How I make promises to myself to deal with personal life challenges

Now that I am in my 30s, I have gained much more knowledge and experience regarding how the world works, what it means to be a live in this crazy world and my own personal life living in it, with its own benefits and challenges. Knowledge and experience the naive 20 year old version of me would not have even grasped, and I am sure when I am 40 - I probably say the same thing about me now.

One of the things I have learned that is that everyone has challenges in their lives. Some were born with them and some were given to them during the course of their lives. Some call it fate, some call it a religious act, while some just simply say c'est la vie and call it bad luck. Everyone deals with their own challenges in their own way.

The older I have become, the more aware I have become of my own personal challenges in life. Here is an example;

I was born with a chronic version of atopic dermatitis. It's not life threatening and I am grateful it isn't something more serious, but it's a personal challenge for me keep it constantly in check by treating my skin. In fact, most often I ignore my responsibilities to myself to constantly treat my skin because treating it constantly is so, soo mundane for me.

But I should. I should put in more effort in it, because I know if I don't, it can grow and become a larger problem and impact more important areas of my personal life. And I am sure that each and everyone in this world has a similar challenge in their lives. Something they know they should do - or avoid - to improve themselves.

So here is how I deal with life challenges by creating life guidelines

I simply make a promise to myself.

A promise, I should always try and put an effort to maintain. Like all other promises in life. It's that simple. But instead of just promising myself to do X, I try and flush out the Y (pun intended) as well.

So I kinda have a template I personally use. It looks like this. I answer three questions:

  1. What I promise myself
  2. What I really want to achieve
  3. And why I want to achieve it

Basically it is answering what, how and why. But it is, according to me, very important to be truthful with yourself answering these questions. Because it is a promise to yourself, and only to yourself, to deal with challenge in your life, so my advice is to think deeply about the answers.

The promise ends with a date and a signature field. For me, its a way to make the promise more.. real..? More.. significant? More.. persistent? I'm sure you understand - That I am doing some kind of a "spiritual" promise to myself. So I print it out, sign it to seal the deal and put in the box which contains important life-defining junk. So, now its a promise to myself, I hope I never ever need to break.

So regarding my atopic dermatitis challenge I have in my life, here is the promise to myself:

Maybe its silly. Maybe super weird. But, for me, it's a way to make promises to myself, not only dealing with personal challenges, whether its stopping bad habits, or starting new good habits, but to try and grow and improve to become a better person. And that's, in the end, what's most important.


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