I am terrible at fulfilling inner expectations. If I said I would do something with or for you, I’d do it if it killed me, but something for myself? Pfft. Maybe in spurts, but I could not maintain inner expectations long-term. To break my Diet Yo-Yo and keep that resolution, I had to work on accountability.
I ran across Gretchen Rubin’s book on habit change, Better Than Before (and later The Four Tendencies). In both she talks about the ways we deal with inner and outer expectations. The clear remedy for my tendency: create external accountability. That explained a lot – and it changed everything.
Create external accountability
A friend and I meet monthly to talk about our goals and to review the previous month. The idea of goals helps, but what really works for me is accountability. I know I have to face her if I haven’t followed through. Not everyone needs that, but it significantly increases my ability to reach a goal.
For walking my dog, she’s my accountability. Okay, yes it’s true, she behaves better when she’s had a good walk, but it’s also quite good for me, and by framing it as good for her, I get it done.
I’ve just started a 90-day at-home strength-training plan. There’s no one to answer to, and it would be easy to skip, but it’s only 10 minutes, and that feels manageable for me. I’m working on how to create external accountability around that other than having Michael ask me about it. (Pro Tip: Using your partner as accountability is seldom wise unless you’re doing it together.) Of course, now that you know about it, that may help me. Believe me, if I LOVE it, you’ll certainly hear about it.
What Helps You?
What helps you stay on track? Post in the comments on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube: Does external accountability hurt or help you? Consider how can you arrange for it? If it helps, I’ll create a Facebook group for accountability. Let me know what you think.