It Really Is All About the Promise


People always ask us what is the “secret” to transformation. They want to know about the magic diet plan or exercise. While Chris and I are certainly partial to our diet and exercise approach to weight loss, a quick Google search will pull up hundreds of ways to effectively lose weight. I’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 me show you!

“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. This is especially true with us women—you know I’m right! 😉

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 eat five smaller meals every day.
  • 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, and it’s followed by all our peeps on Extreme Weight Loss. They make a single promise to themselves—a promise that’s virtually unbreakable—and they keep it. Then they make another promise, and they 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, I hear you: “That sounds great, Heidi, 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.”

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, my 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!

Simply put, our peeps keep their promises. If they promise themselves they’ll do thirty minutes of cardio, they do thirty minutes…maybe more. They NEVER stop at twenty-nine minutes. Never. And if we try to pull them off that treadmill at 29 minutes, they’ll shove us out of the way and get right back on!

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, and our peeps face this same learning curve pretty much every day as they’re developing this promise-keeping habit. When they break a promise to themselves, we 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. It works for them, and I know it will work for you too!

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! ☺



Still wanting more? Don’t forget to join us on our next journey with the TRANSFORM app.

180 Responses

  1. Thanks for these words. You guys are so inspiring. I’m a fitness and musculation coach in France and I’m struggling to get the body I deserve, but it’s not that simple. I do hours of sports a day (that’s my job), but I must not do thgs right bcse I’ve been putting on pounds lately and don’t know what to do. How are u guys training beside work? How do u eat?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. This is brilliant. Thank you!! I have been making too big of promises to myself to keep them. I am going to try starting with five minutes! I always feel overwhelmed when I approach weight loss but small promises kept makes so much sense. Love you both! I truly mean that!

  3. I’ve been doing the carb cycling over the past 3 weeks (starting week 4) and am noticing the exciting changes in my body – finally! I’ve been struggling for the past 6 years as I approached my 50th birthday and am so happy to have read about carb cycling – it’s gotten me off the roller coast that I’ve been on and has given me a new hope that I will accomplish my goal weight THIS YEAR! Thank you so much for your inspiring show every week!

    1. Congratulations on completing 3 weeks! I just finished week one and intend to keep going and going and going. Getting used to eating every 3 hours and starting slowly with exercise due to physical limitations. Keep up the good work and check back in and let us know how you are doing:)

  4. wow. thanks for that word heidi! so true! the only way to keep a promise to yourself is to love yourself, to see the value in who you are. admitting to yourself that you are worth it. something that’s been helping me is realizing how much God, the creator of this entire universe values me. that fuels me to make better choices. “is this pizza and oreos worth more than staying alive to live out all God has planned for my life?”

    love you and and chris so much! you both are true “love-wellers.”

  5. This is a really good post, and is really going to help me get into that routine of trying to figure out how to get into working out.
    Thanks Heidi!

  6. That was great! I get to focused on trying to eat healthy and exercise that I forget to make promises/set goals! I know they’ll really help me to make progress, because I’ve done it in the past. Thanks for the great reminder!

  7. Thanks, Heidi! I needed to hear this today. I’ve been on my own journey for a while now, and the last few months have been difficult. I’ve been feeling defeated. But I know that I can’t give up. There is too much at stake. I need to get back to basics and just keep going. Thanks for all you and Chris do for everyone out there, especially people like me!

  8. Thanks Heidi for sharing this. I promise to wake up early each morning to do 15 mins of dancing, singing and laughing.

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