Friday, January 4, 2013

Keeping it Together... Accountability

Over the holidays I took a break from my normal routines to just enjoy having my family in town. One of the things I took a break from was my morning exercise. Now, say what you will, but I enjoyed sleeping in and relaxing and doing things like ice skating and aerial dance over the break instead. Yesterday was my first day back to "routine" and was a BUSY, full day!

This morning was day 2 back at the morning Jazzercise routine and you know what? I slept in. My alarm went off at 5:15. I hit snooze. It went off at 5:20. I turned it off to get up. Apparently my body didn't follow that logic and I closed my eyes again. At 5:40 my phone rang. It was my workout buddy asking if I was coming to pick her up for Jazzercise. I rolled out of bed and was at her place in 5 minutes. Sure, we were a few minutes late for our 5:45 class, but we were there.

Because I have one of those brains that is pinging ideas every few seconds, even when I am engaged in something like Jazzercise that takes a lot of my concentration my mind is still working in the background. While it was doing that this morning, I realized something about accountability and its importance.

I don't know how many times I have tried having an "accountability partner" before. It usually begins with me and another self-discipline challenged friend talking about the fact that we struggle with consistency. Eventually one of us says, "Hey! Let's hold eachother accountable!" It's a great idea - except that we BOTH struggle with consistency. Guess what happens to that accountability? Yup... nothing. Oh, it may last a few days, or even a few weeks, but eventually it falls apart. Does that sound familiar to anyone else? (Please say it's not just me! LOL!)

This morning I would not have been at Jazzercise, but for Ashley, my workout buddy. See, whether I go or not, Ashley will. I took a break over the holidays. She did not. Her struggle is not with self-discipline and consistency. But yesterday we agreed that I was driving (we carpool because 1- we live close and 2- it's way more fun to chat on the way than drive alone!), so when I wasn't at her house when I said I would be, she called. I could have said that I wasn't going and she would have hopped in her car and driven herself. Some days that happens. But the truth is that I WAS going, I just overslept. I am SO THANKFUL for her call this morning, because I got to spend time with her, I got to do what I said I was going to do (workout), and I am building my exercise habit and re-establishing my routine. For someone like me who struggles with consistency (and talking myself out of exercising when I'm in a sleep induced state), accountability is KEY to building the habits I need to succeed in forming a routine like early morning exercise.

In order for accountability to work, though, one of the partners involved has to be 100% committed to hold the other person accountable. In order for accountability to work, you have to bond your weakness to someone else's strength. That is what I realized this morning. That was my A-ha.

It doesn't matter what your weakness is; if you want to strengthen it, it helps to have someone who is strong in that area help you. Accountability is not about perfection. It's about growth. If you're following our 12 Months to a Systematic Home series, I am here to hold you accountable. I will continue the series whether anyone joins or comments or comes along with me. I am committed to this for myself and my family, and designing systems is one of my strengths, though, sadly, not one I've taken the time to do for my entire household yet - thus the 12 Months series! If there's one thing I've learned in my 4+ years of Mary Kay, it's that doing things FOR yourself is good. Doing things BY yourself can be hard. Take advantage of the support networks around you. Bond your weaknesses to someone else's strengths and grow. If you're weak, follow someone who is strong in the area in which you want to be stronger. If you're strong, invite people along on your journey. Enjoy the company!

Now... I'm going to get on with my day and let you do the same. I've got habits to keep building!

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