Even with mentors, friends, and family looking in on us, the biggest person who needs to be keeping tabs on what we do for our lives is us. We have to hold ourselves accountable which is not an easy thing to do. It’s something that keeps us going and the thing that makes us get out of bed in the morning.
The long term gains are important. You gain strength. You’ll have money in savings. You’ll have that trip you wanted. You’ll look amazing. But, we have to make it to those points in a world that offers a lot of instant gratification. More sleep sounds better than getting up and going to the gym. That power rangers action figure will be something you can play with immediately. That night of dancing and drinking is right here while New Orleans is months away. Stopping yourself from doing these things is why accountability is important.
So, how do we hold ourselves accountable?
This is probably the thing that topples me the most. I like the idea of receiving something for something well. I am the kid who loved the gold stars growing up. Looking at the gold star idea, I should get something for the effort I put in. However, that ‘something’ needs to be directly connected to the things that I’m doing. For instance, if I work out for a month, maybe I get a new pair of shoes. They’ve gotta be connected. You don’t want to eat healthy for two weeks, and then decide to binge eat and drink the weekend away as a prize. That’s incredibly counterproductive.
It’s sort of something we have to figure out ourselves. And definitely something that I’m still working on.
How am I personally going to hold myself accountable? I have four main avenues that I am working on. Finances. Professional. Fitness. Nutrition. I need to find a way to hold myself accountable in keeping with my plan.
Finances by far is the hardest. I tend to have a drink each night after I get off work. That has become a problem because one drink has led to many more, or I’m buying the drinks at which point I’m actually spending the amount of two drinks plus tip. That means very quickly twenty dollars is gone. That’s not including my drinking to excess on other nights.
For the next fifteen days, all my money is going to go to bills and food. (I should also note ‘Ubers’ after my late shifts at work count as bills as I have no other way to get home). If I do this, I am going to have a cheese and booze night with one of my friends. We talked about it last night about doing it next week, but I am going to forego it until I complete this and get myself in order. It’ll be a fun time, but I need to get myself situated right financially before I am throwing money around. It also means no drinks after work. If I don’t do this. It means taking a month off drinking completely. I have to find some way to reign myself in. I can do two weeks.
Professionally, I want to finish my third novella. 15 days is a long enough time or me to actually get a rough draft done. That means that the first “novel” would be completed before the end of January. That means all I have to do is edit throughout the rest of the month and February. It also means that my goal to have a copy to give to Joel for his birthday will be right on schedule.
It means I have to write 1,500 words daily on this part of the story. It means I will have this story done by the 29th. What I get is a completed novel. That’s more awesome than anything else I could have or want. What if I don’t do it? Well, this means a lot of aggravation from my editor as well as personal aggravation at not getting things done. It also means shame from the people who read my blog and want to hear my success. Shame is a serious thing, and I don’t want that any more than anyone else.
My fitness goals for the next couple week are simple. I need to keep going to the gym every other day. That means that I get up and go. This is a bit easier as to what I can do if I keep up with this. If I can keep going to the gym, I will look my best, I will feel better, and I will be on the path to super-heroics. However, what happens if I go? I am going to buy myself some new gym clothes. I need new tennis shoes as the ones I currently have are used in all aspects of my life. If I keep going, I can buy myself some new ones. Two weeks to new shoes.
Nutrition is an easy(ish) one. I just need to buy food and cook some things at home. I also have to factor in that I can have one meal while I’m at work. I need to make sure I’m eating the right thing while working. I need to stop eating out. I have to stop eating out. However, if I do well the next two weeks, I can give myself one day eating out a week from there on out. I just have to be on top of everything else.
This is how I’m holding myself accountable. This is how I’m going to make things work for me. I can do this. We can do this. It’s not easy, but if we can start building these kind of things into our life, learn a bit of patience, we can quickly become the superheroes we want to be.