21st February 2017: Day 33 - A Bit Fit?
Yesterday somebody asked me what accountability means to me? My response was that it’s about a willingness to take responsibility for your actions no matter what the outcome. But actually, it’s more than that isn’t it? It’s about transparency, it’s about being open to criticism (and praise), it’s also about support. If you are accountable to someone or something (even if it’s only to yourself) then it motivates you to take action when you don’t feel like it and cheers you on when you do take that action. Well that’s what I think anyway.
For some reason, in some areas of our lives we shy away from being accountable and I wonder, is that because we’re scared of failing or is it that we’re scared of who we might be when we succeed?
We have so many ways to connect nowadays. We can be friends on Facebook, we can connect on LinkedIn. All it takes is for someone to have your telephone details and Hey Presto! You’re part of a WhatsApp group. With a QR code or an invite you can join WeChat, or follow someone on Instagram, Twitter and do something on Snapchat (not quite sure what that is yet). All these ways to connect, to be visible to show the world what we’re doing, and now, to hold ourselves accountable to someone or something.
Take this blog for instance. I set myself the challenge to do something new each day for 50 days. I put it out there, asked people for suggestions and here it is. In telling people about it I had to follow through. When I first started, I would post that day’s contribution late in the evening and I found that a couple of people would read it that same night. So it motivated me to stick to that. To make sure the day’s ‘edition’ was posted before I went to bed for that couple of people who read it. So far I’ve stuck to it.
When a person has something new on the horizon, a job prospect or a new relationship, you hear them say
‘I’m not going to talk about it, I might jinx it,’ mainly because they don’t want to have to talk about it if it doesn’t work out. Maybe those are bad examples. What about that novel you always wanted to write?
I started my first novel many, many years ago. I went to Brazil for 6 months to finish the novel and came back having written about two thirds of it. I finished it eventually and in the intervening years any conversation I had with anyone would soon get to the dreaded question
‘What about your novel?’ or
‘What about your book?’ and I would give an explanation of why it wasn’t yet finished. Now of course, when they ask my response is
‘It’s finished, I’m trying to get an agent now.’
And I’m sure part of the reason it is finished is that by being open about it I made myself accountable to something – my pride perhaps, but whatever it was it got me to finish the novel.
One of my goals for this year is to increase my physical strength and stamina. I really enjoy walking so I try to do a lot of it and my goal is 10,000 steps per day. I also do Callanetics 3 days a week (or least I aim to) and since last week I end that session with weights to improve my upper arm strength. My phone has an app that logs the number of steps I take and I used that for a while but it only works if I have my phone with me. So, towards the end of last year, I invested in a Fitbit and committed myself to walking 10,000 steps per day which includes 250 steps per hour between 9.00am and 6pm.
This morning I got a notification that my friend Farah, had invited me to become a Fitbit friend, and I hesitated for one moment. Not because I don’t really want to join something else where I will be notified about someone else’s movements. No it was because along with the invite was a notification that my average number of daily steps was just over 7,500 - I only do a couple of thousand if I don’t leave the flat at all, or if it’s a day of driving a lot – and Farah’s average was over 10,000.
So my initial thought was
‘no, I don’t want people to see that I don’t always make my daily 10,000.’
But that was only for a minute or so because the thought then became,
‘Actually that might be a good way to motivate me to go out even when I don’t have to.’
So I accepted Farah’s friend request and today I have made my first Fitbit friend.