WHO HELPS HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE?
I am part of a French book club. We meet every month for 2 hours to talk about a book that we have been “assigned” for the month. It’s a way to practice not only our French reading skills, but also our French conversations skills.
I am not quite through this month’s book, and realized that I will be unable to attend our next meeting due to conflicts.
And you know what happened?
My motivation to continue with the book did a NOSEDIVE. A serious one.
Prior to knowing that I wouldn’t attend, I was dutifully reading every day, and now, I haven’t read for days.
Has something similar happened to you?
You are super motivated to start something or re-start something, and then poof, your motivation plummets?
My problem is lack of external accountability.
Yes, I could be accountable to myself, but it seems that other people do such a better job of it.
Do you know why? Because I am driven to connect and I am also driven to look good in other people’s eyes. It’s a combination of my need for connection and my need to be and feel valued.
That is why I set myself up to succeed as much as possible.
That is why I am part of a French book club.
That is why I have a running partner.
That is why I have a business coach.
That is why I am part of a mastermind.
I know that they will hold me to my commitments and integrity, even when I don’t hold myself to them. And what’s more, there is no differential in power between us, like with a boss-employee, or teacher-student, or parent-child relationship. I am not worried about being admonished for not stepping up. They are in my corner with compassion and inspiration (sometimes without even knowing it.)
Who is helping hold you accountable? Not just to your goals, but to who you are committed to BEING, not matter what happens.
Courage. Compassion. Connection.
P.S. If you are looking for a new source accountability and inspiration, come join my new FB group--She Thrives, We Thrive. It's all about courage, compassion, and communication. See you there!
YOU CAN TELL SOMEONE WHAT’S BEHIND THE CURTAIN OR YOU CAN SHOW THEM
Yesterday I had a low moment.
A pothole of sorts.
I have been working on something new and I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted to see, as quickly as I wanted to see them. As a result I started doubting myself. I started questioning whether I would FAIL. I started questioning whether it was worth all the effort I was putting in, or if I was better off giving up.
In order to get support, I shared this low moment with a tribe of wonderfully inspiring people, asking for help.
And I did get help, though not all of the help was exactly how I wanted to receive it.
One woman in particular gave it to me STRAIGHT, which I appreciated and didn’t like at the same time. I don’t even remember her exact words, but I do remember how I felt--LIKE SHE HAD PUNCHED ME IN THE STOMACH.
I don’t deny that I needed what she served me, but she served it with such violence and such hostility. I didn’t feel any love or compassion in her words.
As I was reflecting on the situation this morning, I was able to pinpoint exact why it felt so shitty. Instead of helping me to SEE who I was being in that moment, she TOLD me who I was being.
There is a difference between SHOWING and TELLING.
I can tell someone that they are being a JERK, or I can show them.
I can tell someone that they are being an EGOTISTICAL MANIAC, or I can show them.
I can tell someone that they are being MANIPULATIVE, or I can show them.
And it all comes down to the words I use and how I communicate them.
If someone is your life is driving you nuts with who they are BEING, telling them is only going to bring resistance, while SHOWING them opens the door to change.
I know that I go way overboard with my eating habits during the holiday season. Here is what my holidays look like:
It is all so delicious, but always leaves me feeling a little guilty and shameful by the time New Year’s rolls around. Does something similar happen to you too?
Mindful eating is difficult, but if we pay a little bit more attention and change a few small things, we can escape some of the guilt associated with holiday overindulgence. These are some suggestions to try. See what works for you.
At holiday parties:
At holiday dinners:
In the kitchen:
In no way am I suggesting that you try to avoid all those tempting foods over the holidays. Depriving yourself only leads you to want it more, and then when you do have it you feel guilty. Indulge, just do so in moderation, and balance it out with the healthy stuff too!!
Happy Holidays and Happy Eating!
A little over a month ago I attended a seminar in which we spent a good deal of time talking about the difference between an unfulfilled expectation and an unfulfilled commitment, and how it affects us.
