Cost and accountability

People pay a lot of money to ensure they remain accountable.

Perhaps you want to lose weight and you’re struggling to do it alone so you join weight loss group. You might be a writer who is struggling to make time to write so you join an online weekly writing group. Both of these types of groups can be created and attended for free.

However, when it comes to losing weight many people choose to pay to join a group like Weight Watchers. Or perhaps they pay to join a gym or a particular fitness class. The group provides a community of like minded people and the fact that you pay makes you more likely to commit because now you have something to lose.

If you’re paying a certain amount every month or every week and you ignore the meal plans, don’t exercise and continue with a diet full of processed, sugary, high fat and high salt foods then you’ve just wasted your money.

With writing perhaps you pay to attend a writing group where you sit and write for an hour or 2 each week. The purpose of the group is to work on your writing separately but for many it feels easier together. Of course you wouldn’t be reliant on the group to get all your writing done however if the group also involves sharing writing progress made throughtout the week it gives you an incentive to something done between meetings.

From the outside some people may not see the value in joining these kinds of groups, perhaps because they don’t need to but I think if it works then it’s worth it.

Optional commitment

In a recent conversation, I spoke about this blog and how I share something everyday. I explained that I don’t allow ‘feeling like I have nothing good to write’ to hold me back from posting.

For many people, the idea of making a commitment to do something that you don’t have to do every single day isn’t particularly appealing. Part of the reason for this is because there’s nothing to keep them on the hook. With the example of daily blogging, who keeps you accountable?

If I don’t post for a day or a week there are no repercussions. Nobody get’s annoyed and nobody will email to ask where the new blog post is, there are no real negative implications at all (aside from my own internal frustrations). And so if this is the type of thing you’re committed to, you need to find a strong reason within yourself to keep going because there will always be days where you don’t feel like it.

Hold yourself to it

When you tell yourself that you will do something, it’s quite easy to just not commit. Afterall, there is nobody else that knows and nobody to hold you to it.

On the other hand if you share your aims or goals with others, you have to be willing to accept being called out of if you don’t follow through with your words.

If you write a daily blog, you don’t have to declare that it’s a daily blog, you can simply hold yourself to it. Make a promise or commitment to yourself that you will publish one post, every single day.

But maybe you think it is better to tell people, maybe you need others to hold you to your words and struggle to do it yourself. I don’t think thats a bad thing and in some cases a group of people that hold each other accountable is a great thing.

However, when it comes to some things, you shouldn’t become reliant on other people reminding you of the commitments you made in order to get things done.