Making Accountability Work For You – Part Two
Welcome back to Part Two of my segments on Making Accountability Work for you.
In last week’s segment, we talked about the ways we sabotage ourselves when we are working toward a goal or overcoming a challenge.
I gave you 10 examples where we can get derailed, even when it’s a goal we really want to achieve.
A couple of examples included making the goal too vague, not putting consistent effort into it, having doubts about our ability to follow through, not knowing how to handle failure, and making excuses or justifying why the goal couldn’t be reached.
In this segment, I promised to share some ways to get back on track and keep you focused on your goal until its completion.
Consider This Before Starting
But, before I give them to you, I want to be sure to emphasize that these tips won’t work unless you’re paying attention to your thoughts and beliefs and how they play a central role in all this.
Being aware of how you handle difficult challenges is key. You need to be conscious when your coping mechanisms, like excuses or other deflective behavior, come up for you as soon as things start to get difficult or confusing.
If you find yourself regularly falling into these behaviors, then it could be time to revisit why you want to go after the goal in the first place.
If you aren’t truly invested and excited about achieving a goal, then odds are, it’s going to be an uphill battle full of disappointment and frustration.
If you really do want the end result, but it’s the process of getting there that’s bumming you out, then it’s time to step back and look at your perspective.
Is there a better, more enjoyable way for you to approach your goal? Can you make it fun?
Reframe The Journey
Here’s why I’m suggesting this.
People tend to get fixated on the final result and consider the process in the middle as drudgery. In fact, it’s the journey along the way that typically provides the highest reward. But you have to be open to it.
It all comes back to perspective and being open to benefits and lessons that you might never have expected.
7 Ways to Make Accountability Work for You
Now, let’s take a look at 7 ways you can make accountability work for you in achieving your goals.
1. Break your goal into smaller components.
Breaking your goal into smaller components does two things. First, it helps you visualize the actions you need to take to complete your goal. Second, it helps keep you from being overwhelmed and creates milestones for you to achieve and celebrate along the way.
2. Create a plan with a timeline.
How many of you out there dive into a goal without a plan? Probably a lot of you! It’s not uncommon for people to get so excited about doing something they just jump in and wing it.
The problem with this approach is that people typically end up doing twice the amount of work to get to their goal than normally be required if they had thought the process out more thoroughly upfront.
The plan doesn’t have to be super detailed, formal, or fussy. The point is that you take the time before you start your journey to break the process down into more manageable tasks, so you have a clear understanding of what you need to do to go from Point A to Point B.
3. Reward Yourself.
This is really important! Often a goal, like losing weight, can feel like you have to sacrifice a lot to achieve the final result. But, to stick with it, it’s crucial that you give yourself some kudos and tangible rewards along the way to keep you motivated.
That might mean giving yourself a free day, one day a week, to enjoy a meal that isn’t on the diet plan or some other treat that makes you happy.
And when you're happy, the odds are better that you’ll get right back on the path and continue toward your goal instead of getting frustrated and quitting.
4. Use external sources for inspiration and accountability.
Having a goal buddy can substantially increase your odds of staying on track. Clearly stating your goal and being accountable for it with someone you trust is a game-changer. They aren’t going to let you slide on those old excuses and they’ll provide motivation to stay focused.
Even better, find someone that shares your goal and get them to join you working as a team! It makes the process more fun and you never know what kind of inspiration or new ideas will come up when you’re putting your heads together.
You can even create an accountability club with others who need that added reinforcement too!
5. Do one thing at a time.
How many times have you started a project that had you doing multiple things all at once? I often tell my senior downsizing clients this piece of advice because it helps them feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
Doing one thing at a time keeps you focused, creates less confusion and you get to see progress as you complete it and move on to the next task. This leads me to #6.
6. Finish what you start before moving on.
In keeping with #5 and doing one thing at a time, it’s equally important to finish it before moving on to the next step in your goal process. My senior downsizing clients often make this mistake when working to go through a lifetime of items before a move.
Before they know it, they’ve got piles of projects all over their home, nothing seems to get finished, and it’s a mess. It just increases their sense of overwhelm and stress.
7. Be realistic.
We all have had a goal at one time or another that, shall we say, might have been a little over-optimistic in terms of time, skillset, monetary investment, or other factors.
So, being realistic about setting a goal that’s attainable and reasonable is key to its ultimate success. Mind you, I’m not a proponent of suggesting we allow our insecurities to keep us playing small. Stretching beyond our comfort levels is a good thing. It keeps us growing.
What I’m referring to are the types of goals that set us up for failure. Like starting your first business and expecting to make a million dollars your first year or losing 100 pounds in 2 months.
Just give yourself a reasonable amount of space and time to achieve whatever it is you want most.
So, there you have it! 7 ways to increase your chances of success in reaching your goals! I hope you find that one or more of these will help you push past any limiting blocks that have been keeping you from reaching what you want most in life.
So, until next time, my friend, as I always say….stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong!