Tracy Winchell

How to construct a self-accountability framework

published3 months ago
1 min read

Hey Reader,

A quick story:

The hardest part of my journaling journey was when I tried to mimic every single technique I learned on YouTube or Medium -- all at once.

Think The Bullet Journal Method.

So 👏🏻 many 👏🏻 "rules!" 👏🏻

And even more elaborate Instagram and YouTube Bullet Journal designs.

Ryder Carroll, author of The Bullet Journal Method insists that there's no right or wrong way to keep a bullet journal.

Except I didn't listen. I tried to be EXACT in my execution. Even tried a couple of fancy decorations and failed miserably.

Instead of finding a tool to calm anxiety, the stress of duplicating the work of other people increased stress and anxiety! DOH!

Then, I started paying attention to my now-friend Matt Ragland's methods for managing his time & projects in a notebook.

He taught me duplicating anyone else's practice is an exercise in futility.

What matters is "practice." As in:

  • Do the work.
  • Experiment.
  • Discover what you need >
  • THEN look for ways to solve for your personal X.

I don't want this to happen to you -- especially with the reflection practices you learn from me.

Even as you continue to learn specific atomic prompts, be creative. Adapt what you're learning. Apply to your own situation.

A Self-Accountability Framework

My favorite self-accountability framework is what I call "bookend questions."

Early in the day (or the previous evening) I set an intention.

At the end of the day, I ask myself to reflect on and review how well I did or did not meet the intention.

A couple of my favorite bookend prompts.

Habit accountability

Morning: How will you achieve your minimum daily step count, Tracy?

Evening: Did you reach or exceed your daily step count? If not, why not?

Behavioral or mindset accountability

Morning: Do you see something on your agenda that might be a rage trigger? If so, how will you manage your behavior?

Evening: How well did you manage your emotions and your behavior today, Tracy? Share a victory or write about an unpleasant incident.

Action Items

  1. List a thing or three about yourself that frustrates you at the end of every day.
  2. Brainstorm a handful of bookend questions that might improve your self-accountability.
  3. Choose 1 & implement it.
  4. Reply to this email with your implementation idea.

Next Week

Next week, you'll learn:

  • health benefits of laughter
  • list-making prompts that identify sources of laughter

Weekly office hours accompany this series.

Previous installments of this series

PART 1: Introducing 5 Steps to Help You Build a Functional Self-Awareness System

PART 2: Adjusting Your Expectations

PART 3: (Demo) Semantic Goldmines: Reflections that only happen in a digital environment

PART 4: Self-Awareness for a Reasonably Happy Life