Over the years of failed attempts at various things, I’ve realized I need external accountability to reach my goals. Whether it’s with my own personal health and wellness or with my business. I’m just not that good and keeping my promises to myself. Or holding myself accountable. My self-efficacy is pretty low.
I’m great with deadlines, responsibilities and expectations when other people are involved. I’ll go above and beyond to keep my promises to others. But for some reason I just can’t keep that same resolve with myself.
In her book Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin named four tendencies that people fall into when it comes to developing habits. She also developed a quiz so you can determine your own tendency. I’m an Obliger. Which pretty much captures what I shared above. I meet outer expectations but I resist inner expectations.
For example, I have a subscription to a streaming yoga service. But very rarely do yoga at home. I just can’t seem to do it, when it’s just for me.
If I truly want to accomplish something, I need help. I need someone else involved. So I tell my goals and intentions to someone (usually my husband), I commit to a business goal or deadline by sharing it with all of you. I go to yoga class with a friend. I hire a business coach.
This week, I decided I wanted to stay on a healthy track over the holiday season. I’ve put on a few extra pounds this fall with our move (damn takeout pizza), my 50th birthday (ate almost an entire homemade carrot cake in a week) and then there were the cheese and wine indulgences in France. All of this led to some inflammation in my gut and acid reflux. Yuck!
The gym I go to was offering a 21-day holiday nutrition and fitness challenge. I signed up. I already go to three bootcamps a week and have been getting to at least two yoga classes, but I feel like the external accountability will hold me to it. Things like making a financial investment, intentionally making a commitment to the challenge, receiving the support and inspiration and actively participating in the online groups and forums they provide.
This sense of community, connection and support are key factors in being successful when making healthy lifestyle changes. In fact, there is research and evidence that supports the theory that isolation is a health risk. Those who are isolated, alone and not connected to peer groups, work or community appear less healthy and have more health risks, than those who are connected. I wrote about this here.
Over to you
My questions for you today are, how will you stay connected, inspired and accountable to your own health goals this holiday season? What supports do you need to put in place to stick to your promises to yourself?