Do you find yourself struggling to do what you want to do?
So often we show up for others but we can’t seem to show up for ourselves.
We would never miss going to work but we can’t seem to wake up early or go to the gym.
In this episode, I teach you why you struggle with self-discipline and how the solution is self-accountability.
If you want to start taking action, then this is a must-listen.
Here are some of my favorite resources to go along with this episode:
- The Problem With Accountability (blog post)
- Procrastination (podcast)
- The Self Care Myth (podcast)
- Overcoming Self Doubt Free Course (training)
- Grow You (coaching)
Full Self Accountability Episode Transcript
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey friend, welcome to the podcast. I don’t know about you, but summertime for me is so much more relaxing and I don’t work as much. I kind of front load of my years from about January to May and then September to December with a lot more work and projects and the summer, I’m still making progress on my goals and working, but it’s so much lighter.
And even though 2020 is so different in a lot of ways, I found that in that regard, it’s pretty similar. So I am enjoying the summer and I hope that you are too for whatever season you’re in. Even if it’s not a relaxing one. I think back to the summer when I took the bar exam, not a relaxing summer, right? But so worth it for me to become a lawyer, I recently started physical therapy. I decided with my physical therapist, that their profession is the worst publicized.
And has the worst marketing did you know that you can go to PT for like non-injury related things? So I don’t have an injury, but I just wanted her to help me with my body’s alignment and my hypermobility. And I just went, I didn’t need a doctor referral. My brother is a surgeon and didn’t even know you can do that.
Now I’m sure it depends how you’re going to pay and whether you’re self pay or whether your insurance will cover it. But I have great insurance and I just went and it’s fantastic. I’m learning so much about my body. I recently got a standing desk that’s really fun and it’s been very different, but I am enjoying it. And I can’t wait until that becomes the, the habit and the norm. So just doing little things to really take care of my body in new and different ways.
Just like I talk about, you know, your mental and emotional health, your physical health is obviously part of that. I think that’s just been so much more normalized and, uh, you know, mental health, the brain health hasn’t. So I’m always teaching you guys new ways to make changes to your mindset from the inside out. Right? Okay.
Let’s talk about self accountability. I love this topic. I love this topic. I have to say that most people don’t know about self-accountability. I get a lot of requests for self-discipline, which is kind of similar. And I hear a lot of people want to join, Grow You because they want an accountability partner. They want someone else to hold them accountable. I want to kind of flip that on its head and teach you about accountability in a very different way so that you can get longterm results. Whether it’s showing up for yourself in a new reading program that you’re taking.
I just thought of that because I am taking a speed reading course and I’m showing up every single day for that. That would be self-accountability or, you know, if it’s wanting to lose weight or if it’s, you know, joining Grow You and you want to actually attend the live calls, or if it’s working on your business and deciding that you’re going to work on it for two hours every day, and actually showing up to do that, that’s what self-accountability is about.
So when I looked at the definition of accountability, the internet told me that it’s an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. I love this definition. You’re accepting responsibility for your own actions. Okay. I think it’s fascinating that that’s the definition of accountability yet we have kind of normalized talking about having accountability partner. So we abdicate that responsibility onto someone else.
And what I want to teach you how to do is the opposite. How to, you know, increase and improve the skill of true accountability of self accountability. So accountability is doing what you say you’re going to do for you, right? It’s taking responsibility for your own self discipline.
Self discipline is the ability to pursue what you think is right, despite temptations to abandon it. So think about, you know, your calendar and putting on your calendar that you’re going to go to the gym. So will you go to the gym because you say you’re gonna go to the gym and hold yourself accountable to that. Even when you don’t feel like it in the moment, because you’re tempted to go to happy hour with your girlfriend. Instead, your primitive brain is always going to want to do what’s easiest in the moment for it, which means it’s always going to want to do what’s pleasurable.
It would prefer that you go and have a cocktail with your girlfriend instead of going to the gym in the moment. That’s why it’s so important that you plan ahead of time. And it’s not just about the plan, which I teach you how to do right. To try to plan.
