Step right up for the greatest show on earth! Watch as two friends become foes when they battle it out in the ring.
In one corner...
We have Motivation: a burning and churning force to be reckoned with, not to be underestimated once you grab his tail. But watch out; he’s slippery!
And in the other corner...
His partner in crime but eventual rival Accountability. He’s always there to put you in your place, tear you down, and with a trick up his sleeve: the ability to masquerade as his foe.Who will win when these two driving forces compete to be the center of your attention? Sit back, ladies and gentlemen, and enjoy the show!
This scene played out in my mind after a conversation with someone who said they wanted me to motivate them to reach their goals. I quickly clarified that they had all the motivation they needed; it just might be still lost inside of them. As a wellness coach, my job is to help folks find their motivation, connect to it and use it as a tool for success. Accountability is a part of that process, but don’t be tricked when accountability dresses up like motivation.Yes, that’s right. Sometimes accountability will pretend to be motivation. It’s a sneaky little trick that convinces many of us that to achieve success in our goals, we just need someone else to come and check to make sure we did what we said we would. The ruse works for a while, because the accountability does add an element of urgency and excitement, mostly because we don’t want to feel shame or regret when we haven’t followed through. But eventually, the novelty wears off, and we don’t care as much about meeting the approval of others. Then, the gig is up, accountability’s true identity is revealed, and we’re left with the realization that to keep making progress, we have to look away from others and towards ourselves.Motivation and accountability, as it turns out, are actually friends. And, it is true that accountability can be a form of motivation at the beginning stages of working towards achieving a goal. But, it is best when these two friends work together. Are you looking for the right combination of motivation to get going this year? Discover it by asking yourself some questions.
The first question is, “what?” What is it that you need a kick in the pants to do? What is the outcome that you want? Challenge your first answer with this follow-up question: “what does that mean?” For example, if your first response was, “be healthier,” your more thoughtful response might be, “that means I am not on any medications, eat lots of vegetables, and I am exercising four or five times a week.” The second question is, “why?” This one can go on and on for hours as we peel back the layers of why something is important, drilling down to the core of motivation: desire. Channel your inner toddler and ask yourself why. Imagine this internal dialogue:Q: Why do you want to eat more vegetables?A: Because I don’t want to be on all these medications.Q: Why does it matter to get of medications?A: Because they’re expensive and besides, I don’t want to be sick and die young like my (insert family member) did.Q: Why is it so important to live longer? A: Because I want to be with my grandchildren, and I want to play with them.Q: Why is it important to be active with your grandchildren?A: Because I don’t want to be the grandparent who just sits! I want to take them places and make memories together!Q: Why is family togetherness so important to you?A: Because it just is! It’s important to me and I want to enjoy my family and be around to see them grow up!Q: So if you're eating vegetables and getting healthy enough to get off of medications, you would have more time with your family?A: Yes. Quit asking me questions! I’m going to the grocery store to buy vegetables!That right there is the true identity of your motivation: what you desire in life and why you care enough to do something about it. Having pictures of your grandchildren on the fridge door, regular visits when you can remember how you want to feel, and friends who share the same goal and support you are all ways to incorporate accountability. When motivation and accountability step into the ring together, it is not to compete. They are a great team as long as we let each of them do what they do best. Let motivation ask the questions that bring you to the exasperated core of what you desire, and seek sources of support that will remind you in a healthy and positive way when things get tough. I guarantee, everyone will be a winner.========================================================We are also here to help! If you’re ready for support or want more information on motivation and accountability, drop us an email or give us a call at 877-293-9355 ext. 0!
– HEATHER FUSELIER, CHWC, CFP, TTS
Health Advisor | Email Heather