Accountable

I like to think I’m good at anything I put my mind to doing. 

I started in a business analysis role 15 years ago without knowing what Excel was.  But I needed to know how to use it for my business case analysis and so I learned it (and now bend it to my will daily).

When I started doing financial analysis of opportunities I didn’t know what a contribution margin was, how to calculate NPV or what IRR had to do with the price of tea in China.  But I needed to know all that so I learned it (and now manage business decisions valued at millions of dollars).

I wanted to play on A-level beach volleyball teams as well as the C-level teams I was playing on each week.  But I needed to get better at that so I learned how to play better (and now play on more A-level teams than B- or C-level teams each week).

If I need to learn something to do my job, get better or just expand my horizons I do it…because I don’t know another way.  If I can’t hit my goal with “status quo Pauly” then I have a problem, and I love finding ways to solve those problems.

But now I have a problem I can’t seem to overcome.  I’ve tried numerous times to solve it (and will continue to do so), but to date my success has been highly limited.  I’ve tried many different tactics but all to no or only limited avail.

I suck at keeping myself accountable.

It’s bad.  Really really bad.  I can keep myself on the hook for a few days or a few weeks, but soon the awesomeness of the “I’m going to rock this!” wears off and I start to falter.  Hopefully I’ll catch myself and get back on track at least for a little while, but ultimately I crash.

My latest endeavor to keep myself “on the hook” is Paul Gillespie, unplugged.  I announced it briefly in this post earlier this month and have done a great job of keeping it up-to-date with my status.  Unfortunately, though, that status is not where it should be.

I currently (as of this post) have two goals sitting on there.  The first is getting from 209 pounds to 190 pounds.  I’ve had some success – I was down 6 pounds at what point last week – but I’m slipping.  I’m having that hot chocolate at volleyball that I shouldn’t.  I’m grabbing a quick candy bar because it’s close and sounds good.  I’m grabbing a cookie without thinking about it.  Not good.  Right now I’m only down 3 pounds net in the last three weeks, and really I should probably be closer to 6 or 7.

The second is completing the You vs. Debt course.  This one I’m doing better on, but I’m not devoting as much time to it as I should/need to.  That was actually somewhat known when I signed up for it (since it started late September but volleyball – my biggest time sink outside of the office as well as my #1 passion – didn’t end until last night), so I’m hesitant to throw the red flag on myself for this one yet.  I’m getting all the videos watched, but not really hard-core applying what I’ve learned so far.  I also have two of the exercises I haven’t done yet for various reasons (one is due to “security concerns”; the other is time constraint).  I might give myself a yellow card for this one, but I’m getting close to bordering on a full-fledged red card if I don’t pick it up.

I need help.

I need someone to help keep me on the stick, or someone to give me some ideas about how to keep me on track.  What’s worked for you?  Does having an accountability partner work?  Do financial incentives work (e.g., giving $100 to charity for every day you miss on your diet)?  Does publicly berating yourself and wearing a chicken costume do it?  What have you found that works?

I’d love to hear – post it in comments if you would, or just shoot me an e-mail (comments can make it visible – and hence helpful – to everyone, though)!

Thank you!


(post image courtesy of Zazzle)

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