Earlier this year I read David Goggins’ book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’. What a remarkable man with a very special story. He is hard, real hard towards himself so he can be the best version of himself or even better. He looked death several times in the eye. I admit, that is too much for me, but I like how he approaches achieving goals. How you and you alone can be held accountable for your happiness and achievements in life.
I write from my point of view … that doesn’t mean it’s your vision. But I want to explain how I see things. Who knows, maybe we are more alike then you suspect. If you can’t wait to see the journal spread, you can hop to it by clicking here. Want already some examples of the Accountability Mirror, you can click here.
The last 20 years our culture had the attitude to cover with the cloak of charity. Especially by protecting our children instead of preparing them (with love) for the harsh society we live in nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, yes you have to protect children, but they have to make their own mistakes and have to deal with the hurt that comes with it.
Were you the last one to cross the finish line, then you didn’t loose, but you won last. When you said out loud you found yourself too fat, then you shouldn’t say that, it wasn’t thát bad. Whaaaaaattt??? Am I the only one who finds this annoying? Come on, “desperate times require drastic measures.” I was too fat and now I am out of shape. It is what it is, and the only one who can change this is ME and ME ALONE.
What brought us all that ‘covering’ instead of addressing the situation? Not much for me anyway. A different approach is necessary. The well known kick in the but. Get of the couch with your lazy a** is what I would say to myself 😉
David Goggins emphasizes the usage of the Accountability Mirror. It’s a way of looking yourself in the eye, surrounded with a post-its frame around the mirror, on which your goals and weaknesses are written.
Appointing your weaknesses and writing them down is quite something, but if you want to change … read further to read why I appreciate his approach.
Taking your time to think about your weaknesses, deciding what to jot down on that post-it and putting it upon a mirror or wall is a physical act. It has much more impact then making a note in an app on your phone. Besides that, you hold yourself accountable for what you accomplished or didn’t accomplish that day.
Every day you go through your post-its, adjust or rearrange them.
1) Let’s say you want to be more active and you decided to start walking as an exercise. Your post-it could say “walk 30 min. every day”. Place this note on your mirror, refrigerator, computer-screen, whatever works for you.
You are reminded of your goal every day. If you don’t want to go for a walk, you go anyway! If you don’t go, your post-it could be “you are lazy” – yes, be brutally honest with yourself – or “f*ck fatigue”.
These are points of improvement. Better yourself in a way as it suits you, but keep making progress. You know, when you don’t go for that walk, you don’t go. It is you, you have to look at in that mirror. What did you accomplish if you give in to that comfortzone instead of challenging yourself? Not much, right? That doesn’t feel good.
2) You want to strengthen yourself. You have decided that you want to be able to do 50 push ups, but the current situation is you can do only one, or even none. Your first goal post-it could read “10 push-ups”.
That note stays on your wall until you accomplished that goal. You work towards your goal every day. It’s your goal, your wish, so you are responsible. You will do anything to make it happen. You can keep a count.
Add this beneath your initial “10 push ups” note. When you’ve reached your 10 push-up goal, you replace it with a new post-it that says “20 push-ups”. And so on, you know the drill.
Waiting for a miracle pill, a super quote or that one song that makes you reach your goals, doesn’t exist. Too bad, but it’s the truth. It’s gonna cost you blood, sweat and tears. Yes, it’s gonna hurt. Look in that mirror, own your problem and take action!
I use my bulletjournal and some apps to keep track of my stuff. But if I don’t want to, I just don’t open that app. Every morning I look in that mirror, getting ready for the day. And there they are, my goals, my triggers, my frustrations. It keeps me motivated but sometimes frustrated at the same time and that’s OK. What is not accepted, is ignorance. Yes, I don’t want to exercise, but I do it anyway.
F*ck my “I don’t want to” voice
The notes at the mirror are there when you’re getting ready for bed, when you brush your teeth. It keeps you focused. Keeping track of your progress, as described in the push-ups note, brings satisfaction because you are a step closer to achieving your goal. That sleeps a lot better.
In my journal I made an Accountability Mirror spread of my current post-its. The ‘real’ post-its change during time. This spread reminds me of where I started. This way I can follow my growth and celebrate my successes. At the end of this post, you find the creation of this spread.
I’ve read the book several times and still pick it up now and then. David Goggins knows how to kick my but and makes me take responsibility for my actions and happiness. He makes me be brutally hones towards myself, and that can be hard, real hard 😉 He is a remarkable man who intrigues me.
I’m very curious if you read the book and if you implemented his way of moving forward. Let me know in de comments below, that would be great!