"I, Christin, pledge to myself and to my family, for which I stand, that for one day I will unplug it, power it off and shut it down, in order to look up and look around. I will set aside the small screen to once again see the big picture. On this day I will not use any smart phones, tablets, phablets, desktops, laptops, notebooks, video chats, instant messaging, emails, tweets, grams that are instant, links that are in, or faces that have been booked. And most of all I pledge to get my head out of my app, with liberty and just us, for all."

We don't really shop at Cabela's, yet somehow a card including this pledge for Disconnect Day showed up at my house. I've held onto it for at least a year, and I recently followed through on its pledge. I gave my husband and my parents the number where I'd be staying, and when I arrived at the retreat house on Friday around 6pm I turned off my phone. I stayed away from all screens and didn't turn my phone back on until Sunday at noon when the retreat was over. It was a glorious break. Of course, for that retreat I was also on a break from my family, which isn't necessarily the point of the pledge, but hey, I'm an overachiever.

There's something special that comes from signing a pledge, if you're a person of your word. It's a great way to go all in on a commitment. It's particularly powerful if you make it public too. A friend who wants to run more just put out a call for others to join her in an accountability group. It was just what I needed to get myself back into running this spring. I opted in immediately. But then the hard part came when she asked about my goal. What did I really want to commit to? A certain number of miles a week, a particular race, a faster mile time?

After a bit of deliberation, I settled on committing to running two days a week, typically Tuesdays and Thursdays, using the 5K Runner app. That's way more than I'm doing now, is definitely manageable, and will help me fit into my pants better. Knowing I've made a specific commitment to a group of people will make me much more likely to be successful than me just stating an amorphous goal of, "I need to get running again" to anyone who will listen but not hold me accountable.

When you make a commitment, make it meaningful and make it specific.

So, what are you committing to?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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