Debt of Honor

A couple of years ago, I was listening to an interview with Anne Lamott. She was talking about writing (of course) when she said:

“I do it by pre-arrangement with myself, because I know I’ll feel sad and terrible if I shirk on that days writing. I do it as a debt of honor, to myself, and to whatever it is that has given me this gift of being able to tell stories, and to make people laugh.”

In addition to seeing the value for applying this to my writing efforts, I immediately saw the correlation to the fitness quest and incorporated it into my approach. Many times when I wanted to skip a workout or have an unplanned splurge, I would think debt of honor and I’d be back on track. I remember on more than a few occasions even whispering it to myself.

What resonated in this quote, for me, was the concept of combining debt (something of value that I owe to myself) with a noble concept like honor (which for me translates as love and loyalty and faithfulness.) To NOT pay the debt (whether it is writing or exercise or drinking water or any other gift I have the ability and the opportunity to achieve) violates my pledge to love myself more.

Now seems like a good time to resurrect this practice. I’m going to affirm for myself every day that making (mostly) healthy choices is a debt of honor to myself. I’ve been blessed with the gift of achievement, and to not honor it is to not treasure it.

What is your debt of honor? What gift have you been given that you’re not using or applying? Is it possible that thinking of it in terms of something you owe yourself will help you focus on it? Even for a bit?

(Nosy critter, ain’t I?) Share only to your comfort level. :)