Hi Folks! I have a new project that I’ve just completed this evening! It’s called the “Keeping Your Promises Sticker Chart Pack” and I’ve detailed its purpose in both short and long form below.
The idea is this: a sweet tool full of cute animals and terrible puns to help folks who (like me) are learning or re-learning how to establish trust with themselves (especially around lovingly correcting obsolete coping mechanisms developed to cope with trauma).
Best Use: set a reasonable and attainable goal and promise yourself to stick with it to the best of your ability every single day for a month. Then celebrate and affirm every single victory with a little sticker or smiley face! It’s OK to not be perfect — the goal isn’t perfection, it’s active and positive engagement with the parts of us that want to take the best kind of care of ourselves we can.
If, like me, you’ve come up into the world through trauma, the most difficult person to trust may ultimately end up being yourself. The reasons for this are complex and, strangely, ultimately rooted in self-love — as children without a full set of tools in our emotional toolbelt, we develop flawed coping mechanisms that are meant to keep us safe and sane but that, in adulthood, become fixed and habitual and ultimately harmful. Experimenting with ways to correct these behaviors over time may lead to a lot of try and fail, and may feel like we are constantly making and breaking promises to ourselves. Eventually, we may feel we cannot truly rely on our own word. This is a difficult relationship to repair. I speak from experience.
In a world where grandiose resolutions are the first thing we tend to do in a new year, where self-flagellation and all-or-nothing mantras can keep us locked in problematic cycles — I wondered what I could do to start small, to slowly but surely repair my faith in myself and my ability to have my own back.
So I drew up this sticker sheet as a silly and joyful way to encourage myself to focus on keeping one small promise to myself, every single day, for a month. It doesn’t really matter what it is. A 10 minute walk. A glass of water every morning. A single expression of gratitude. What matters is that, for every single day for a month, I keep my word to myself. And for every day that I do, I get to have a moment with myself that celebrates that fact. I peel off a star, and I stick it to the calendar, and I tell myself that today I kept my word. Today I was a good friend to myself.
The trick for me is to set a reasonable and sustainable goal. A specific goal. Nothing vague or airy. Make a promise. Endeavor to keep it. And reward yourself. I hope you’ll join me!