If you have ever played golf, you know the follow through in your swing is essential to a successful finish. Otherwise, the golf club would slow down at impact, distance would be lost and the golfer would be inconsistent. This is no different than follow through in business.
What you actually do matters so much more than what you say you are going to do. Anyone can over-promise, but the follow-through is what will create lasting success. What is your business swing follow through? Are you keeping your word? When you tell someone you are going to do something, do you deliver or do you find yourself falling short?
Often times we over commit ourselves in both our personal lives and in business and before we know it we have to cancel here and there or even forget where we made commitments all together. The first thing you can do to make sure you follow through on what you say is…
Never agree to or promise something unless you are 100% sure you can do it. When you say “yes” it is in many ways a contract. From simply telling someone you will call him or her back to completed a project on deadline, you are essentially making a promise to someone. They are putting trust in you that you will do what you say you will. So say, “yes” only to the things you are sure about. Things you know you can make happen and things that you want to do. Not finishing a task is far worse than saying “no” upfront.
So how do we combat over commitment and a lack of follow through? The four easy tips can be implemented staring today.
It is OK to say “No” and to say it often! Being upfront and honest that you cannot or are not interested in doing something commits you to your current schedule and tasks. “No” means that you not only respect yourself and your time, but the other party involved at well. They will be much happier to know you are being honest, rather than being disappointed when you do not stick to your word.
Use and keep a schedule. Anytime you say “yes,” put it in your calendar and even set a reminder for it. This will ensure that you get each task done. Filling your schedule with something every hour of the day will likely lead to you getting off course. Account in your schedule for set backs and other commitments that may pop up throughout your day.
Don’t make excuses. Life happens and those events are not always within your control. When you make a commitment, you cannot always account for everything. If happenstance forces you to break a promise, own up to it, even if it is not your fault. Do not offer an excuse, just offer to make things right.
Be honest. The truth is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow, but honesty speaks volumes about you in your personal and professional life. Telling the truth makes life easier and more productive. And yes this even includes being honest with yourself!
Sometimes the most unreasonable expectations are the ones we put on ourselves.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreement: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, very first agreement is being “impeccable with your word”. He notes that although this is one of the hardest of the four to honor, it is truly one of the most important because through words we manifest and create everything in our lives.
Ruiz said, “The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human, it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you.”
By being honest and following through on your words with actions, is the secret to success. Just like in your golf swing, you will make better contact and have further drive if you follow through. People will want to have you as part of their team, as a partner in business or even just have you around in their personal life. People like having those around that they can count on. Following through requires a little more thought and planning, but in the long run doing what you say you will and being honest makes you a more trustworthy person. You become an asset to every situation.
© 2012 Inspired Living, LLC
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Keri Murphy and the Inspired Living team is on a mission to empower people to use their unique talents in a way that allows them to Dream, Live and BE all that is possible through speaking, coaching, celebrity interviews and original on-line content. Get Inspired at inspiredliving.tv