by Kathie England

Better Than Before – Day 23

Pillar of Habits: Accountability

Yesterday I closed by sharing Gretchen Rubin’s perspective that self-knowledge is one key in the development of habits. Self-knowledge can grow from using the AEC Model: A=Awareness, E=Engagement, and C=Completion. Awareness begins by observing yourself as though you were a field biologist. Observe with curiosity rather than judgment. That’s where “curious accountability” comes in. Whatever you did or didn’t do provides an opportunity¬†for learning – that’s the key to “curious accountability” described by Cameron Gott. I urge you to keep this idea in mind as we continue to explore accountability.

Awareness of whether you are an Obliger, Upholder, Questioner, or even a Rebel is another aspect of self-awareness that can help you identify a form of accountability that keeps you engaged. She says that Obligers benefit tremendously from an external accountability partner who helps them meet expectations.

Rubin indicates that teaming up with someone else is a great accountability strategy, find an accountability partner. Professional organizers have coined the term “body double” for someone whose mere presence helps you take action. This individual is not even someone who does the work with you. It’s simply someone who is present with you. That means it doesn’t have to be a professional. However, it’s important to explore with this “body double” whether they are willing to be present and not attempt to guide you. That’s a different role.

Rubin proposes that accountability partners needn’t even be humans. Her schnauzer was her accountability partner in walking because he was also so excited when she took him for a walk that it kept her motivated to keep her goal of walking.

Other accountability partners can come from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, and the Happiness Project (created by Rubin).

Though face-to-face interactions are ideal, virtual accountability can be provided through email, chat rooms, and texts. The phone is the tool used by coaches.

Today there are more and more electronic devices that can help you keep commitments (perhaps Apple’s new watch that goes on sale April 24 might be just the tool for you). Rubin thinks that these types of devices are more useful for a limited goal like walking a desired number of steps each day.

As I conclude today’s blog, I invite you to remember the Pillars of Habit that are key to creating habits that serve your life: Foundation (sleep, move, eat and drink right, unclutter), Scheduling, and Accountability. Tomorrow we’ll move into the section titled “The Best Time to Begin.”