Let’s say I am trying to turn a new leaf and make healthier choices and improve my nutrition. I create an expectation that I will eat 3 fruits and 4 vegetables each day. As I work toward meeting this expectation, I falter one day, and get pretty upset. The expectation that I set for myself went unfulfilled and I failed. I probably spend some time beating myself up, and figure out how to start over with a new expectation.
Now, let’s change the language a bit.
Let’s say I am trying to improve my overall health. I make a commitment to myself to be healthy, including improving my nutrition. I start off strong and am making healthy food choices, and then I attend a birthday party and have a big slice of chocolate cake and a glass of champagne. I faltered on my commitment, but has my commitment changed? No. I am still committed to my overall health and nutrition. As soon as I finish licking the crumbs, I can continue with my commitment without beating myself up.
An expectation is finite and has an end point. It is about DOING something. Unfulfilled expectations lead to upset, feelings of failure, and often self-sabotage.
A commitment is through time, and takes time. A commitment is a pledge to a way of BEING. A commitment to something big will never be fulfilled. If, for some reason, a commitment goes unfulfilled, it merely leads back to the original commitment.
We have this false sense that when we set goals and expectations for ourselves; we are eventually going to get to this magical place of perfection. (I hate to tell you, but that magical place doesn’t exist.) As we strive and strive to DO more, we eventually falter and get upset.
Instead, I ask you to commit to BEING something more. That doesn’t mean that you don’t ever have to take action and do something, because you do, but change the language. Make it about BEING, not DOING.
What are you committed to for yourself?
I have never been one to weigh myself on a regular basis, at least not since I was in high school. We do own a scale, but we use it more for when we have to weigh our luggage before a trip to France, than we do for weighing ourselves.
Now, though, I get to see the numbers on the scale on a regular basis for my monthly pregnancy check-in with the doctor. To be honest, I sometimes get on the scale at home before hand so that I know if I am going to be “talked to” about my weight gain at the visit. It seems absolutely ridiculous, since I am obviously supposed to gain weight during pregnancy, but I still get all worried about it. I have become slightly obsessed with the number on the scale.
What do I weight now? Am I gaining too much? Is the doctor going to have to talk to me about my weight gain? Is she going to ask me about what I have been eating and if I have been exercising? Do I weigh more than my husband yet?
The other day I was actually down 0.4 pounds since my visit a month ago and I did a little happy dance. Instead of the nurse asking what I had been eating, she asked me if I had been eating. The irony is that I am bigger—I actually look pregnant now.
We, women, seem to put so much weight into that number that appears on the scale. It seems like we always want it to be smaller, no matter what we look like. I have a former client who used to weigh herself 3 times a day, and all it brought her was misery and that feeling that she wasn’t enough.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Our weight is a factor when we are gauging our health, but there are so many other factors to consider beyond just that one number. I talk to women that workout on a regular basis, keep a balanced diet, and still want to weigh less. When I ask them what will be different, they often say that they will be more confident and just feel better about themselves.
At what point can we be confident and feel good in our skin no matter what our size or our weight? At one point can we love and accept ourselves for who and how we are? At what point can we let go of that number on the scale?
Last week I was reminded of the Aesop’s fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper.
It is summer time, and the ant is busy preparing for winter by storing lots of food. Meanwhile, the grasshopper is singing and dancing, while also making fun of the ant. As fall turns into winter and snow covers the fields, the grasshopper can no longer find food. Thinking back to the summer, he knows that the ant has food, so he goes to the ant to ask for food and warmth. The ant doesn’t help him out, and reminds the grasshopper about his idle ways over the summer.
What immediately comes to mind with regard to this fable is whether we are spenders or savers, but I started thinking about it from a different angle—our health.
If we take these same roles and apply it to our health, then the grasshopper would represent those of us, or those times, when we overindulge in the present without regard for our future health. The ant would represent those times when we think twice about something, knowing how it will impact our future health.
Herein lies the problem; as humans we do not have great self-control, so we tend to act like grasshoppers more often than like ants. We have what is called a present focus bias, meaning that we tend to put more stake in our current situation than we do in our future. Things in the future seem less important than what is enticing us in the present.