As January drew to a close and my goals seemed to sputtering (as goals often do come the end of January), I bumped into a post about Gretchen Rubin's new book on habits. In this book she has a quiz that guides people to understanding about why they do (or don't) keep new habits. She asserts that people fall into one of four habit personality types: Obliger, Upholder, Questioner and Rebel.
Turns out, I'm an Obliger. I do everything that people are counting on me to do. But I struggle with keeping habits where I'm only accountable to myself. The best system for an obliger? Create accountability.
Part of me understands this system well. I learned a few years ago that I wouldn't get my house organized without outside help. So I hired help, then I've had some friends who love organizing keep me going when things start to fall apart. Almost two years ago, I hired a woman to help me clean my house. I admit that I have a pretty modest budget, but I keep having her come, because she doesn't clean FOR me, she cleans WITH me. My family knows that every Saturday for two hours we all have to clean. Period. It keeps me going when I might otherwise throw in the towel.
But the day-in-day-out, stay-off-of-Facebook kinda stuff is hard. And I've actually found that, with all of my children in school all day, it is actually HARDER, not easier to get stuff done. It was a weird phenomenon and maybe something I have whined about a time or two.
You know how sometimes, when you're prepared, you get exactly what you need? That's how I felt about a Facebook post by a friend (and writer) in which she mentioned her accountability partner. And I felt little brain explosion. This was a thing? I'm not alone? Other people struggle with not getting stuff done and there's a solution? She introduced me to an adorable little book called, Done and Done: The Power of Accountability Partnering to Reach Your Goals. I read this little gem in an afternoon and am currently on a quest for an accountability partner.
Realizing exactly how game changing, this could be, I've started with Wendell as my accountability partner and I'll make the segue to someone else as soon as I can get someone to bite. (This is actually working OK for now, but I think in the long run it would be beneficial NOT to have my spouse trying to help me be accountable.)