Have you ever made a commitment that didn’t stick? Perhaps you resolved to begin a new exercise regime but stopped it after week one. You may have even resolved to draw in more clients, but didn’t invest in yourself to learn about the latest marketing or networking techniques. Maybe you even resolved to consciously live in harmony with your business and personal goals, but slid back into the same old way of doing things.

When you fail to keep commitments, your brain looks for a cause such as “I don’t have enough time to exercise.” “I got such a great deal on that cruise, but I don’t have any left over to spend on my personal development or my business.” Failing to meet commitments causes a ripple effect and can damage your reputation and your relationships.

When you start using these excuses, stop yourself. Apply these tips and techniques to keep your commitments:

1. Write Down Your Commitments. The biggest failure in meeting commitments is often the “I forgot” or “it slipped my mind.” We’re all human, it happens. However, it’s less likely to happen when you write down your commitments. Writing them down helps you to gauge the resources you need and when you can realistically meet them. Use technology to help you by adding them to your electronic calendar as an appointment. When you set an appointment, it tends to get done.

2. Manage Your Time and Energy. Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” ask yourself, “what do I need to do or to have in order to meet that commitment?” The solution is often found in simply shifting the way you work:

□ Identify Resources to Help You. As a small business owner, doing everything yourself is not practical or wise. Tapping into professional assistance, like CPAs or organizers, are often helpful resources to free up valuable time and energy.

□ Set Boundaries. If you have a home-based business and family is calling during your work day, you may have to share with them that a better time to call is after 5 p.m. when the work day is complete. Before you know it, you created efficiencies and focus in your work day because you eliminated unnecessary interruptions.

□ Cluster Your Appointments. Instead of having calls with your clients sprinkled throughout your week, identify certain days of the week and cluster your client meetings. Perhaps you designate Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. for your client meetings. This allows you to focus exclusively on your clients rather than having to continuously switch from topic to topic.

□ Systematize. If you have a business where you need to immediately respond to your customer, determine ways you can automate your processes through automated messages. Systematizing your internal business operations helps you to serve your customer base more efficiently and create space in your schedule so that you can work on other areas of your business.

□ Take Small Steps to Get Big Results. Many business owners want to take huge leaps but the power is often in a series of small steps. When business owners set off to include article marketing in their Marketing Mix, they have a tendency to write very long articles. In a few weeks, they are wondering why they are procrastinating. Writing smaller articles can be just the answer to making a new article marketing initiative work and meeting your commitment.

3. Tack on Additional Meeting Time. Most people make the mistake of setting a time for a meeting, but not additional time to complete the list of to-do items from that meeting. Tack on additional time following the meeting to complete your task list. The extra time helps you to complete your list, keep your energy up, and efficiently fulfill your commitments.

4. Invest in Yourself. According to Tim Green, President of Referral Institute of Michigan, “if people truly wanted to be successful they would put 10% of their annual income into developing themselves. But many people say that they can’t afford it. Let’s put this in the right context. You’re driving down the road and suddenly your engine completely stops. Would you be able to find the necessary funds? Well, if you don’t have a car, you can’t get to appointments, right? That’s how you should look at your own personal development. Just like a car’s engine, you have to invest in the maintenance of you. It’s a crucial investment for your life.” If growing your business is a commitment, then develop a plan to invest in yourself and your business.

By paying attention to your commitments and developing healthy habits, you will become known as a person of integrity. You will orchestrate a carefully designed harmony with the world around you and notice how easy it is to create dramatic results.

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Mininni is best-selling author and President of Excellerate Associates, home of The Entrepreneurial Edge System – the only national system helping small business owners take the systems approach to profitability so they fill their business in record time. Visit http://www.freebusinessplanformat.com for more information on drawing in more clients and cash flow.