Two Steps to Become More Reliable

Posted February 27, 2014 by Adrienne Asselmeier in Life After Five
I recently had someone tell me that she asked herself, “Who can I ask to run with me who always shows up?” and I was the answer. She said I never cancel. I never really thought about it, I guess. I mean, not to toot my own horn, but if I say I’m going to do something with someone, I do it.

Do you RSVP ‘Going’ for Facebook events, just to see them pass while you sit at home or do something else? How often do you have to ask your friends to reschedule? Do you frequently remember that a gathering is over and you were supposed to go, but forgot? Then you, my friend, have a reliability problem.

I have many friends with this problem. I think it’s pretty common, though some people are worse than others. There was one person I was supposed to meet up with last fall, and she canceled on me four times in a row. Four! That’s out of control. I ended up never rescheduling with her after the last time because it was just a slap in the face to keep getting her, “I’m so sorry/can we reschedule?” texts each time. We haven’t even seen each other since then. Ugh.

The other people I know who have this issue seem to just forget or get busy doing other things and don’t make certain engagements a priority. I understand that sometimes things happen. Family things, kid stuff, work, got too busy—those are all legitimate things that might pop up and keep you from getting somewhere on time, or at all. But if those things come up often and leave you begging for forgiveness, then you need to take these two steps to becoming more reliable.

  1. You need to keep a better calendar. If you are the kind of person that forgets you told your friend you’d meet up one afternoon for racquetball, or that you’d come by for a haircut, then you need to write those things down. For some, a simple list is fine. For people who are busier, a good calendar or agenda will do the job. I like using my Google calendar, but really any calendar will work. Just make sure you either check your email for reminders, or regularly look at your calendar. It’s good to get in the habit of doing this everyday anyway because plans for later in the week or later in the day can be easily planned for if you get other things done earlier. Add in little notes even if they seem like minor things, and then you’ll never miss a meeting!
  2.  You need to stop over-committing. If you say you’ll show up for a run and you never do, then that probably means that running isn’t a priority. That’s okay! No one can tell you what your priorities should be. But you need to stop saying that you’ll be there. If it really honestly is a priority, then you’ll have to cut other things short or scratch some stuff off your to do list in order to stick to your plans.

There is one last thing that might be happening if you’re ditching plans a lot. Maybe you’re just not that social. Maybe you like sitting around under a blanket, watching Netflix with a kitty cat (hey, that’s what I’m doing right now!). And maybe you’d rather tell people you’ll hang out with them (but then you don’t come through) because it can be uncomfortable to say that you just don’t feel like hanging out. If that’s the case, stop doing that! You’re not doing yourself any favors, and you are not saving your friends’ feelings. You’re just being the person who eventually won’t get asked to do anything anymore because everybody knows you won’t show up.

In my examples, these are social situations, but the same can be said for work. Some people are constantly missing meetings, being late on deadlines, or having to duck out of an assignment at the last minute. If it’s just a one-time thing, that’s okay. Sometimes everyone needs help. But if you find that you’ve become the flake, you either need to get more organized with time and work load, or you’ve got to give some things up and switch your priorities.

Be the Career Girl that always shows up! People will love you for it!

About the Author

Adrienne Asselmeier

Adrienne "Dren" Asselmeier is a writer and marketing specialist. Dren has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature and is a blogger, runner, over-achiever, and friend to everyone. She likes to write about science-based health and fitness, small business ownership, and motivational topics.