How to Speak “Follow Through”

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Blog, Innovation, Speaking

We’ve all been there – making promises to ourselves and others with the best of intentions, only to find that they often fall by the wayside. The gap between our words and actions can be vast for many reasons. But just as language can stall us, using the language of follow through can spark action. Here are some ways to shift from the “language of broken promises” to “the language of follow through.”

“I’ll get around to it.” Translation: “I have good intentions without a clear plan of action.”  Instead, use the language of follow through and say:  I’ll break down this task into manageable chunks and schedule a chunk a day over the next week, so by Friday it’s done.

“I’ll sleep on it”: Translation: I may need time to think, but it also allows me to procrastinate. Instead, say: This decision will take some thought. However, it is time sensitive. My deadline for gathering the information I need and reflecting on it is tomorrow morning at 11:00.

“I’ll add it again to my calendar” Translation: Sure, I will. Merely scheduling a less desirable task doesn’t guarantee it will get done. Instead say: I need to think about what obstacles are preventing me from taking on this task and eliminate them. From there I block off a specific day and time for this task and treat it as a non-negotiable appointment.

“I’ll plan on it”: Translation: ‘Plan’ means to think about doing it someday but not today…or tomorrow even. Instead, say: That phone call is important but uncomfortable. It needs to happen by 5:00 today. At 4:00 I’ll write down the talking points and prepare for the different reactions I may encounter.

“I’ll consider it”: Translation: A polite way to defer decisions. Instead, say I’ll set a clear timeframe, between Friday and Sunday to look over the material, compare prices and take action    Monday morning by 8:00.

Speaking “the language of follow through” requires more than just good intentions; it demands a strategic and disciplined approach. By transforming worn-out phrases into actionable steps, you can bridge the gap between what you say and what you do. Remember, success is not just in the promise but in the persistent effort to turn those promises into reality. So, let’s move beyond the language of broken promises and learn to speak “follow through.”Need help turning broken promises into action? Visit and click on “Tools” for the 80→20 NoCrastination Tool – it’s free

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Who is Rebecca Shafir? Speech/language pathologist, author, voice and executive function coach
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