Week 41 Tip: Keeping the Promise

By: Kristin McQuivey

| October 10, 2022

It’s Week 41 of More Than Healthy’s Full Year of Resolutions, and this week we’re shaking things up! In this week’s video, Carla was able to interview the remarkable Jason Hewlett, and they had a wonderful conversation all about keeping the promise, and what that really means, particularly when it comes to our health.

Who is Jason Hewlett?

If you haven’t yet heard of Jason Hewlett, you are missing out. I first saw him perform over 15 years ago at a large corporate event. His hilarious musical impersonations had the whole room on their feet. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to see him perform a number of other times. I’ve also heard him speak. Needless to say, I am a fan.

Jason is a rare combination of Master Impressionist Entertainer and Hall of Fame Speaker. He has performed in every major casino in Las Vegas and is of the “Legends in Concert” fame. He has delivered thousands of presentations around the world and is a much sought-after keynote speaker. Jason was invited to be part of a Middle East Tour where he inspired and supported the US Military in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Africa. And, he has been inducted into the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame, one of the youngest ever to be inducted with the CPAE Council of Peers Award for Excellence.

This entertainer has substance – he writes, too! His Facebook post, “I Think I Sort of Cheated on My Wife Today” has been seen by over 100 million people around the world. (As a fun side note, I have used this post as an example of rhetorical elements with hundreds of my college writing students.) And now, he is a published author. His book, The Promise to the One, hit #1 on Amazon the day of launch. 

A conversation with Jason

The day that Carla interviewed Jason, I got to be there behind the scenes. It was so fun to listen in on their conversation, and I was amazed at how applicable keeping the promise is to our mission at More Than Healthy. One of the questions that David and Carla always ask their clients is, “Are you willing to make sacrifices for your future self instead of making excuses to your present self?” 

Or, in Jason Hewlett-speak, “Are you willing to keep the promise to the one?”

Who is ‘the one’?

Jason talks a lot about keeping the promise to ‘the one.’ But who exactly does he mean? He explains, “The greatest joy and fulfillment are within your reach, but they require an enduring Promise to The One…someone you might not expect. It’s not your boss, your spouse, your children, or others – no, the ultimate commitment is The Promise you make to yourself.”

As a busy wife, mother, and employee, I’m pretty good at keeping promises to others. I regularly make sacrifices to be 100% all in for my kids. I do whatever it takes to meet work deadlines. I’m as loyal and dependable as they come – when it comes to showing up for others.

But what about when it comes to showing up for myself? Why is my sleep or time at the gym the first things on the sacrificial altar when someone else needs me? And I know I’m not alone. My friends do the same for their families. And Carla says this is very common with her clients as well. We do all the things for everyone else at the expense of taking care of ourselves. But how will we be able to continue to show up for others if we don’t take care of ourselves?

A goal vs. a promise

Okay, so now we’ve established that keeping the promise to the one is really about self-integrity. But let’s break down what really means.

Most of us are pretty used to setting goals. Personally, I’ve always been a fairly goal-oriented person. But even as a high-achiever, I can’t count the number of times I’ve given up on a goal, especially when it comes to healthier living and weight loss. 

According to 2022 statistics, only about 20% of people set goals. And out of that 20%, only about 30% succeed. If you drill those numbers down, that means that only about 6% of all people set and achieve goals.  

Why do we fail so often?

There are lots of reasons that so many of us fail to achieve goals. In Jason’s book, he explains that most of us tend to quit when things get difficult. I certainly have fallen into that category plenty of times.

Instead of a goal, Jason encourages us to make a promise. But what’s the difference? “What is The Promise?” he explains. “It is the highest level of engagement we commit to in any experience. The Promise is a choice, a clarion call of character, an investment in integrity. A promise is a sacred goal, a non-negotiable.” 

When you set a goal, if you’re part of the lucky 6% that achieves that goal, you celebrate. Yay you! But even if we actually accomplish what we wanted, we often treat it like a deadline we’ve met, and think that now we get to rest. Then, we start to backslide.

Perhaps the best explanation of the difference comes from Jason’s book: “Goals are particulars. Promises are proclamations.”

Apply the promise to your health

Let’s apply this idea of keeping the promise to our mission here at More Than Healthy to help others to achieve optimal health.

Carla gives a good example of this in her book, Unlocking the Leaky Gut Code. In the chapter about exercise, she explains how she keeps an important promise to herself:

Something I hear a lot is, “It must be so easy for you to stay healthy. You seem to love to exercise. It is so difficult for me!” The truth of it is that almost every day, I have to talk myself into getting up and doing my exercise routine. So many mornings, I just want to skip it and stay in bed a little longer. So I lay there having a conversation with myself that goes something like this:

“I think I’ll just skip my workout today.”

