by Linda-Ann Stewart
You want to start exercising to improve your health and fitness. But you can’t ever find the time to get to the gym or outdoors for a run. Life tends to push you, solving problems, dealing with issues, and handling crises. And your goal to exercise becomes a casualty.
Or you wanted to put together a new offer or product for your business by a certain date. But because other situations came up, you missed that self-imposed deadline. Life kept you distracted, and you didn’t focus on your offer or make it a priority.
With your life being so full and driven nowadays, it’s hard to set and reach goals. Goals take you off the beaten path, and set you on a new one. That takes energy, attention and persistence, qualities that are hard to maintain in today’s world. But if you are accountable, you can have a 76% greater likelihood of achieving your goal.
What Is Accountability?
Accountability isn’t handing over your responsibility or authority to someone else. Nor is it about blame, shame, guilt, judgment or punishment if you don’t meet your goal. It’s simply a way to keep yourself on track to your vision by committing to a goal, writing it down or telling someone about your plans.
For a goal of your choosing, you aren’t required to justify your decisions, actions or inactions if you fail. However, excuses aren’t acceptable. By being accountable, you’re taking responsibility for fulfilling whatever intention you’ve deemed to be important. You’re communicating to yourself and the Universe that your goal is a priority for you.
Ways You Can Be Accountable and Increase Your Success
Whether you want to change a habit, improve your life or build a business, accountability will accelerate your progress. There are a lot of ways you can become more accountable and some are more successful than others. Here are 5 ways you can be accountable. Choose the one that gives you the best chance for success.
1. Be self-directed. Think about your goal, how important it is to you, and what level of commitment and motivation you’re willing to have. This has the least likelihood of being successful, because it’s subjective and based on your level of self-discipline. However, I’ve used this tactic to maintain an exercise practice for almost five years because I was highly motivated.
2. Write down your goals and action steps. You’ve heard about how writing your goals down give you a greater chance of success. A Dominican University study found that if you do this, you have a 60% likelihood of achieving your goal. Keep referring to your goals to see if you’re taking the steps you’ve established.
3. Find an accountability partner. Tell or email a trusted friend about your goal, commitment and action plan. Someone now knows about what you want to do and will support and celebrate your efforts. I don’t generally recommend a close loved one for this role. Unfortunately, the loved one often gets too attached to the result and makes misguided efforts to motivate the goal achiever. These efforts often backfire.
4. Join or create a mastermind or accountability group. This takes the accountability partner approach to the next level. Not only do you tell a person or persons about your goal and plan, you also check in with them periodically (weekly), reporting your progress. With a mastermind, you’re also exchanging ideas to help you overcome challenges. This regular progress reports tactic gives you a 76% chance of achieving your goal.
5. Find a coach. Hiring a coach means you’ve invested in your success. People tend to be more productive when they’ve committed to a goal with their hard earned currency. A coach can not only help you gain clarity and work through obstacles, they can also keep you focused, motivated and on track. They’re objective, and can give you a different perspective and make sure you’re sticking to your priorities.
When you are honest and accountable about your progress, or lack of it, you hold yourself to a higher standard. You are being accountable to and for yourself, and to the Universe. This increases your sense of empowerment, self-worth, responsibility and effectiveness. Choose the best accountability method for you and reach for the stars.
The Universe responds according to my thoughts and desires. It wants the best for me and will support me in my efforts. When I commit to a course of action, the Universe recognizes my intention and provides everything I need for success. I keep my attention on my goal, knowing that it is possible. And I hold myself accountable for taking the steps that I know to take. The Universe does the rest.
Watch the accompanying video, 3 Tips to Handle Obstacles.