How to Create Powerful Personal Accountability
“When you are accountable, you are incredible.” said Jeffrey Benjamin and who doesn’t want to be incredible, right?
Having personal accountability gives you power over your success and the outcomes of your goals. It makes you responsible, in every sense of the word, and forces you to have that super-valuable ‘the buck stops with me’ attitude.
Nothing worth having, comes easily to anyone and the key thing to remember here, is that no-one can make you accountable. Yes, it helps if people know your goals, encourage your progress and support your dreams, but without your own personal sense of accountability, the outcomes will never be exactly what you want (or what you deserve).
When you’re personally accountable, you:
- Stop any form of blame;
- Stop the ‘they should have’ response about others;
- Stop making excuses (yes, all of them! eeek!);
- Become the chief problem solver to overcome any obstacles that get in the way (which are inevitable, by the way!)
As Biz Mum’s we know how incredibly valuable being truly accountable is but do you know how to create it? Here are 8 super-effective ways to create personal accountability in your life… and take over the world!
1. Get clear… no, clearer!
You need to be really clear about what you want, so get as specific as possible. Don’t just say ‘I want to sell more of my products’ – you need to be much more specific than that. Selling 1 is more but I’m pretty sure that’s not what you mean. Get down to the nitty-gritty of why you want this particular goal, and clarify it from the start. Being really, really clear on the goal creates accountability to a specific number or timeline. Try something like ‘I will sell 100 products, at full price by Xmas.’ Now that is something to work towards!
2. Put pen to paper .
While it’s still a thought, it doesn’t actually live in anyone’s reality (no, not even yours). Once you put pen to paper though, your goal starts to take shape – it has form and becomes tangible. Use your best pens and paper, write it out in nice, big letters and stick that sucker up anywhere that you know you’ll be faced with it multiple times a day. Visual works!
3. Now LOOK at it everyday!
Pin your goal up at work, on the fridge, beside your bed, in the car or on the back of the toilet door! Make sure it’s in your face constantly and use it to keep you focused and on track. Seeing the goal you have chosen to commit to, in many different settings and contexts, will only help to embed it in your mind even more.
4. Keep track.
Making your progress measurable and visual is a great way to create accountability. Use a chart, a graph or a diary to keep a record of how you’re tracking and remember, there will be little losses and failures along the way, but they are all part of the process, so just keep moving forward.
5. Make sure you let people know .
This is a highly effective technique that I use all… the… time! I always make sure to tell people what I am up to. Studies have shown that people who are trying to make changes to their life are much more likely to succeed if they tell their family and friends. Again, it becomes real once those words come out of your mouth and there’s always more motivation if you know you can be called on it at any time.
6. Join a group or get a coach .
Having accountability to others is extraordinarily effective. It’s one of the key reasons why women I coach achieve their goals so successfully. I hold them accountable to do what they said they would do to achieve it! Most of us know what we need to do, right? It’s the procrastination and mindset challenges that tends to get in the way.
You could also join a group that is specific to your goal (like a running group, a business network, etc) or you could join (or create) a group of like-minded people who hold each other accountable. There is always strength in numbers. I talked a bit about creating a Mastermind Group in my podcast with Tracy which will help you get started.
7. Put your money where your mouth is.
Money makes people do incredible things and often pushes them to extraordinary heights. If I told you that you would get 1 million dollars if you ran the marathon you’ve always wanted to run, I bet you’d get serious (fast) about achieving that goal. Think about something that you could create for yourself as a reward or a gift for a job well done. A good (expensive) carrot being dangled out in front of you is always a great incentive to keep you moving forward and keep your eye on the prize.
8. And most importantly, ALWAYS be honest with yourself .
If you don’t want to take off your sparkly crown and retire from your role as the Queen of Victims just yet, then accept that role, own it.. and move on! It’s ok, really. And it’s entirely your choice BUT don’t continue wishing that your life will change, because it won’t! It’s up to you…you are full accountable for the way your life is turning out…always has been…always will be…so get serious and create a structure for your personal accountability.
Jodie Bruce-Clarke is an author, speaker and coach specialising in helping women increase their confidence. She is the co-owner of Rise Women and her book ‘Pumped: Confidence Techniques that will have you Standing Taller in the World’ is a ‘must-read’.
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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