But that second part that no one really talks about is following through. It’s kind of like budgeting. Everyone knows how to budget, but most people don’t follow through with their budget. Why is that? Right? They haven’t practiced the skill of being accountable to themselves to do what they want to do from their prefrontal cortex and abandon the desire in the moment to do what tempting, what feels pleasurable to that lower toddler brain to eat the junk food instead of eat the salad. The problem that I see with accountability is that we typically want it from someone else.
We think that accountability is something that someone else can give us. So we want to work out more. What do we do? We look for an accountability partner. It might be an actual friend who we say, let’s go to the gym together, or it might be joining a new program thinking that, Oh, this is the thing. I coach women a lot in Grow You about joining new business programs. And sometimes they’ll say, well, I’m just nervous that I’m not going to like it. And it’s not going to get me the results I want and it’s going to be a waste of money.
And what I tell them generally is that what if you decided that you were going to do that program, give it your all do everything that the person, you know, the coach, the teacher said to do no matter what, and you took it upon yourself to make sure that the program worked.
So a lot of times we’ll say it isn’t working right? The business isn’t working, the weight loss, isn’t working, the dating isn’t working right, really what’s happening is that we are saying that something outside of us, isn’t working. When we’re the ones not working. I even find myself doing this. I’m like, Oh, that’s not working. And I’ve always flip it around. And I say, Oh, I’m not working.
Here’s the beauty in that when I take responsibility for my results and for my actions, then I’m the one who can solve the problem. If I set a goal and I’m not getting the results that I want instead of blaming it on the market or on the program, um, whatever, I flip it around and I take responsibility for that so that I can create the result I want.
I recently took a very advanced business program and there was so much information in there. And I was so tempted to, you know, take the easy way out and say, Oh, this won’t work for me. Instead I decided to say, Oh no, this works. And I’m going to make it work. Now that is counterintuitive to what your primitive brain will want you to do. Your primitive brain will want you to take another program or another course and sit back passively.
Your brain does not want you to get outside your comfort zone and do new things. Your brain does not want you to take accountability. It’s harder, but that is how you get the results that you want. Now, you already are really accountable, right? You’re just accountable to other people, especially if you kind of identify as a high achieving woman, you show up for work every day, you show up for your family, you take your kids to the doctor, you don’t cancel lunch. You are someone who always does what they say they’re going to do, right. For other people. Now, I just want you to flip that around and apply it to you.
I like to think that we are already really good at everything we’re already doing. Like even someone who’s an alcoholic, they’re really, really good at being an alcoholic. Okay. I’m like, Oh no. They know how to get things done. An alcoholic will find alcohol, right? So when you look at it that way you can kind of take a step back and see the brain and how it works. And you can say, Oh, I’m really, really good at showing up for other people and making sure everyone else is happy and I want their approval. And that’s a habit I’m in.
What would serve me best is for me to get really good at doing what I want to do for me. Right. When I was signing up for this reading program, the speed reading program, the content drips out, meaning I get a new, I get two new lessons every day. And the reading assignment is to read intentionally for 10 minutes a day, and they tell you how to do that. And at first I thought, Oh, you know, this is kind of lame 10 minutes a day and it’s not really enough, whatever, but I still did it. Right.
I invested in the course, I paid, you know, $300 for it. I was going to take it. So what I found was that, you know, on day one I wanted more, but on day two, you know, maybe I wanted a little bit more, but by day three, four and five, especially after that, I was thinking, Oh, this is plenty.
This is plenty. Right? Because in the beginning, when you start something you’re so excited, your brain loves things that are new and different. So you’re more, all in. What’s harder is to keep going. It’s like training for anything in the middle when it’s not as sexy and new, but you don’t have the result yet.
