Let’s discuss the importance of accountability. To get started, I want you to slowly read the first section to build the right scenario in your mind.
Think of a time when someone told you, “I’m going to do that, don’t worry!”
“That” could be a favor, a future goal, or a promise to replace the last beer in your fridge (because they drank it without asking).
Whatever that is, how does it make you feel when they don’t follow through?
Take a moment to reflect on that.
Now, let’s flip the script for a moment.
Think of a time when you were the person that expressed a desire to do something.
“I’m going to start my own business!”
“I’m going to lose weight and get fit!”
“I’m going to travel around the world!”
“I’m going to wake up early and meditate in the morning!”
“I’m going to take you out for dinner, I promise!”
How did you feel when you didn’t follow through?
Whenever we express our inner desires to ourselves or those close to us𑁋and we don’t follow through𑁋it’s common to experience feelings of disappointment, embarrassment, and shame.
As the old saying goes, dreams are a dime a dozen.
In other words, ideas and intentions are common but because of their commonness and easy-of-availability𑁋they are worthless.
There are many reasons, external variables, and bullshit excuses that interfere with our intentions and the actual outcome of our actions. But, that’s a topic for another day.
Right now, you’re here to learn the importance of accountability and how to find a consistent way to turn ideas, intentions, dreams, and goals into a real-world outcome that fulfills your life’s purpose and makes mom proud.
(Actually, who cares whether or not mom is proud? You shouldn’t be doing things to satisfy other people. Before you continue reading, ask yourself𑁋what do you want to achieve in life or business or both?)
What the heck is accountability?
The human being is a beautiful but flawed creation. However, before we go pointing fingers at the big guy in the sky, let’s remember that we are all gifted with skills, talents, and abilities.
While some of us learn how to use our skills, talents, and abilities to do great things, others need a helping hand or a push in the right direction to reach the pinnacle of our personal mountains.
Here’s where accountability comes in.
Accountability is an obligation or willingness to explain, justify, and accept responsibility for your actions.
For example, instead of saying that you’ll do something, accountability helps you to understand (to the best of your ability) what to do, establish a plan, commit to a series of actions, and maintain the effort to follow it through.
Sure, the outcome may not always be successful, but that’s what makes accountability so important.
Accountability allows you to stop being an unreliable, shit-talking friend, colleague, lover, or business owner. You become a person of determination and concentrated action𑁋a person who holds the key to success.
And hey, even if you fail, accountability will kick you in the ass to get back to the drawing board and find a better way to achieve your ideas, intentions, dreams, and goals.
How to establish accountability in your business, life, and relationships
Accountability is not a blessing from an angel, a miracle in disguise, or an overnight phenomenon.
Establishing accountability in your business, life, and relationships take time. It also requires people or a community who will listen to your needs, reflect on your situation, add clarity to your goals, and guide you toward an actionable future.
Unfortunately, the world can be a bitter place filled with jaded, TV-watching zombies with more opinions and criticism than opportunities and creativity.
If you really want to have accountability, you must prioritize the importance of your goals and find the right people or communities to help you nurture them.
Do the groundwork
Before you embark on your accountability adventure, you must first lay down the groundwork.
Accountability is an attitude, an unwavering mindset, an annoying thought process to your chip eating, go-nowhere friends and relatives.
To live intentionally and follow through to see the achievement of your goals, start by evaluating your choices, habits, and behaviors.
It can be as simple as taking out a sheet of paper and writing your goal at the top. Then, create a list of pros and cons that categorize every possible factor that would influence or interfere with achieving that goal.
Here’s an example:
|I like writing and graphic design (learn how to become a freelancer)||Staying up late playing video games (makes me feel tired and lazy)|
|I finish work at 4 pm (focus on my goal for 2 hours before bed)||Eating junk food (makes me feel like shit and unfocused)|
|I love meeting new people (find likeminded people and build relationships with them)||Most friends are unsupportive potheads (makes me unproductive and feel unvalued)|
This is just a simple example to illustrate how to get your intentions out into the real world before sharing it with others.
Your own chart may have points that cover a range of categories, such as:
- Factors that motivate or inspire you
- Personal situations that create obstacles
- Financial challenges that may cause limitations
- Mental health struggles that impact your performance and behavior
- Daily habits that limit time and resources to do important tasks
Next, let’s look at some of the requirements you need to make for effective accountability.
Commit to integrity
Accountability can only be successful if you are honest with yourself.
Try this exercise.
Go into a room with a body-sized mirror.
Stand in front of it and look yourself in the eyes.
What do you feel when you look at yourself?
Take note of those feelings.
Next, tell yourself the goal you want to achieve.
Do you believe yourself? Are you lacking confidence? Does it feel like a lie?
You may feel a bit uneasy at first, but those feelings will pass. Just be sure to capture the moment and understand what is making you feel the way you do.
Accountability forces us to confront the real world, and it requires complete honesty at all times.
The moment you lie to yourself is the moment you fail to make commitments and follow through with what you intend to achieve.
Here’s what accountability can look like in business, life, and relationships:
- Willingness to share financial information
- Openness to implement new business strategies and advice
- Plan to re-align attitudes, beliefs, desires, and decisions
- Desire to understand past and present actions and habits that help or hinder your progress
- Courage to acknowledge your faults and flaws
- Ability to use empathy to listen without reacting
Do you have any other accountability ideas to add to these categories?
Let me know by leaving a comment at the end of this post.
Find accountability partners
You may have grown up with a parent telling you what career to pursue or a friend that says ‘you can never do that.’
The truth is, they’re all wrong.
Sure, your parents want to see that you have a nice life and that you pass on their genetics to the next generation. And you may think your friends have the best intentions but they don’t want to be left behind as you pursue your dreams and reach a level of success they can never perceive.
Sometimes the closest people in our life are the ones holding us back from achieving great things.
That’s where accountability partners and communities come in.
Accountability partners and communities are people and places where your goals are respected, listened to, and nurtured.
By surrounding yourself with the right support, you have a better chance of turning impulses into outcomes.
However, the key to success in accountability groups is that they help you to understand what you want to do, how you intend to achieve it, and what will happen to you if you don’t.
If you’re interested, I’m building a small community of freelancers and entrepreneurs to help each other bring their creative ideas to life and establish a profitable business.
Accountability is a part of a path toward personal and professional improvement.
You won’t achieve everything overnight, and you may not see success right away.
However, I know that if you’re willing to make an effort today and put in the work over the next few days, weeks, and months𑁋you can achieve great things.
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.Winnie the Pooh