Personal Accountability: Show Up For Yourself
by Leah Nanni
When you’re building your business, it can be difficult to reign in all of your creativity and get focused on getting things done. As a result, you may find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed by your to-do list. And even if you’ve started making progress, it can be challenging to stay on track. This is especially true for those of us who are great at showing up for others in our life but are less practiced at showing up for ourselves.
Here’s a way to rethink personal accountability, followed by 2 practical tools for creating the small changes you need in your daily life to deliver big impact over the long-term.
Consider the following scenario:
You have an appointment with a client today at 1 PM. Which of the following is most like you?
a. You wait on her to reach out and confirm that she still wants to meet. If you don’t hear from her, you will just assume the meeting is cancelled.
b. You’d rather do something else, so you pretend the meeting was never scheduled. You decide not to show up.
c. You send a text message in the morning to confirm the appointment, and you arrive ahead of time.
Now, call us crazy, but we are going to guess you chose C. For years, you’ve been practicing showing up for others, so C was the no brainer choice. But what happens when you remove the client from the picture? When you set an appointment with yourself, are you applying the same expectations and sense of integrity?
Often, we become so used to showing up for others that we forget the importance of giving ourselves the same respect. And it may seem like no big deal to let yourself down, but here’s the thing: each time you break a promise to yourself, you feed self-doubt. And as the weeds of self-doubt grow, your garden of dreams suffocates completely. So how can you nip it in the bud?
Start With Positives
Stop self-doubt in its tracks by beginning your day with a 5 minute practice rooted in gratitude and mindful intentions. In the morning, grab a blank journal (or you can purchase an official 5 Minute Journal here) and write down 3 things you’re grateful for, 3 things that would make your day awesome, and one Positive Affirmation beginning with the words “I am”. At the end of the day, you’ll come back to this to reflect on what went well and what could have gone better. It’s a simple yet powerful way to start on the path to making the most of your 24 hours.
Own Your Time
Start setting aside time instead of waiting for time to appear. Just like you set appointments with other people, start carving out time to work towards achieving your goals. Stick to your schedule, and show up for yourself the same way you would show up for anyone else. If you need to make a change, make sure you reschedule what you had planned. Treat yourself the way you treat your clients, and you will be on your way to knocking things off of that big, hairy to-do list.
We like using a block schedule to group tasks into general categories, like Morning Mindfulness, Professional Development, Emails, Content Creation, Health & Wellness, and Evening Reflections. These may or may not make sense for you, but the goal is to make sure you are balancing your personal needs with your business needs. You need to nurture both in order to reach a place of true fulfillment.
Begin with something bite-sized and practical, like making a schedule for tomorrow. Take a break from what you are doing now, and spend the next 10-15 minutes planning out your day for tomorrow. Don’t worry about the things you are unsure of, just focus on what you know you’d like to accomplish tomorrow. Use your calendar on your phone, a planner, or whatever else is most comfortable for you. Make sure you set aside specific time blocks for your tasks, and build in time for personal goals as well as business goals.
Check in with yourself and your calendar as you move through the day. In the evening, return to your journal and spend 5 minutes reflecting on your day. Write down 3 things that made the day great, and reflect on how you could have made the day even better. Repeat this practice daily. After a few days of practicing Block Scheduling, consider committing 15-20 minutes a week to preparing your schedule for the coming week. We generally like to make this part of our Sunday routine (yes, we even put some structure around our weekends). If you get off track, that’s okay. Just pick up again with something achievable, like setting a schedule for the next day.
Your relationship with yourself deserves the same respect as your relationship with others. Make the choice to honor your daily commitments to yourself, and you’ll be on your way to building a healthier relationship with your business and your most important stakeholder: you.