So I was so grateful that my assignment was to read 10 minutes a day. Now, no one would know if I did, or didn’t read 10 minutes a day intentionally with this program, but I want to get faster at reading. So I’m doing this for me, right? Just a personal development program that I decided to take. This course is such a great example of how I want you to get better at self accountability. I want you to meet yourself where you are. So instead of saying, okay, I want to run a marathon and tomorrow I’m going to run 10 miles.
You say, I want to run a marathon next year, for the next month, I’m going to get on my workout clothes and walk a mile, no matter what, meeting yourself, where you are means that you make the small transition to get from zero to one, because that’s the hardest getting from one to a hundred is much easier than zero to one. You have to create a new path for yourself, getting on the workout clothes and getting outside and walking and starting the run is so much harder than actually continuing to run.
So for you, if it’s your business, if it’s weight loss, if it’s dating, if it’s, you know, reading whatever it is for you, I want you to become more accountable to yourself by meeting yourself where you are and starting really small and thinking of it as a skill. So you in and of yourself, you as a person are not good or bad at accountability, right?
You have this skill. That’s probably really good at being accountable for other people. And now you want to get really good at being accountable for yourself. I am telling you, when you become accountable to yourself, there is no limit to what you can do. I say that, and you’re hearing me, but I actually blow my own mind when I set goals, create a plan, do the plan. And there’s no drama about it and it’s as good as done.
So, like I said, in the beginning of this episode, one of my 2020 goals was to have consistently, you know, be making over 40 K per month in my business by the end of the year. Right. We are halfway through the year and I’ve accomplished that. And it’s just because I created a plan and I followed through. It, like blows my mind. Right. And then you have to go back and think, Oh, that was impossible.
Six months ago. I guess I should set another impossible goal for the next six months. I think that because self-discipline, isn’t super sexy and self-accountability, isn’t something that our brains look forward to doing. We don’t gravitate towards it. So instead we look for the next program or the next, how to, or the next quick fix thinking that it’s the program that gets us the results. So I am a big, big believer in self-education right.
I have my own personal life coaches and I buy one off programs. I separate those out. It’s kind of like, I tell people in Grow You that’s like a gym membership. So I have something like that for myself, where I have a life coaching program where I’m, it’s ongoing in the background. And then I also take one off programs, one at a time, right. So I just took that business program.
So I’m still doing that, but I’m implementing it as I go and achieving my goals without the drama of it. And it sounds a little bit weird, but it’s almost like, okay, here’s the meal plan. Here’s what I’m going to eat. Here’s what I’m not going to eat. And then you just do it and then you get the results. It’s so simple, but the doing it part is the hardest part. And you guys know this right now.
Sometimes you get new strategies, new meal plans, new business tactics from programs. It’s the reason why I would ever buy a program, right? To learn different strategies, different ways of thinking. I’m always a student, but I’m balancing that passive learning with massive action. And it certainly doesn’t mean that there’s not failures along the way. I’m just failing forward. A lot of times, people with money and with health, with weight loss, they think that they’re falling off the wagon.
If there’s a failure along the way, and I have great news for you, there is no wagon. Okay? You haven’t fallen off anything. So I want you to be careful with how you talk to yourself, right? If you fail, tell yourself the truth about that. Okay. I missed the mark here. I made certain decisions, took certain actions and got a certain result.
Clearly, this isn’t the result I want. So now let’s look at how we can make new decisions, take new actions and get a different result and all the way we’re failing forward. It doesn’t mean that there’s not some disappointment in there, but it does mean that there’s not this shame and beating yourself up, thinking that, Oh, you’re someone who just can’t show up for yourself and you can’t lose the weight or you can’t, you know, fill in the blank instead. It’s decisions.
And it’s actions. If you try this and you meet yourself where you are and you start really small and you do it, you know, reading the 10 minutes a day or going on the one mile, walk or sitting down at your computer for one hour a day, if you fail or miss the mark or don’t show up for yourself, that’s when you coach yourself, where you come to Grow You and you get coaching.
