One of the biggest barriers to progress in any area of our lives can be due to a lack of relationships or people around us who we must be accountable to.
Case in point. How many times have you started a new weight loss programme, all fired up and ready to go? All logic about why you should change your lifestyle makes absolute sense and then… you find yourself at the garbage can throwing away the empty Mars Bar rapper as you gobble down the last few bites, before someone walks into the office and shouts the dreaded words, “I thought you were supposed to be on a diet”!
This is the perfect example of setting your goals, having all the right information, knowing what you have to do but not having those accountable relationships where you can ask for help, share your challenges and be asked the hard questions. There are tons more examples I could site like; wanting to take the plunge out of the corporate world into your own business, going for that interview, signing up for that degree or even having another baby.
So how do you become more accountable? Here are the main ones that have helped me.
1. Become more curious about yourself, which will make you more self aware about your issues. Ask yourself questions like. What are my triggers? What makes me react this way in certain situations? Why do I procrastinate? Why am I addicted to perfection? How does micro managing serve me? Etc.
2. I highly recommend 1:1 coaching because it allows you to dig deeper within to come up with the answers and solutions that are within you. Let’s face it. We already know what we have to do and where we want to go, the area we struggle with is how to get there. The coach should be experienced, qualified and not attached to your outcome which will create a non judgemental relationship and a safe place where you can be honest with your feedback.
3. A mentor is another great way to keep accountability. Think of someone you can trust and talk to about the areas you want to forge ahead in and the things that keep you stuck. If you know this person, make sure they can be impartial. Otherwise you’ll end up feeling even more of a failure when that person shows their disappointment at your slips and weaknesses because they are probably just too close to you and the issue. It should also be someone who will tell you the truth, ask you the right questions and offer advice that again brings you to the point of decision. A mentor can share their experiences but they should not be making the decisions for you.
4. Work in groups. This is such an effective way to reach your goals. Having a group of people working on something together with the same mindset and determination, is just the right amount of peer pressure you need to get you moving. You may all have a different goal to reach but again it’s that strong accountability that reaps maximum benefits.
5. Keep a personal journal. I find writing things down is a really effective way to reflect. There’s nothing better than seeing it on paper. This journalling however is reflective and meditative in nature, it’s not a diary or a memoir log. Again you’re asking yourself questions, you’re writing your feelings, fears mind blocks and examining where they come from and how you can overcome them.
6. Be open to feedback. It’s the bread of champions. There will be some things about yourself that you don’t want to hear. But it’s important to hear them so you can examine them and work toward making the relevant changes.
I really believe it’s pointless waiting until the New Year to make resolutions that we all know don’t really work because of the zero accountability factor. There were 12 months in a year the last time I counted. You don’t have to wait until the close of the year to start making positive choices.
So in closing my advice would be to start making small changes NOW, so that by the end of the year you’ll be way ahead of the game!
But how will you do it alone? Well, you don’t have to… You can get accountable finding out what works for you and maybe trying out some of the one’s I’ve mentioned above.
I hope this was useful. Don’t forget to jot me a line to let me know your thoughts. I’d also love to hear some of the ways you stay accountable.