One thing I’ve noticed about people is a huge lack of follow through. It’s really a simple concept. You say you’re going to do something, so you do it. Now, there are instances where things happen. Your tire goes flat, you are completely exhausted and fall asleep, or something else unavoidable crops up. Shit happens, and that’s completely understandable. What’s not understandable is when you just choose not to do something because you don’t feel like it, or it doesn’t sound good anymore.
I’m big on follow through, whether it’s at my house, or at my job, or with my friends. In a job, it’s a little easier to be held accountable because you have clients or your boss waiting for you to complete your task, and there are consequences if you don’t actually follow through. In life, there are consequences, but they usually aren’t as severe as disciplinary action, or losing your job because you didn’t do something.
I believe in lists. I love making to-do lists for each weekend, and lists of goals, and even pro/con lists when it comes to making a decision. Lists help keep me organized, and stay on top of things. They also help me stay accountable with following through on things I said I would do. So let’s say, paint the bathroom was on my list. I don’t hate painting, but bathrooms are tricky with all the tight corners, so it’s not my most favorite thing to do. Well, my bathroom has been this hideous lime green, and I hate it. It’s small and cramped, and the color makes it feel even smaller. So this weekend, I got up early Saturday morning and went out and bought paint and primer, and all the other tools I needed to paint. It went on my to-do list Friday, and it’s something I said I would do. So Saturday afternoon, I emptied everything out, and started painting. I figured, it’s paint and primer, it’ll cover in about two coats, can’t be that bad. Boy was I wrong, that room took FOUR coats of paint, and some touch ups near the ceiling and door. It was absolutely exhausting, and I could have spent my Saturday night doing something else, something that was actually fun. But, I said I would paint the bathroom, and gosh darn it, I was going to get that room painted. It wasn’t fun, my back is killing me today, but it’s painted and that horrible green is a thing of the past. I followed through on what I said I would do, even though I really really would have loved to just walk away and leave it. But that’s not how it works.
Same thing goes with promises made to friends, family, etc. It’s frustrating when your friend says they’re going to help you with something whether it’s moving to a new apartment, or installing a new ceiling fan, or anything, and then they cancel. In most cases, you’ve counted on them to come help, because you need a second pair of hands. And while in some cases it’s completely understandable that they can’t (flat tire, medical emergency, migraine, etc.) in other cases because they just didn’t want to wake up early, or had something better pop up, it’s not so understandable. It’s just ridiculous at that point. Sure, not many people actually like moving. I love packing, hate the loading everything onto the truck part, and I am only so/so on the whole unpacking thing. But I still have helped friends move, as well as different family members. No, I don’t want to spend my whole weekend working up a sweat, but it’s worth it to help my friends and spend quality time with them. Same thing with helping a friend clean out a garage; it’s nasty hard work, but if you say you’re going to do it, then you need to do it.
Sometimes we don’t always get to do what we want. It’s a hard lesson to take as kids, and even sometimes as adults, but it’s an important one. When people count on you to do something, you really should follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have definitely not followed through on some things, and it’s cost me. It’s caused issues with friends, and we’ve had disagreements and fights. Same thing with paperwork, I have pushed that off rather than following through on my agreement to get it filled out and sent in, and that’s definitely caused it’s fair share of problems for me. But, I have tried to learn from my mistakes and do stuff, even if I really don’t feel like it or want to. Sometimes, it’s more important to do stuff for friends because they want to, than it is for yourself. Not to mention, you build trust. Trust me on this, following through and going the extra mile for some things is completely worth it. Find a way to help yourself follow through, whether that’s a to-do list to make sure you get tasks checked off, or if it’s telling multiple people about it, that way they’ll help hold you accountable. Follow through is such an important aspect in our lives, it affects us in work, school, friendships, relationships, fitness, everything. They say it takes 28 days to create a habit. So, for the next 28 days, really work hard on following through on things. You’ll feel better, and you’ll create a great habit of following through on your word. I guarantee you, it’ll be worth it.