Obligations to Yourself

I find it’s much easier to break promises to myself than to other people. It makes perfect sense, of course; we’re social creatures who care about our reputation within our tribes and we don’t want to let our fellow humans down, mostly. We face no such incentives when it comes to ourselves.

This is why public commitments are shown to increase how long you’ll stick to a task. People who make public declarations about their goals, especially to groups they value, are more likely to follow through than people who simply set goals for themselves in secret.

Treat yourself as a person worthy of the same kind of tribal loyalties you give to others. Join forces with other people you care about, and confide these obligations – even the ones that seem frivolous. Make your tribe small but powerful, and keep your obligations to yourself.

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