I have been a people pleaser for a long time. It is a label I am trying to shed, but it is also a piece of who I am. I feel things deeply, over analyze constantly, worry about how everyone else is feeling and what they’re thinking at all times, and make small things into unnecessary epics.

Sometimes, being a self-proclaimed people-pleaser can be a good thing. I am loyal, compassionate, reliable, empathetic and consistent. Long story short, I won’t disappoint. However, if not channeled appropriately, I will, time and again, let myself down before I let someone else down. This means my personal goals, plans, aspirations are often put on the back burner until I can meet the expectations of my friends, co-workers and community.¬†When I don’t follow through on something for someone ELSE, I start to get extremely self-critical. Conversely, when I don’t live up to my own goals or expectations, I brush it off, crediting it to “life being busy” and move on. What IS that?

I noticed this pattern of not committing myself to my own appointments. Ironically, these are the things that I love most like writing, reading and yoga. I wonder if we discredit our passions because they feel like “fun” and not important “work”? If it isn’t essential or immediately productive I can put it off until later…

Writing specifically needs to be a part of my daily schedule, just like getting to work or brushing my teeth or getting gas. It must be a non-negotiable. But while my car won’t start if I put off a trip to the gas station, the consequences of not writing are not quite so immediate.

I decided I needed to take action. As 2018 is coming to a close, I have been researching several different planners. There are tons of good options on the market. I ultimately decided on The Best Self Journal. This journal/planner combo guides you through setting goals, breaking big dreams into small digestible tasks, and chipping your way through each month, week and day with reflections, SMART goals, and ways to track progress. Instead of being accountable to “just” myself, I am accountable to the Best Self Journal– something outside of myself. It is physical and I can view my progress (or lack thereof). ¬†There is something about writing a commitment down on paper that makes it more tangible and real. I especially like that this journal encourages you to block off time throughout the entire day — literally– you can even mark off time for an hour nap, reading, watching TV. It simply allows you to set specific, measurable commitments to find balance in your life and structure when you need it.

In this first week I have noticed I am carving more time out to write consistently and am more organized to get out the door on time in the morning. Woohoo for beating traffic! I am able to fulfill a wide range of small goals, and feel myself building momentum toward bigger dreams, like writing this BOOK!

How do you hold yourself accountable? I would love to hear about your tools, accountability practices, resources, quotes that inspire you to be more committed to yourself.