Accountability vs Reward

I have had many conversations with my therapist regarding accountability. Unless I’m accountable for something that will affect other people, I fail. I’m the Great Creator of Excuses, so being accountable to my husband to exercise just annoys me. He is a great nudger, but I’m better at creating other things to do. However, my doctor is in on the nudging and my numbers on the scale or my blood tests don’t lie. I don’t like mini lectures and it has been proven that exercise is good for the mood. Who knew? 😀

Being accountable for creating a morning routine is having its challenges. First off, I find myself easily distracted. Being accountable to myself is simply futile. I love giving myself breaks and justify doing so.

For instance, I read a blog. It inspires a thought. I may want to learn more, So a-googling I go, often in a direction that doesn’t pertain to the original reason why I’m looking for further information. I wander further from reading blogs.

Many mom readers may know of the children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, you know what I’m talking about. One stray thought reminds me of another stray thought. Eventually, I come full circle and another blog will inspire further investigation.

Meanwhile….that little routine I have created for myself kind of slithers to the back of my mind. Even the paper I write my routine seems to get lost in a creative shuffle. The reason for creating a morning routine was to enjoy some morning harmony.

My problem?

I suck at holding myself accountable.

So……I’m going to switch directions.

Rewards!

Yes, I like getting something in return for a job well done. Apparently, the feeling of accomplishment is not enough for me, so I’m going to create some new rewards.

Other than knitting, which I have to hide from myself — you know, out of sight, out of mind kind of thing, I love reading blogs and participating in the community—which means commenting and carrying on conversations.

I’m going to participate in other theories I have read about sticking to a job/routine. I will give myself so much time to do a dreadful task. Then I will give myself time to read a few blogs.

I’m going to use the timer for this.

Hopefully, I won’t ignore the timer…..that requires accountability.

 

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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28 Responses to Accountability vs Reward

  1. aviets says:

    Brilliant! I messed up my morning routine resolution today, so maybe I should follow your example and consider a reward system…

    • April says:

      I was thinking about chocolate as a reward, but that would cancel out the exercise.

      • aviets says:

        True. Maybe my reward for getting right up and doing a workout routine could be half an hour spent with blogs. Then I just have to resist the urge to pick up my phone (which I still feel I need to have on my bedside table overnight) until AFTER I get up and move.

  2. Good luck with your new regime and rewards scheme April… I have had a massive catch up today on neglected blogs.. So fully understand how one click leads to another.. Wishing you a peaceful weekend xxx Love Sue

  3. I love reward based systems of motivation! Hope you figure out one that works for you.

  4. mewhoami says:

    The timer is a great idea and I hope it works for you. I love a good challenge, so I self-motivate when it comes to working out. As for many other matters – I’m a big procrastinator. Perhaps I could benefit from a schedule as well.

  5. I absolutely get this!!! I’ve been using the Pomodora method which is helping me a bit. The idea is to work in 25 minute increments and then take a 10 minute break. I’ve partnered with a friend on a website and just partnering on a project has forced some much-needed accountability…but yeah, it’s tough. Good luck! I love your idea of rewarding yourself with blog reading. I’m doing sort of the same thing. I only read blogs on my breaks. I’m finding it to be the incentive I need. Sometimes these creative, artsy brains are challenging! 🙂

  6. I think your idea about rewarding yourself is really good April and I hope it will help you 🙂
    Maybe I should learn something here from you, I’m so bad to make and keep a schedule for myself.

  7. Brilliant! Back in the day before home computers became all the rage….I needed to work out. I would not allow myself to read unless I was on my exercise bike. Being a read to breath kind of person I was soon riding at least twice a day for 2 hours or more. 🙂 It worked! Good luck April, I know you can do it!

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    The reward system has been proven to work on many issues, of course, depending on the person. I should probably be using this method too for exactly the same thing you want to apply it to, “dreadful tasks”. I have some that should actually be husband’s to tackle, but he procrastinates more than I do. Albeit, the task needs to be taken care of one way or the other.

    Yes, you may be on to something here. 😉

  9. ecteedoff says:

    I think we all have this problem. Yesterday I lost two hours watching videos and every time I watched another I told myself it was the last one. Some days, I have to just let it go. There’s something telling me I don’t want to do it that day and as long as I’m not hurting anyone or missing a deadline, I tell myself it’s ok. But when I do have to get it done, I try to create a highly structured day that’s broken down. If there’s a big project like reorganizing a closet (bad example for me bc I like doing that) I would do one shelf a day. When it comes to the Internet, timers are good. There is also a program that will not allow you access to sites for certain amts of time like gmail or Facebook. As for food, it’s the worst addiction u can have because you still need it. I have really liked weight watchers bc I just feel like it’s a realistic long term outlook to eating not dieting. And there are rewards there. Anyway, I think just by acknowledging this it’s a great first step. Keep up the good work-you have us all cheering you on the sidelines!

    • April says:

      Thanks! I was going to look into weight watchers. I’m learning it’s okay to give myself a break and relax. The world won’t end if I don’t take a box to the Goodwill.

      • ecteedoff says:

        exactly! i call it compassion. i try to think of if a friend was talking to me and giving herself a hard time about doing something what i would say to her. easier said then done, i know. 😉 As for WW, let me know if you have any questions, but yeah, I don’t believe in diets. this takes time but it’s really a lifestyle change. i dunno, it’s not perfect, but neither are we!

  10. Gallivanta says:

    April, I know the subject is serious but you do make me smile with your description of the problem. I have had a real Mouse with a Cookie day, and now I am exhausted by it. Off to bed with me.

  11. inmycorner says:

    I love the humor that you use when you approach this problem. It is so difficult to see the smile, sometimes, through the rain. Well done. Timer? Hmm. I think I’d break it when it went off. Grin. Have to go find a copy of the mouse with a cookie — never heard of it! Thanks – all the best.

    • April says:

      There is also a book If you give a moose a muffin. I’m having to tweak my timer theory. Yesterday, I gave myself a day off to enjoy knitting.

      • inmycorner says:

        Oh good grief – how delightful to think about how that story ends up! A moose is a little bit bigger than the mouse! And – knitting IS an activity that is exempt from timers. Go forth and pearl one, lady!

  12. inmycorner says:

    Okay – great story!!!! So funny. I am so totally that mouse!

  13. I can so relate to the accountability problem! If I tell someone else I will do something for them, then I do it – but me…weellllll…too easy to get distracted and way to easy to give myself excuses when I don’t finish the task at hand. Like your reward idea!

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