During this whole lockdown thing, people seem to be in two camps when it comes to putting on weight.

In category ‘A’,  there are those that have used the ‘opportunity’ to exercise more and lose weight or at least simply maintain their weight. B*stards.

Then there are those who, like me, have drunk way too much and eaten far too many chips, pies and cakes whilst feeling wretched with each mouthful.

Now, it was my 50th birthday on Friday and whilst I’m currently on a self-imposed beer-ban, it was inevitable I was going to have a few drinks with my mate on the Friday night. The discussion turned to my (ballooning) weight and I winced a bit when he suggested I needed to be fat-shamed. We’d been on holiday together the year before and I'd promised I’d lose some podge … yet never managed it.

It really annoyed me that I hadn’t kept my word … but food is just so hard to ignore, especially when you’re used to binging away whenever you want, even when you’re not particularly hungry but simply bored, worried or just plain fed-up … and there’s been a lot of that recently.

Every excuse I offered was met with the same response, “You need to stop eating crap and just lose weight – no excuses”. And, of course, he's right.

So, without any planning, I electronically-transferred £3,000 into his bank account and declared, “if I don’t lose three stone within three months, you can use that money to plant a load of trees”. Now, it’ll be interesting to see if this works. I’m fairly confident he won’t disappear only to never be heard of again but there’s always that risk of course :-/

So – here’s my point. Accountability. Every time I see a packet of crisps or a doughnut or smell those chips as I drive past the chippy, I risk losing £3K being lost AND I can see his smug, punchable face, grinning back at me.

Now, it’s early days and it might be that I lose the money, maintain my podge and all of this is another episode I’ll look back on as  “Yep, you royally screwed up again there, Mike”. But I hope not.

I also know that in business - getting stuff done that you don’t like – such as making those sales calls or sorting out your stuff (you know, that ‘stuff’ you keep putting off) to make your business better – is typically much more likely to be done (consistently) when you have accountability. Without your little Jiminy Cricket perched on your shoulder, keeping you on the straight and narrow, it’s all too easy to kid yourself you’ll do it tomorrow, isn’t it? That’s where someone like Stuart Warwick (the MSP business coach) can help.

My challenge is that I’ve got attention deficiency and my head like a box of frogs so it’s useful to have clarity, purpose and someone to be accountable to, for when it’s all-too-easy to veer off course. If you want to be paired up with another MSP as a ‘buddy-buddy’ or speak with Stuart about coaching, you have his details… it makes no difference to my mortgage (we’ve no financial arrangement folks – just synergy) … but if it means it’ll help get you on the right track and your sales and marketing will benefit then I’m all for it.

Change is hard. But if you improve a little every day, I believe it's achievable, even for an old dog like me, learning new tricks. If you increase something by 1% per day, after a month it's increased by about thirty-five percent ... impressive but wait ... by the end of the year, you've multiplied it nearly thirty-eight times and after three years it's over fifty thousand times bigger. Seriously - check the maths - that's the power of compounding ... incredible stuff.

Well, that’s all for now – my first 50 years is behind me and so as I embark on the next half-century, eating better, exercising more and drinking healthy soft-drinks (well, 99.9 % of the time at least) is my current northstar …  hopefully I’ll soon get my money back, as well as a load of old clothes I’ll be able to wear again rather than throwing out. I’ll let you know how it goes 😊

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