In the previous post, we unpacked what it means to remain accountable to your goals. Beyond that, it equally important that we learn to become accountable to ourselves and those around us. By definition, accountability is the ability to reliably deliver on commitments and showing others that you can be trusted to do what you said that you will do.
Accountable to yourself
Self-accountability on the other hand means that you are responsible for your choices and actions. You are the first and last line of defense for your integrity. Self-discipline is your primary method for improving your life, pursuing good things because you desire them. You have set your course and are committed to success.
The following are ways to remain accountable to yourself:
- Write everything down
This might seem like a simple task but it can be extremely instrumental in helping to remain accountable to yourself. Write all your goals and tasks – short term and long term. A trick that can help is writing your to-do-list on a sticky note and placing it all over your laptop, room wherever is most visible and then throwing them away as you complete your to-do items. It will be extra tough resisting the will to complete a task if they stare at you in the face.
- Identify your personal mission statement
Similarly to how businesses have mission statements, you also need to have your own mission statement. This comprises of your purpose. It simply needs to define you as a person and define what you are working towards every day. A simple example of a mission statement could be, “Live life to the fullest, stay focused and leave a legacy for women in sport”. Recite it every morning until you fully identify with it, once it ignites passion and fire in you then you know that you’ve found your mission in life. The constant reminder is also another way to enforce the commitment to living your life in a manner that upholds your personal mission statement.
- Create micro-goals
Identify smaller goals that you can begin with, and commit to achieving each one at a time. This keeps you more accountable in terms of the overall success of the goal. Experts argue that taking action every day that brings you one step closer to achieving your goal is one of the best methods out there. This incremental approach is favourable because it is more sustainable in terms of morale unlike setting only macro goals that might not always be achievable in a realistic timeframe.
- Learn to reward your accomplishments and milestones
This step might come as a surprise to most of you but contrary to popular relief, attaching rewards to goals can be one of the most exciting components of accountability. Knowing that you once you accomplish a certain goal, there is a reward on the other end that has high chances of making the task of completing that goal more enticing.
- Evaluate your performance
Being accountable to yourself means being brutally honest with yourself. This requires constant reviewing of how well you were able to apply your accountability skills because, at the end of the day, it is you that is responsible for your goals. If you want to remain accountable, keep yourself in check so that you can find other strategies and alternative paths if your performance is not up to par.
Accountable to others
Accountability also means that you might be called on to explain yourself to others. No one can live entirely disconnected from other people. You have various relationships with others like parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, bursaries and scholarships, co-workers and teammates. So, in addition to self-accountability, being accountable also means you are willing and able to give an honest account of your conduct to those who ask you.
Let’s be honest, being objective about your conduct can be hard, therefore being accountable to others can help you become aware of your blind spots and challenge you to get out of your old routine.
Additionally, being accountable to others does not mean you demean yourself or think you are a failure. Accountability is a positive thing when you desire to improve your life. These are the benefits of being accountable to others:
- It increases your commitment to completing the goal.
- You are able to share the success of your celebration.
- Promotes clarity in stating your goals and action plan.
- Reporting of success and setbacks along the way can help you focus on solutions to keep you moving.
- Provide valid explanations for the choices and actions you have made and ask for their perspective and advice when you are not sure what to do next.
Self-accountability can help you push forward toward significant and lasting improvement in your life. And being honest with accountability to others can increase your motivation and likelihood to succeed. Hold yourself accountable for your choices and actions, and be accountable to others so that you can live your life well!