Who wants 30 bucks? The need for accountability in goal-setting

Inspiration has struck.

Remember last post, I said I don’t make New Year’s resolutions? I can’t count on being inspired at a particular time of year. So, instead, I wait for inspiration to come.

And when it comes, I pounce.

But there’s more to it than that.

First, let me tell you how the inspiration came about this time.

I had planned on going to a church function straight from work. So, I donned my Sunday best in the AM. Except, with lil’ Aspen asleep next to Momma’s bed, I couldn’t turn the lights on to get ready. So I was feeling my way in the dark, trying to find my Sunday clothes amidst blackness all around.

But I could only find one pair of pants. Not my favorite Sunday pants, mind you. They’d always been a bit too tight in the quad area. But, they were all I could find.

As I attempted to put on the pants, I realized something. It’s been months since I’ve worn those pants. And, to my horror, I’d realized that in those months, my physique has grown. I stepped on the scale, certain something was amiss.


I was 15 pounds from where I was only a year ago.

Double oy.

Only six months ago, I found freedom and peace in my new method of exercise. I wish I’d found the same freedom in healthy eating. But, alas, I’m a sucker for pizza, steak, pasta, and other high calorie foods.

Just ask my bulging stomach.

So, I stuffed my bulbous thighs into those pants and walked like a penguin the remainder of the day.

Inspiration had struck a painful blow.

So now I’m ready to commit. And I need your help.

The value of accountability in goal-setting

I mentioned this in passing with my exercise post. What really motivated me to keep at my P90X exercise routine was my good buddy Matt. Every day, without fail, I’d hear a knock on my office door and find Matt standing there, always with the same question:

Did you work out today?

The answer, more often than not, was yes.

Another day, another knock.

Did you work out today?


It was like a daily ritual. You could count on the sun rising in the morning and I could count on Matt knocking at my door.

Did you work out today?

Yes, yes, yes.

We need that, don’t we? We need someone to keep us honest. Like I said last week, we tend to find ways to lie to ourselves or deceive ourselves into thinking our own personal commitment really didn’t mean that much after all.

But a good friend won’t let you lie to yourself. And they’ll call you out if you do.

So, once again, I thank you Matt for jump-starting my healthy lifestyle.

But alas, Matt is gone. He’s no longer a hallway away. I can wait for the knock on my office door, but it won’t come.

I’m on my own.

Or am I?

That’s where ya’ll come in.

Can ya’ll be my Matt?

You all have kept me honest for seven months now. Every time I don’t want to blog, you (whoever and wherever you are) won’t let me. You loom over my shoulder like a daunting drill sergeant, demanding I blog. The imagined you demands exactitude in keeping my commitment.

Sometimes I resent that silent illusory sentinel, but when I look at the progress I’ve made over the last seven months, it’s energizing.

So here’s the deal:

I promise to track my calories until I’m back to where I was a year ago.

And, honestly, I just trembled a bit. The thought makes me nervous to have another soldier breathing down my neck. But, I’m gonna thank you later.

And just to add another level of incentive, I will give $30 to the first person who catches me not tracking calories.

Here’s the details:

  1. To avoid a flood of emails in my already saturated inbox, please only check every few weeks.
  2. If I have missed one day, you get $30.
  3. The first person who catches me gets $30, then the deal starts over again (i.e., somebody only gets $30 if I miss another day).

Got it?

What’s this gotta do with you?

This has been kinda me-centric, so far, hasn’t it? Sorry.

I’m hoping this post will inspire you to find your Matt.

Often, it’s not enough to make a silent promise to yourself. Let that promise be heard by those who love you enough to demand exactitude.

Now go make some changes!

4 thoughts on “Who wants 30 bucks? The need for accountability in goal-setting

  1. All the best with your goal! I’m calorie counting on myfitnesspal … EliseEdmonds if you want to link up πŸ™‚ My Fitness Pal tells you how many days you’ve logged in for consecutively which gives you a real incentive to log in every day so you don’t break the chain. Broke my chain over Christmas so I’m back to the beginning!

  2. Pingback: The 70% Rule | Dustin Fife

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