“You know you’ll be sorry if you do. You always feel better after you’re done.”

“I know, but missing just today won’t matter that much. It’s fine!”

“You know that if you skip today, it will get easier to skip tomorrow.”

“I know, but I just don’t feel like it today.”

“You know if you get up right now and go get it done, you’re going to feel so much better than you do right now. So if you want to feel better, just go get your workout done.”

“Alright, alright, I’ll get it done just for today.”

Is that the kind of conversation someone who seems to love to exercise would repeatedly have with themselves? Yet, I have this talk with myself several times a week. One thing that helps me to get up and do it is that I never regret the choice to exercise. There are lots of other choices I could make that I might regret, but I never finish a workout and wish I’d done something else instead.

Can anyone relate to that conversation? I sure can! The difference is that Carla has repeatedly kept the promise to herself. And her physical health has reaped the benefits of her consistent, constant choice to ‘show up’ for herself. 

What’s your health promise proclamation?

Jason has a similar story:

I religiously would go to the gym, consult trainers and programs, spend tens of thousands of dollars in gimmicks, tests, shakes, gym memberships, and the like. I lose 10 pounds here, 20 pounds there, swing back up to 25 pounds over, and then go back on down – over and over for 20 years now. Crazy to think this has been the bane of my existence and greatest destroyer of my confidence. 

This is the new normal for most people in America. We all try so hard. New Year’s resolutions and gym memberships are like a running joke to most of our society regarding the weight we’re going to take off this time!

Then, he explains, “This is where Goals and Promises come into play in the most meaningful way you may ever realize.” It certainly made all the difference for him when he realized the difference. Instead of all the goals and restrictions he’d rigorously impose and the “all or nothing” mentality of goal setting, Jason made a promise.

Here is Jason’s Health Promise Proclamation:

I sweat every single day, be it in a walk, run, hike, or rigorous workout that makes me happy.

Not only is it for my own enjoyment, but it releases the endorphins I need to create, write, and become better in my profession.

I only eat that which makes me feel wonderful, with no repercussions.

I’m welcome to enjoy a treat of sugar or white carbs, but I will pay a price called misery, since I am allergic to those foods.

My Health Promise is my example to my family that what I do is more important than what I say, that my body is my Temple and speaks for itself, and that I can do any physical activity anyone else can do, no matter my age.

Added bonus: I LOVE the way I look and feel, especially watching videos of myself on the stage and not hiding behind my clothing.

What is your Health Promise Proclamation?

What is your choice right now, and what kind of life do you promise to lead?

How can we keep the promise to ourselves?

I love that Health Promise Proclamation! It feels so different to me than the weight-loss goals that often feel so punitive. I want to be in! I want to make a promise to myself! But, how do we really do it? How do we keep the promise to ourselves and not fall short? 

Here are some ways that Jason and Carla discussed that help them to keep the promise:

  • Have an accountability partner. For Jason, it’s his wife. When he starts to go for seconds and thirds of the restaurant bread basket, she gently puts her hand on his arm.
  • Self-assessment. Daily journaling is key. If you wake up and you’re lacking motivation, look back at your journal. How did I do yesterday? If you kept the promise (i.e. got up early to exercise, fueled your body well, etc.), remember how sweet and empowering that victory felt. If (when) we do mess up, quickly forgive ourselves, and make a promise today to live the healthiest journey in life that we can. 
  • Find your why. When you’re tempted to give in, think back to why you made the promise in the first place. Having a strong why is integral to your success and helps keep you honest with yourself. 

Make the right promise

Situations will always come up that make it difficult to keep our promises. If you want to get to the gym every day, but you know there will be some days you just can’t make it, choose to make going to the gym a goal. Then promise yourself that when you don’t make it there, you’re still going to sweat… somehow, somewhere. You can still go for a run, or take a brisk walk, or do some yoga in your living room. 

What if you’ve made a promise to yourself to eat healthy. But now you’re at a Superbowl party, and they have your favorite beanie weenies and cheese dip. What do you do? Take a moment and think about what is really most important to you. If that moment of enjoyment is super important, maybe you eat a few of your favorite things without going crazy, and then start again tomorrow. Or maybe you have an extra big drink of water, remember your why, and how hard you’ve worked, and choose the fresh veggies on the relish tray. 

The point is, not everything in your life should be a promise. If we overuse it, it loses its value. Choose where to promise. Perhaps your promise is to make deliberate choices – even at a Superbowl party – that you own and are accountable for. And when you do mess up, promise to quickly forgive and get right back in the saddle.

