Accountability to me means being clear on what you want to achieve, accepting responsibility and consistently taking the necessary actions that will lead to your desired result.
I believe that you can have business success. I know I can achieve my business goals. I have the health, physical ability, mindset, knowledge, education and support to achieve my business goals. What could let me down is discipline. I need to be careful not to get all caught up in distractions, the daily reality of life that I lose my discipline to stay focused on taking regular actions that move me one step closer each day or week to my goals. A lack of accountability can lead to a loss of discipline to take action consistently.
I believe in the practice of writing goals. I believe setting goals is a critical step to achieving results. Goals plus systems plus accountability = success.
What I find interesting in our lives is that most areas where we are accountable to some form of plan, we tend to achieve something. If you have to do something, and are accountable to others, you tend to do it.
Let’s look at an example. In 2009 I had my first book published. I had for many years, thought that I would like to write a book. But it never went any further than that … just a dream that I would ‘one day’ like to achieve. However, if it was my job to write a book, I would do it. Why is that?
The word that keeps coming back to me is accountability. So to make the dream a reality, I engaged the services of a Book Writing Coach. He gave me some lessons, workshopped the purpose of the book, created a plan with chapter headings, word targets and dates for completion of each chapter. He then mentored me to ensure I was on track. With a purpose, plan, and being accountable to someone, surprise surprise, the book got written in approximately four months.
Now imagine you have a goal that you want to improve your fitness, and your preferred type of exercise is running. You set your alarm to get up at 6:00 am and go for a 30-minute jog/walk. You are suddenly only accountable to yourself. Does your partner or friend care whether you get up and go for a jog? Probably not. What about your manager, family or neighbours? Do they care whether you get up and go for a jog? Probably not. They might be supportive and think it is great that you want to improve your fitness, but there are no repercussions if you press snooze on your alarm and sleep in an extra hour.
So how you make yourself accountable to running? Running is a solo sport. What could you do to put some systems and accountability in place? Here are some ideas:
- Run with a friend.
- Join a local running group.
- Set a tangible goal; for example get onto the Internet and search for fun runs in your local area. Sign up with a friend for the fun run.
- Get a Personal Trainer.
- Download some running training schedules from the Internet. These are great. They give you a structured weekly training plan to achieve different distance goals tailored to different fitness levels. Put the plan on your fridge and stick to it!
Growing up in the school system, participating in structured sports and progressing to structured work life, we have always operated within systems that give us the best chance of succeeding. Suddenly, if you are working on personal or business goals for your own business, you are on your own. You need to replicate some form of plan, structure and accountability to yourself to ensure your own success.
Now is the time to take control of achieving your business targets from this point forward. Create targets and be accountable to achieve those targets.