People always want to know the “secret’’ of transformation.  They want to know what exercise or nutrition plan will unlock the magical door to a lean and healthy body.  Well, we’ll tell it to you straight: Looking to transform through diet and exercise is like making your way through a house of mirrors. There’s confusion everywhere, but one path that is always true. And that path has nothing to do with diet and exercise.

Once you shift your focus to see the hidden path, everything changes.  Let’s talk about integrity for a moment.  What is integrity?  It can mean being honest and having moral principals, and it can also mean a state of being whole and workable.

Think about your car. If your tires have air then they have integrity, they work and can take you where you want to go.  If they’re flat then they lack integrity.  Your tires aren’t bad or wrong, they just aren’t whole and workable.  Driving with flat tires will not get you where you want to go.

So, when we talk about integrity, it’s sort of a blend of those 2 meanings.  Quite simply, integrity is doing what you say you will do.  It is being honest, and it is being whole and workable.  When you make and keep promises to yourself consistently, your life becomes more workable, and you start going places!

“I promise” is a pretty common phrase. But what does it actually mean? It simply means you’ll do (or not do) what you say you’ll do (or not do). When you make a promise to someone else—you give them your word—you know you would move mountains to keep that promise.

But what about the promises you make to yourself?

Are these promises any different than those you make to others?

They shouldn’t be.

In fact, the promises you make to yourself should be the most important you keep because you are so, so important and others depend on you to be your best self.

Let’s be honest: While you’d never think of breaking a promise made to others, you’re often not as good at keeping those you make to yourself.

Why is this?

Besides the fact that we often put ourselves and our needs and goals on the bottom of the list, there are some other reasons. To put it simply, there are two types of promises: those you keep and those you don’t. The main reason promises fit into the latter category is because they’re too big—they’re inflated. Some examples:

I will do thirty minutes of cardio every morning.
I will never drink soda again.
I will never eat pizza again.

These types of promises are doomed from the get-go. There is no way they can be kept.

Another example of inflated promises is when you make too many promises to yourself at once, like if you tried to keep all three of the above promises. At one time.

Get the picture? Something will always happen to derail these types of promises, and that’s life.

So how do you make promises you can keep 100% of the time?

It’s actually a pretty simple process.  You make a single promise to yourself—a promise that’s virtually unbreakable—and you keep it. Then you make another promise, and you keep that one. And so on. Look at it this way:

Each promise you make is a brick in the personal transformation you’re building.
Each promise you keep is the mortar that holds these bricks together, so your transformation foundation gets stronger with each promise kept.
Yes, we hear you: “That sounds great, but how do I make promises I can keep no matter what? I’ve got this, and this, and this that get in the way. Life happens!”

Here’s the secret: Your first promise to yourself—the first brick in your transformation foundation—must be so small that it’s actually doable, even when life gets in the way, because it will. And that’s a promise!

Here’s an example:

When people ask how much cardio to do to burn fat, our answer is, “Five minutes.” Whatever activity you choose, do it for five minutes. That’s all. This is a promise you can keep every single day. And if those five minutes lead to five minutes more, that’s even better! But the promise is for only five minutes. And it’s not about the cardio—it’s about keeping that promise you made to yourself. That’s the key!

Here’s another helpful hint:

Successful promise keepers say their promises and goals out loud, and they also write them down. Share yours with those who love and support you, and you’ll be surprised how quickly these supporters become your biggest fans who will move those mountains to help you keep the promises you’ve made to yourself. It’s awesome!
So what do you do when you break a promise to yourself?  You don’t quit, that’s for sure. There’s definitely a learning curve when you’re perfecting your ability to keep promises to yourself.  When you break a promise to yourself, follow this process: Confess to someone about the broken promise, Reassess to ensure the promise you made is a SMART promise/goal, and Recommit to something more attainable.  Confess, Reassess, Recommit.  That’s it!

Remember: Each promise kept—each brick laid—builds a strong foundation of self-esteem and confidence that is rock-solid and indestructible.

Make that first promise to yourself and lay that first brick in your own transformation foundation.

And do it today!