The importance of self-love

We live in a world of constant and instant comparison. With social media, we get to see everyone’s very best representation of themselves, and we often compare it with our very worst. Self-acceptance and self-love have never been more important. 

An important aspect of self-acceptance is learning to forgive ourselves when we fall short. Because we’re all going to have those moments. And when we do, we have to know that we’re still okay, and that we will do better tomorrow. As Jason says, this isn’t about accepting mediocrity. It’s about accepting our best efforts and what we become. 

Carla loves to say that we’re all our own science experiment. Each of us is on a very individual journey, and there is no one-size-fits-all. When clients beat themselves down and focus on the negative, they don’t get results. 

A big part of the promise is learning to appreciate the journey. It’s knowing that although we all wish there was a magic pill, there is simply no quick fix. Reclaiming your health is a long journey. Reversing health issues takes time. It’s a daily progression. It’s looking back and saying, “Wow! Look how far I’ve come!” And then staying the course. 

A big part of keeping the promise is loving who you’re becoming, even on your journey to become. 

(Note: One of my favorite chapters in Jason’s Book, The Promise to the One, is Chapter 4, Self-Acceptance. There is a wonderful journaling exercise about forgiving yourself and loving yourself at the end. Plus, you don’t want to miss the entertaining and meaningful stories he shares!) 

Keeping the promise when it really matters

A few months ago, Jason had an accident that completely changed his world. During a competitive basketball game at the gym, his patella tendon tore off the tibia, sending his kneecap somewhere it should never be. His sons watched as he crumpled in pain and got to go for his first ride in an ambulance. The orthopedic team squirmed when they saw his x-rays, as his patella injury was one of the worst they had ever seen. 

Let’s hear more about this in Jason’s own words:

“The Patellar Tendon Tear is one of the rarer surgeries on knees, and even the nurses hesitated when they saw the scope of the injury. I’ve never had a serious surgery outside of removed tonsils when I was 7 (which was filmed for a PBS Special because my mouth was so big they could get angles of the camera in there unique to any other human – true story). Now I have a new level of understanding of what surgery feels like, facing the excitement of getting it done, and now the challenge ahead. I am so grateful for all I am learning and have so much more empathy for those who have experiences such as these.

My eyes are opened to more love that I needed to comprehend in order to teach The Promise more effectively, only by suffering this accident and now soaking in every feeling of the journey. The meds are heavy, which I’ve never taken before either, so this is all new to me. All I can say is I am thankful for this experience, and though it’s a setback, I will make a comeback, and it is forcing me to learn things I couldn’t have otherwise for which I am profoundly grateful.” 

Since that time, Jason has been in a massive leg brace that has restricted all movement. With a summer schedule filled with booked performances, he’s had to get creative. How exactly does one fly on a plane with a huge braced and unbending leg? Jason can tell you. He can also tell you which airport Starbucks will give you ice for your portable post-surgery icing machine. Performing for hundreds of people with a leg propped on a piano bench and with his usual humor, Jason has dubbed this “The Broken Leg Tour.” Recovery has been long and brutal and is still continuing. But through it all, Jason has been keeping the promise. 

“How I love sharing The Promise for amazing audiences while Keeping The Promise to myself to show up even if it means suffering great pain for hours afterward. Totally worth it.”

More Than Healthy Tips have helped, too

Jason shared that he’s also used many of David and Carla’s More Than Healthy Tips to help with his recovery. He does red light therapy every day on his knee and takes healthy omega-3 fish oils for immune and organ health. He practices earthing and tries to get outside for healthy sunlight, and leaves his phone in another room in an effort to get better sleep. David’s health story has inspired Jason to get through this painful and life-altering injury.  

Becoming More Than Healthy by Keeping the Promise

I told you this was going to be a fun one! Keeping the promise might be our most important blog post topic yet. Are you inspired to make some promises to yourself? Perhaps it’s your turn to write your own Health Promise Proclamation. If you do, please share it with us!

Also, if you haven’t yet, go get your copy of The Promise to the One. You won’t regret it! There’s nothing better than an inspirational self-help book that is equally entertaining. This is Jason Hewlett at his best – helping us to become our best! You can also get inspired by following his entertaining account on Instagram at @jasonhewlett. 

Free More Than Healthy coaching calls

As always, please reach out if you have any questions. For those of you interested in our free More Than Healthy coaching calls, We do them once a month on a Tuesday night at 6 PM MST. Anyone can join us. There is always great discussion and a wealth of information available to you during these calls. If you’d like to join us, just text COACHING to 1-647-558-9895 to join our email list. Or, watch our social media pages and we will have the link there.  

Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next week for another fabulous health tip.