Because I Said I Would – The Global Trend of Positive Accountability

Personal change begins with a promise.

You make a promise to yourself to do something, and then you hold yourself accountable until you achieve whatever it is that you wish to change.

Perhaps you want to lose weight or be kinder and more patient with your coworkers. Maybe you need to take your dog for longer walks or spend quality time with your kids on a regular basis.

It all starts with a promise. 

Back in 2012, Alex Sheen was a young man whose father died of lung cancer. Asked to give his father’s eulogy, Alex looked over his father’s “pretty normal” life, and he noticed something powerful. His father had made a lifelong habit of keeping his word. When his father promised to do something, you could take that to the bank.

When Alex discussed this with his family, they all agreed that keeping promises was part of his father’s character. What Alex also learned was that his father not only kept promises but was careful about what he promised others to ensure he could keep his word.

“My father was an average man,” Alex said. “He was no war hero. He never wrote a book. He never ran marathons. He was a pharmacist. No recognition. No fame. But for everything that made my father “average” and “everyday,” there was one thing he did exceptionally well. He kept his promises. My father was a man of his word.”  

As a result of his discovery, Alex made up some black and white business cards and passed them out at the memorial service. He asked those gathered to make a promise, write it down, and keep that promise as a way to honor his father’s life.

Alex’s simple act at his father’s memorial became a movement. He started the organization “Because I Said I Would” to help others keep their promises. As of September 2018, 9.8 million Promise Cards later, people in 150 countries have embraced this unique opportunity to practice personal accountability. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, it’s dedicated to the betterment of humanity through individual promises made and kept. This simple program seeks to bridge the gap between your intention and your actions around that intention.

And the Promise Card program is a terrific, simple first-level accountability practice. Stop for a moment and think:

  • When was the last time you made a promise that was important to you?  
  • Did you write it down and tell others about it?

You can take your accountability to the next level.

Pledgr invites you to make promises and gather support from others in your social network so you can achieve your stated goal.

Announcing that you are “up to something new, something bigger, something different” takes a new level of risk and offers a new level of reward as you succeed, backed up by those in your community.

Alex Sheen discovered that millions of people across the world are hungry to re-establish that muscle that makes and keeps promises to ourselves and to others. Pledgr takes that skill into your social community to expand it, share your goal, and be cheered on by others.

Here are the most common promises made:
  • I will lose 20 lbs by this date
  • I will quit smoking
  • I will stay sober for 30 more days
  • I will update my resume and look for a new job

Less common but inspiring goals include:
  • I will more carefully plan my co-parent visits with my children
  • I will only eat meat 3 days a week
  • I will express loving kindness to a stranger every day in some way
  • I will begin reading every night to my kids

One interesting side-effect of making and keeping promises is that those who do become more and more courageous in making new, bigger promises, and then experience greater success and happiness.

But don’t take our word for it. Start small. But start. And be amazed at the results you achieve when you keep your promises! Pledge something today at

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