Are you moving forward? Do you feel the world shifting before your very eyes? Do you notice the difference between your life where you set intention vs. one where you do not? How does it help you to do better? Where do you find that you are struggling? I’m so excited about your progress. Keep making minor adjustments and inspiring those around you to also want to do and be better.
I mentioned the idea of accountability in my last post and I’d like to shift this week’s conversation to that notion. Accountability is the thing that typically keeps you going once you have decided to do something. It is the quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
We usually learn about accountability at an early age as children. Growing up we are taught to be accountable for our actions by the adults in our lives. Our parents, grandparents, extended family, teachers, mentors, coaches, etc.…. virtually whoever is making the rules that we abide by. We learn this core value by way of doing; chores, homework, joining extra-curricular activities such as sports teams or creative clubs, etc..... If we don’t complete our chores at home, we don’t receive our allowance. When we don’t turn in our homework or participate in class, we don’t pass. When we don’t practice our sport, we lose games or get benched. Growing up we knew there was always some sort of consequence for our lack of responsibility or accountability.
So what happens when we become adults and we are setting our own rules?When repercussions tend to diminish and there aren’t as many built in systems to ensure we follow through with what we say we will do. Sure we have systematic processes in place when it comes to how we navigate the big picture of our lives, but what about all the smaller moments? We are often left with only ourselves for support and honestly that isn’t always enough.
We examined the parallel between what we say we will do and what we actually get done and learned that the results can be alarming. I know there are times I have said I would do certain things and in the long run I ended up going in a completely different direction, if I complete the task at all. Sometimes we decide to take on things that are seemingly too big and/ or just don’t make sense at the time, and without proper steps of accountability in place we naturally let them fall by the wayside. It isn’t that we don’t want to accomplish these things but rather, for whatever reason, we feel we can’t.
You’ve been there. That place of contemplation, uncertainty, fear, laziness. I know you’ve been there because, admittedly, I have been there and I can’t be alone. There are a variety of reasons behind this type of behavior but the good news is we don’t have to let this behavior win. When we breathe life into our ideas and goals and give them purpose we create a certain motivation to accomplish them. Moving beyond that to the next step is where the responsibility of following through with your goals should be immediately addressed.
Once you've made your goal S.M.A.R.T., and your intention behind completion is crystal clear, you can utilize that information to help tackle and build in the element of accountability. Start by asking yourself what is the opportunity cost if I do not accomplish this task or goal? And second, ask yourself if you can live with that result.
This question is key.
Next, start to think about your community. Perhaps you start with people you know; your family, friends, children, coworkers, acquaintances. Then expand beyond that reach. This may call for you to step outside of your comfort zone but that is ok. Think community leaders, teachers in your local school district, your local community center, local fitness centers, etc. How can you utilize these relationships to help move you forward and hold you accountable for what you want to accomplish? Is it creating a support group around your efforts? Putting incentives in place for completion of certain steps? Weekly check-ins with your most trusted adviser? A daily journal log? Becoming part of a virtual community support system? Mandating time for conversations with your children or spouse each day to discuss your accomplishments and failures? Your ideas and options here are limitless. The idea is to figure out whatever works for you and implement it always keeping in mind the consequences of not following through. Does it mean you will let someone else down or leave them hanging? Are other people’s actions driven or motivated by yours? Are you the only one who will lose if you do not follow through?
Remember last week when I made mention of saying things out loud and breathing life into them? This is that moment.
When we set certain standards of accountability things start to come alive. We create something tangible to work against and give ourselves a fighting chance to create change and move within life.
I don’t know about you, but I like having a fighting chance.
This week I challenge you to start taking ownership of your thoughts and ultimately your actions. Let others know what you are doing and don’t be afraid to ask for and create platforms of help along the way.
Breathe life into what you want and stand proud as you start to move forward toward getting it.