Since you were all so kind as to provide suggestions for my new rule (and Judy Verbena asked so politely), I figure it’s only fair to share the outcome with you.
This whole rule idea was somewhat of a lark. That’s how I’ll continue to think of it, because I don’t really want to look too closely. I’m sure a closer examination would show that it’s a small little piece to help fill the current void of accountability in my life.
I have another post percolating on the topic of punishment, which will hopefully be done soon. But for now, it’s important to understand that I’ve rarely needed to be punished, despite my strong attraction to punishment. This rule is not so much about setting up expectations and consequences. It is about setting up goals that are both important and small – completely do-able. Sometimes we just need to check that one small thing off our list to get the ball rolling, to empower ourselves to tackle the goals that are a little harder to reach.
I decided upon two rules – one personal and one professional. The personal rule relates to a home improvement project I’ve been putting off because of its sheer size. I have no idea how long it will take, and I don’t like deadlines, so the rule is only to accomplish one thing toward it each day. Easy enough.
The professional goal I can’t go into in depth without giving more personal information away then I am comfortable with. Suffice it to say that my position encompasses a number of different responsibilities, all of which could easily be their own full-time jobs. Because there’s so much to do, I’m often in the position of prioritizing and juggling, and I always slip one task (which I hate) to the bottom of the list, where it sits sadly neglected. Thus, the professional rule is to do at least five items from that task each work day. (Thanks Scarlet, I wrote this before you made your suggestion, which I think just proves that we are both awfully smart!).
As I said, this is really more about the positive reinforcement than anything else (well, it has to be, really, since I am the one enforcing it). I’m thinking all of your suggestions for chocolate and flowers and well… *blush* may make excellent rewards 🙂
As I always let these posts sit for a few days to be sure I haven’t said anything horrible, I can now report that so far its been working out quite well. On the personal front I’ve managed to meet my goal for the past three days; which is a bit miraculous to me knowing how many months this project has sat neglected while other, seemingly more important things, have jockeyed for my time and attention.
Professionally, I’ve only had one work day. I still put the project off until the very last moment, but I did force myself to tackle it before going home. I only made it through four, not five, but that’s four more than I did the day before so I’ll call it a success.
Thanks & wish me luck!