Today I saw a contract that another member had printed out and vowed to abide by. This was the language:
“I, _______________ hereby vow to keep moving toward my dreams and goals regardless of any obstacles or challenges I may face. I understand that challenges are transitory and do not last forever. I vow to use all of my mental and physical resources to work through them or around them, and I refuse to be intimidated, discouraged or cowed by fear. I will persevere no matter what, knowing undeniably that I have the power to overcome any difficulty. I understand that this focus above any other is enough to carry me swiftly to the finish line.”
Wow. That's beautiful. It should be on a greeting card... a beautiful greeting card with purple mountains and a glorious sunset.
As touching and inspiring as the language is (and it really is a good mantra or mission statement), it's a lousy contract. Trust me, I'm a lawyer. Consider this: You've hired a contractor to fix your roof. Would you be happy with that language in your contract? It would read something like this:
“I, ROOFER, hereby vow to keep moving toward a roof free of holes regardless of any obstacles or challenges I may face. I understand that challenges like bad weather and no-show workers are transitory and do not last forever. I vow to use all of my mental and physical resources, along with my hammer, to work through them or around them, and I refuse to be intimidated, discouraged or cowed by rain, wind, lazy workers, or lack of nails. I will persevere no matter what, knowing undeniably that I have the power to eventually finish this roof. I understand that this focus above any other is enough to carry me swiftly to the finish line.”
So let's make a contract with clear, concise terms that is easy to understand, that lays out the terms to abide by with consequences for breach of the contract. I mean, isn't that what you'd want from your roofer? Let's give it a try, shall we?
"I ___________, make the following contractual promises in return for a healthier body and a better self-image:
1. I vow to write down every morsel of food that I put in my mouth. No exceptions.
2. I vow to limit myself to one helping of any food at mealtime or snacktime, with the exception of vegetables dressed without fat.
3. I vow to limit myself to one serving of food with white flour or white sugar per day.
4. I vow to move my body every day, whether it's at the gym, or shaking my bootie around the living room.
5. I vow to stop calling myself names. I don't call other people names, and I'm going to give myself the same courtesy.
6. Any and all contract breaches will result in a fine of ___ pushups and ____ crunches, to be performed within ___ minutes of the breach, followed by finding something positive to say about myself."
Add to it as you see fit. Taylor it to your lifestyle. But make it simple, clear, and easy to understand and follow. That way, your contract will hold up in court.