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An Accountability System for Blog Writing (and other anxiety-causing tasks)


Let’s face it:  I’ve got blog phobia.

How do I know?  It’s simple.  Just look at the date of my last blog post.

Did I not have 30-40 minutes once a week to write?  What about 15 minutes, twice a week?

Of course I had the time.  So I obviously chose to do something elseWhatever that something else was, it caused me less anxiety than writing a blog post did.  And I’m not aware of having any anxiety in the first place!

What’s going on here?  Why did I procrastinate? Where is this blog post phobia coming from?

Who cares?

All I care about is that I want this situation to change. I have so many thoughts to share, and I want them out there.

You might be wondering, “How did she force herself to write this post?”

The answer: an accountability system

In my case, my business manager told me that by the next time we talk, I have to have written a blog post. We didn’t discuss the reasons I haven’t posted — we just decided I would do it.

My blog phobia is probably at least part of the reason why I came up with the accountability software that is the Finish Agent system:  I really need it, myself.

What is it about accountability systems that make people engage in a behavior they normally avoid? 

Well, face it — we’re social animals, and we care what others think of us.

That’s why I made sure the Finish Agent accountability system was interactive. Without the daily interaction with fellow group members, you might as well just fill in an Excel spreadsheet and read it to yourself at bedtime.

The power lies in knowing someone else knows whether you did what you said you would do.

Or you didn’t. (And who likes owning up to THAT?)

So here I am, blogging. 

The fact is, people tend to avoid doing things that they are even slightly anxious about.  Stephen Pressfield, in his book “The War of Art,” calls this Resistance.

What is the number 1 task your clients really should be doing to reach their Very Important Goal, but are avoiding?  Your goal as a coach is to help them avoid avoidance, so they can be successful. Identifying what they’re not doing is an important step.

13 thoughts on “An Accountability System for Blog Writing (and other anxiety-causing tasks)

  1. o.k. Gina, that’s a kick in the pants for me, in a good way, for 2 things. To get my blogs going, too, and to get my Finish Agent blogging (and articles, ezines, press releases) forum UP!! It is one of my top 3 projects right now (as Robert Allen would say), so it WILL be done. I’d better really jump on it now, with this post. It’s called Online Presence Made Easy. Let me know if you’d like to learn more about it or where you can find more information about it.

  2. Love it Gina! I always struggle with that “aligning my energy” and “just sit down and do it” dance! Love your inspiration for both!

    • gjhiatt said:

      Laura, you reminded me of something. There’s research that shows that daily work on a difficult, long project, whether you want to do the daily work or you’re forced to by the evil researcher, results in vastly increased creativity. In other words, attending to the work is what brings out the energy, the creativity, the muse. I think that will be another blog post!

  3. Irena O'Brien said:

    Hi Gina – I definitely hear you. I need to write articles but, fortunately, I have a lot of other things that need to get done before I can get down to writing. Maybe tomorrow! Heh! Heh! Heh!

    • gjhiatt said:

      Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, as Shakespeare would say. My downfall. I now have a coach whose job it is to make sure I’m posting these blog posts. I’ve noticed, now that I’ve gotten started, that I’m coming up with ideas for new posts during the week. It’s like I’ve primed the pump in my brain.

  4. Erin Ferree said:

    Hi, Gina – Good for you on the blogging! I’m borrowing your inspiration to get going on a writing project I’ve been ducking today… wish me luck! – Erin

    • gjhiatt said:

      Good luck on the writing project, Erin. I love everything you write, so just be your normal productive creative self. I’m glad I could lend a little inspiration. And it seems to be working on me — I just posted another blog post! Woo hoo!

  5. So nice of you to comment, Susan! I always feel that reading about someone with the same problem as me somehow makes me a little more able to move on it. It’s like getting a diagnosis. You know what’s wrong, so you just need to decide on the actions you need to take. I hope you do get inspired to take an action you might have been unconsciously avoiding. If you do, please let me know. That would be so fun!

  6. Thanks for the beautiful blog post Gina! And for putting into writing one of my phobias as well! Nicely done and now I guess I have no excuse either! Here’s to getting past the phobias and holding ourselves accountable to moving in the direction of our dreams and desires. Bravo!

  7. Hi Gina,

    I find that when I’m not getting something done that I want to that it’s often caused by a lack of clarity about why I’m doing what I’m doing. So I spend time in mediation getting to the essence of my intent for whatever it is I want to do. Then and only then am I ready to take right action…

    • It’s true, Gia, that you need a certain amount of clarity. But there is research that shows that if you just start writing, even if you’re free writing a bunch of junk at first, you will become clearer faster. They call it shitty first drafts among academics. (I hope WordPress doesn’t bleep me). The idea is “write to find out what you think.” Again, do what I say, not what I do. 🙂

  8. Hi Nicole,

    Thank you! I couldn’t agree with you more. Not that I follow my own advice, but one thing I tell people is to start a timer. The act of starting it makes you feel like you should start working. It also helps because you know when you get to stop! I should start taking my own advice.

    And you know, this blog post was pretty effortless to write, once I got started.

  9. Bravo Gina! Love your blog post.

    I have been procrastinating writing the copy for a new program that I have coming up and decided yesterday to just sit down and get started. It is amazing how the sitting down is the hard part. Once I got going, everything flowed easily and of course made me wonder why I hadn’t done it sooner.:)


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