You want to look at what happened right before you didn’t do the thing you said you were going to do. So if you didn’t go to the gym, when you said you were going to, what were you thinking and feeling right before you didn’t go, right? Was it something like this? Isn’t going to make a difference. I’m always going to be overweight and you kind of felt apathetic and self pity.
Remember your actions are always a result of what you’re thinking and feeling. So if you’re not taking action, what were you thinking and feeling right before that? So let’s say that going to the gym is something you’re really struggling with. Instead of going to the gym, I want you to meet yourself where you are and say, okay, I’m just going to put my workout clothes on and get in the car. That’s it.
If ever you’re not taking that action, you shorten up whatever it is that you’re trying to do, because your brain just thinks it’s too big. It’s like, this is never going to happen. So I’m not going to even try. So you’re like, okay, brain, we’re going to make it even smaller. I know for sure that if that reading course had me reading for one hour per day, even though logically, that sounds like I, for sure want to be doing that.
And many days I do do that, but often I listened to audio books and in this course, it’s actually sitting down and reading. I know for sure now having gone through a lot of that course, that I would not have done the course. If it required an hour a day for the whole course, I just wouldn’t have.
I’m so glad that it only required 10 minutes a day, because then I could build that skill from there. It’s like getting from zero to one. It’s so much harder than getting from one to 100. For you, what is the result that you want in the next six months? Right? And the next few years, are you losing weight? Are you working on your marriage or dating? Are you working on your reading skills? Are you trying to make more money? Are you building a business?
Think about your next goal or the areas that you want to improve in your life and think about how you can take responsibility for your actions and results and how you can be the one to create that and why you would want to right? If ever someone comes to me and they don’t want to take responsibility.
I know that that means they don’t have the results that they want, right? Because certainly circumstances happen outside of our control. I like to think about how there’s a model going on in my head, right? My thoughts and feelings, but there are also all of the other humans, thoughts, feelings, actions, and results.
And so we’re all kind of living together in this world. So certainly circumstances happen. We can all look at COVID for example, that we did not plan. That is not what we thought was going to happen. And it is what happened, but you’re never going to be able to control your circumstances. And that’s okay. Let’s control what we can. Let’s decide to take responsibility for what we can, because that gives us the highest likelihood of success for whatever it is that we want. And if a circumstance happens and we have to change our vision, we change our vision.
Right. I always think that my childhood was such a good practice field for this for me, because I always to this day, just really know that anything can change in an instant. And it’s a good thing. It’s made me so much more resilient. So I’m like, Oh, here’s COVID here we go. I guess now there’s quarantine. Here we go.
Because growing up, I had experiences where my childhood was just somewhat volatile. Right. And whether we were moving or my dad, you know, lost his dental license and would be in and out of jail for DUIs. So it was changing in a way that I became very self reliant, very early on. And it served me so well. And it’s just because I’ve been practicing this as a skill. So now I’m like, Oh, I want to do something. Sure. I’m going to do it. I’m going to put it on my calendar.
And then it’s as good as done. Right. And being willing to make changes as you know, my circumstances change. If that’s the case, most of the time, it’s not the case. Most years we don’t have quarantine and COVID, but sometimes we do. That’s okay. We’re here for it.
That’s why we have Grow You. So if you want to be more accountable and have more accountability in your life, I want you to get a life coach. Come to Grow You. I will show you how to increase and improve the skill of self accountability. I think that this is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself because it’s doing what you want to be doing for the rest of your life, right? You only got one shot and you get to decide what you want to do for you. And when you actually do it, there’s nothing better truly, because then you’re the one. And you always, always, always have you.
Hey, if you liked this podcast you really should check out, Grow You, my life coaching program. I coach you on everything I teach on the podcast so that you can uplevel your life. We 10x it so you get the results you want most. Just like a monthly gym membership to get your body in shape, this is a monthly personal development membership to get your mind in shape. It is an investment your future self will thank you for. Check it out at Nataliebacon.com/coaching. That’s Nataliebacon.com/coaching. I will see you there.