A few years ago, I was not a very responsible person.
I was one of those people that would set goals and not follow through with it. Sometimes that still ends up happening, but it's because I still tend to overcommit myself (working on it).
Maybe you're in the same boat?
You know you're not a very responsible person, but you'd like to learn how to become one so you actually do the things you say you're going to do.
How To Become A More Responsible Person With These 6 Steps
1.Ask yourself why you want to be a more responsible person.
When we have a purpose behind our actions, we’re less likely to slack off and make excuses.
If something feels fulfilling and adds value to your life, you're more likely to follow through.
This is a crucial step in setting a strong foundation for yourself.
The WHY should always come first, because you can always figure out the how after knowing your why. But if you don't know your why (or don't have one), the chances of you sticking to your goals, habits, or whatever you're doing isn't going to stick.
So before anything else, ask yourself why you want to be a more responsible person.
Better yet, journal on it.
- What does "being a more responsible person" mean to you? What does responsibility mean to you?
- How will it make your life better? Think about how your quality of life will improve.
- What's going to happen if you continue being an irresponsible person? Where will that lead you?
2. Stop blaming others and making excuses.
The truth is that when we don't do something, it's our own fault.
Blaming other people might temporarily make you feel better, but it's not going to last.
To become a more responsible (and successful) person, you need to stop making excuses and blaming others. It's called having personal accountability for your own actions. Being willing to admit that you are the problem.
The good news? That also means you are also the solution.
The next time you feel like complaining, don't.
The next time you want to blame someone else, don't.
The next time you feel like giving up, don't.
Instead, find a solution and do that instead.
It's okay to talk about the situation, but don't spend hours or days dwelling on it. Doing that doesn't solve your problem, but it might make it worse (and make you feel worse too).
3. Set realistic expectations and don’t overcommit yourself.
If you're always overcommitting yourself and putting too much on your plate, then realistically you can't get everything done.
That's not to say you can't do all those other things, but ask yourself if everything on your list actually needs to get done right now (or if it can wait until next week or month).
Sometimes, it can feel like everything needs your immediate attention right now.
But when you set realistic expectations for yourself and learn to prioritize things, you'll start building the habit of actually getting things done.
When you have a poor track record of finishing things, you start to think that you can't and you're just not a reliable person. That's not true. You can and you can change your bad habits, but you have to be willing to do the work even when it feels really uncomfortable and quite honestly boring.
It's a muscle you have to practice building.
4. Follow through on things you say you’ll do.
To follow on the previous point - it doesn't matter if you have a poor track record.
It's time to strengthen that muscle. If you say you're going to do something, actually do it.
And if you know you're actually not going to do something, don't say you're going to do it! Not only does it make you feel like an unreliable person, other people are going to see you as unreliable too.
I'm a strong believer in "Show, don't tell".
Instead of saying you're going to start this new thing, just start it and keep working on it. Don't tell everyone on your friends list to impress them. Do it for you, not for outside validation and approval. Besides, doing things solely for other people never works out well.
5. Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate.
Responsibility is a muscle you have to work out again and again until it becomes routine.
If you allow yourself to slack off once, the chances of you slacking off a second and third time are extremely high.
That's why it's a good idea to clean out your entire kitchen if you want to start eating healthier.
Out of sight, out of mind.
If you don't present yourself the opportunity to procrastinate, then you're less likely to.
It's also important to note that when you're procrastinating, there's a reason why you're doing it.
Maybe you feel like it's too overwhelming and big for you to handle. If that's the case, break it down into smaller action steps and take it one step at a time.
Think about the last few times you've procrastinated on something and write down all the reasons why you procrastinated.
What's causing you to procrastinate? How can you make sure you don't procrastinate the next time around?
6. Get back up when you fall, and keep going. No one is perfect.
You do not need to be perfect at this. No one is 100% anything.
Do not put unrealistic and unnecessary pressure on yourself to be perfect.
In fact, that's probably why you're in this mess to begin with (because you expected too much of yourself and gave up as a result).
Instead of giving up every time, learn to get up and keep going.
Imperfection is okay.
Done over perfect.
It's not about doing sloppy work.
It's about doing your best and allowing that to be okay. You can be better at it next time, but you have to start somewhere.
Sometimes, we're so afraid of imperfection that we stop ourselves before even allowing ourselves the chance to start and give it a real shot.
I'd love to hear from you.
How have you become a more responsible person? Do you trust yourself to follow through on the things you say you're going to do?