to someone on your team who has that skill, you will find that you will improve in that skill set also. You may not ever be as good as your teammate but you will remember that you have your own set of skills to bring to the team. Appreciating our own strengths and the skills of others will help a team be stronger too. There is no reason for us to pretend that we are not good at a skill, thinking that others may like us better or we do not want others to think we are showing off. At the same time we do not want to quit a team, or stop playing full out, because someone is better at a skill that we wished we had. Remember, Team is about pooling our skills to accomplish a common goal using the skills of many. When we can share an accomplishment with others it is more enjoyable and will get done faster than if we tried to do it by ourselves.

Successful goal setting

Our goals must be about us.  They cannot be about others or what we would like to see them do or accomplish.  When we know the results we want and why we want them then that is our goal.
Then we should ask ourselves if this goal is Real.  Is it possible to reach this goal?  There is a difference in setting high goals for ourselves and setting a goal that is not attainable.  I also believe that after we set a high goal that it is good to break it down into smaller chunks.  If we want to lose 40 pounds this year, maybe we break it down into 2 or 3 month increments.  Then we can see the progress we are making and get the good feeling of accomplishment.
Finally what is the time frame for reaching the goal.  is it this week or this month, year, 5 years or 10 years.  Goals are only dreams if they do not have a time table set to them.  When we have a time table we can then start setting smaller goals so we can reach our bigger milestones.
What is your goal?  Set a goal for your school, home, job or your physical training.  Let me know what it is and I will be here to help you reach that goal.  That is one of my goals this year – to help others reach their goals.

Not just about test scores

This week the reports came out showing improvement in the academic test scores across the State of Maryland.  While that is good, and the closing of the gap of test scores across the board of students is a good accomplishment, we should remember that education is not just about test scores.  Nor is it about one’s physical prowess as a sports star, or how many toys you will be able to collect after getting this education.
It is about children growing up to be happy, productive and useful members of society.  Growing into adulthood with a love for life, with compassion and empathy for others.  Our goal here at Balanced Life Skills is to support every child’s most important teacher, their parents, reinforcing all of the lessons they hope for their child to learn.