Successful people appear to have it all together. They make their own decisions, no one tells them what to do, they don’t make mistakes, they have it all figured out. This just simply is not true. In some form or fashion they have found a way to be accountable to someone else. What you don’t see is the behind the scenes accountability in their lives. Making yourself accountable is being accountable to someone else.
I’ve fallen in to this trap by trying to be self-sufficient. I’ve even told myself that if I was going to be truly successful, I shouldn’t need anyone’s help. I believed that being accountable to someone else just slowed down my flexibility to do what needed to be done. What I later discovered was that doing things without accountability really made me spin my wheels and accomplish less.
I’ve had this idea of writing a book for years. For the last several years I have said that, “this is the year I will write my book”. But year after year I really didn’t accomplish much of anything. This year will be no different if I don’t drastically change course. That change of course had to do with accountability.
I started sharing my goals and plans with the people closest to me like my wife and kids. Along with a good friend of mine, I also established an accountability group. We meet weekly to hold each other’s feet to the fire to accomplish our goals. We have grown to three in the group now and in the process of adding another person. Our meeting basically includes:
- Announce successes since last week. This is where we get to share with the group what we accomplished. Some weeks are better than others. I can always find one or two tasks that I can complete. Sometimes I finish these commitments just before we meet so I can have success to report. This weekly requirement makes me accomplish more than I would otherwise.
- Ask for help. Sometimes members of the group can help. It’s okay if they can’t help sometimes. Just verbally announcing what I need help with is sometimes enough for me to understand what to do. If I wasn’t able to articulate what I need help with I wouldn’t be able to figure out where to seek help.
- Announce plans to accomplish next week. This is where the rubber meets the road. I commit each week to the group what I will accomplish next week. This breaks up what I need to do into manageable weekly chunks. I am honest with obstacles that I see and I am forced to find a way past these obstacles.
Who can you be accountable to? Maybe it is your spouse, parents, or close friend. Maybe it is a partner, neighbor, or pastor. Whoever it is, ask them to help you be accountable. Without accountability it is too easy to justify putting off actions or moving a target date. Accountability can keep you motivated, identify solutions, and remain productive.
Who are you accountable to? What tasks do you keep postponing because no one is holding you accountable? Leave a comment here.