Making Accountability Work for You – Part One
When was the last time you created a goal that you were really excited about? You envisioned how great you’d feel and how proud you’d be after successfully crossing the finish line.
But, it seemed like you barely left the starting gate before things began to fall apart.
There are bound to be times throughout life when we’ve fallen short of a goal or meeting an important commitment.
You may have sincerely wanted to succeed at learning a new skill, lose weight, finish an educational goal or just be more organized.
But every time you think “I’ve got it this time!”, something happens to push you off track or distract you.
Negative Brain Chatter
Then comes the negative brain chatter where you start beating yourself up for not having what it takes to finish the race.
Not only have you missed the mark of feeling thrilled about reaching your goal, but now you feel worse than before you started because you’re disappointed in yourself.
Well, no one wants to feel that way, right? So, how do we re-frame goalsetting to make it more realistic and achievable? How can we bring more accountability into our lives in a more positive way?
This is such a huge topic, both in importance and in scope, that I’m making this a two-part segment.
In part one, we’re going to tackle the most common reasons why we might fail at reaching a goal. Understanding that alone can help us be more aware of what to look for in our own behavior that’s sabotaging our efforts.
In part two, I’ll talk about things you can implement to improve your chances of success for future goals.
So, let’s begin with the why’s.
Here are 10 examples of things that typically keep us from completing a goal.
1. The goal is too vague or unspecific.
Have you ever set a goal that started with “I just want to be happy” or “I want to make more money”?
That’s all fine and dandy, but what is it specifically that would make you happier? You may need to dig a little deeper.
For instance, is it really about making more money, or are you asking for a more fulfilling career or a higher quality of living? Getting specific helps you avoid wasting time and energy by zeroing in on what’s most important to you.
2. They have strong doubts about the reality of reaching their goal.
I think it’s common for people to wonder to some degree if their goal is realistic, especially if it’s something that’s way out of their comfort zone.
We often second-guess ourselves when we’re trying something new. The key is to not let doubt become the foundation for expectations of failure.
3. They aren’t putting real effort into it.
I don’t know any worthwhile goal that’s a cakewalk to achieve. Meaningful goals require action and effort. If we could achieve a goal just by wishing for it, I doubt the result would be as sweet or as appreciated as if we invested time or sacrificed to achieve it.
4. They aren’t motivated by their goal.
Statistics show that goals are more readily reached if the person’s motivation is high. They feel more driven and excited when they can envision how the goal will improve their life and the joy that will bring.
Desperation can be a significant motivator as well. If you’re so miserable you can’t imagine life without achieving your goal, it can feel like there’s way more to lose than gain by not reaching it.
5. They aren’t committed enough to the goal.
There’s no doubt that achieving a goal requires commitment and consistent effort. But if that effort involves doing things you don’t like doing or makes you uncomfortable, it can be hard to stay committed.
This is where envisioning the positive experiences you’ll enjoy after reaching the goal can help. If achieving the goal makes a big enough impact on your quality of life, that alone can create the excitement and motivation you need to achieve it.
6. They aren’t focusing.
Distractions are the most common reason people get sidelined from a goal.
It’s just too easy to find something that’s easier or more fun than working hard on a goal. If you’re the type of person that finds it hard to focus on a task, we’ll be discussing ways to overcome this in the next segment.
7. They make too many excuses.
This is a biggy. Like distractions, excuses are usually front and center when we’re faced with a goal that might be overwhelming or confusing.
For instance, it’s amazing how creative I can become in making excuses when I’m facing a big goal. Maybe I feel I’ve set the bar too high and those doubts start popping up like a warning signal to abort the mission.
So, keeping a reality check on our self-talk is key to staying on track.
8. They don’t know how to handle failure.
Most of us understand that, at some level, failure is just part of our learning path. It’s certainly not a fun thing to experience for sure.
But for some, a person’s belief system can see one failure as a long-term pattern instead of just a temporary setback.
Most goals will have a roadblock, or two, that we weren’t expecting. We get discouraged and start asking ourselves why we started in the first place. Before long, we end up ditching the goal to pursue another new shiny object where the process begins all over again.
This leads me to #9.
9. They give up way too soon.
One of the things about goals is that they tend to take time. Few worthwhile goals are met within a day, a week, or even a few months.
They take dedication and determination to stay on task, especially when the goal becomes difficult or feels boring.
Most habits take a considerable amount of time, often a year or more, to become engrained as a lifetime habit, so being realistic in your expectations is key.
10. They don’t ask for help, guidance, or support when they need it most.
There are times when we might have cut off a little more than we can chew in trying a new goal. We need a little bit of help, but our pride keeps us from asking for or accepting it.
But, that stubbornness shouldn’t be what keeps us from attaining a goal that’s important to us.
If any or all of these reasons, sound familiar to you, there are ways to work around them. In my next segment, I’ll be sharing some of these tips, so you can stay on track and make the experience easier and less frustrating.
So, until then, my friend, as I always say….stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!