A brief note on the Accountability chapter.
I think of accountability as making sure I am following the rules I have set myself. It might also include things like: whether I am cheating, or exploiting loopholes; whether targets are too hard/easy. So, like a coach or a trainer.
Rubin discusses four types of accountability:
- public (e.g. I announce at work that I don’t drink)
- group (e.g. Weight Watchers)
- partner (e.g. a coach or a trainer)
Really I think self-accountability is not like the other three. (i) it is not an external source of accountability like the others are, so in a way it’s weaker and less reliable; (ii) even with the other three, self-accountability must still be there as a kind of bedrock — otherwise you will find a way to play the system.
An external source of accountability is obviously a Good Thing, as long as the type of source fits the type of person (Rubin has Four Basic Personality Types) and the type of project.
I am not going to announce at work that I don’t want to wear frilly knickers and bras any more. I am not going to tell my wife that I want to stop watching porn.
An accountability partner must be the “gold standard” but that would mean a professional service or some kind of reciprocal relationship (you check I’m doing my French homework; I check you’re doing the knowledge).
A group, an online forum could be ideal. I have looked in the past and not found anything. In a recent comment, Beth provided the phrase “bouncing your eyes”. I did a web search and that came up with a lot of promising links I hadn’t seen before.
A forum or group might be more trouble than it’s worth — and I think I do have quite strong self-accountability. OTOH it might give me a space to delve into the gruesome details, leaving this blog for my more general Christian exploring. (unless separating like that would be unhealthy?)(in any case, I’ll see what there is.)