Self Control


I feel like it has been ages since I’ve had this screen before me. Sure, I’ve sat in the sunshine and penned blog posts, but actually getting around to typing them up? Not so much! I feel like I’ve got so much to say until I need to say it!

Part of my hiatus has been due to June being one of my busier work months – this is the month where on top of my normal commitments I also meet with year six classes for a transition workshop! this just leaves me so emotionally exhausted – and while I love doing it – I forget each year how much of a toll it takes.

In our Transition lessons, we teach them motto – through the use of some storytelling and some messy games! The motto is this:

I am preparing for changes, learning through challenges and making great choices!

That’s a little bit about what I want to say today. I have a confession to make, this was not the only reason I was distracted. I signed up to a Netflix 30-day trial, and in those thirty days, I consumed  5 seasons of Gossip Girl. That’s 111 episodes, 1,047 minutes spent on the fictional scandalous lives of Manhatten’s elite!


Catch 22

I pretended this was about resting well, about not having time for other things. Really I was escaping, dreaming of endless finances whilst in reality sinking into my sofa, eating poorly, slacking of commitments to myself “because I had not energy! Yet nothing I was doing brought me energy – I was avoiding people, hanging out with food I am intolerant to, setting aside both my spiritual and physical health and then wondering why I felt so low.

Happiness Project

A couple of years ago I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and it inspired this post. I have since then loosely followed another part of her writing called the Four Tendencies.

Last week as I was mentoring a pupil we decided to do the test and see what we came out as. As I had expected* we both came out as OBLIGERS.

This means when it comes to making commitments and meeting them, I meet external expectations but resist internal expectations.

This made so much sense to me! I am great at making internal commitments, having intentionality, values and desire. It is not that I have an issue of motivation, just I struggle when the commitment is just to me!

As an obliger, I am more likely to meet these expectations if someone else is involved. I won’t stick to an independent plan. Which is difficult, when I live alone and often work alone. I would say, I need daily reminding of my commitments!

For a long time, I have felt guilty about this. I don’t want to be needy! Berating myself “why can’t I just make a commitment to myself and stick to it!” This work by Gretchen Rubin has given me freedom.

I believe we were made for community, for relationships. Out of these places comes accountability, support and encouragement. There has been a lack in our western society of community; we are individualistic, and proud yet also ashamed. The sage, the mentor, discipleship has slipped into the mystical rather than the practical. Yet I believe many of us long for it, I think it’s why life coaching has taken off.

One of the places where I lack the most is with my physical health. Unless I am meeting with my PT  – I find it easy to prioritise something other than exercise. I can justify, minimised, blame situations for why I didn’t go – I’m just disrespecting myself doing this!

Recently, Carly Rowena, a youtube fitness instructor posted an inspiring video asking others why exercise matters to them. She then asked the viewer why we exercise. I know why: because ultimately it is good for my emotional health. As a diabetic, it keeps my sugars balanced. As someone who’s job can be emotionally draining, it is an outlet of all I have taken on and also an input of goodness. As someone who believes, she has a purpose in this life, it is significant to my continued fulfilment.

Yet, knowing all this, I still struggle with commitment. I don’t get to the gym with others, I can’t always commit to classes and I don’t naturally like fitness! (until I’m doing it!) As an obliger, I need that other person. An Obliger finds they do much better when there is a form of external accountability.

My intention this year was to workout/do some serious walking(!) three times a week. I know that isn’t always manageable but I want the ratio to change to it being the majority.

So I’ve made a decision. My accountability at the moment is going to be through my Instagram stories. Every time I go to the gym I will tick it off on my story! I know it’s a weird accountability but I think it will work for me! Feel free to comment, encourage…skip the story! I’ll let you know how it goes!

I’ve prepared for this change, I am learning through the challenge and I am making great choices!


*I am a Type 2 enneagram and an ENFJ on myers briggs – to me this was the most likely option!

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