It’s now August and we have five months to do what we said we were going to do in January. Instead of putting things off for another week, month or year (gulp) it’s so important to just get started! Today. Just look at that goal again and do something related to it today. Continue these small steps every day until achieving your goal seems like a reality. The thought of achieving that goal set in January by December in August can be daunting. I’d rather focus on how amazing that would be! If you could do in five months what you gave yourself twelve months to do? Well, then you could do anything! The downside, if you don’t manage to get it done you’ll at least have made a solid start and you’re setting yourself up for success if you carry the goal into the new year.
Why do we start off so motivated and then as the year progresses the goals and motivation begin to fade. Part of the reason I think is our inability to hold ourselves accountable. Of course you also need to consider setting realistic goals and the like but the more people I work with the more the issue of accountability emerges. My clients value our guided-friendship because they find it helps having someone to hold them accountable. These are the clever few that have caught on to the fact that asking our partners and close friends isn’t the wisest idea. During my PhD I tried getting Patrick to check up on me and make sure I had written my 800 words a day. All he had to do was begin asking me to elicit a quick, nasty, loud response! I’ve been there.
While acting as that someone to hold my clients accountable, we work towards my clients developing the skills necessary to be accountable to themselves. I developed this skill organically out of necessity and in large part due to the isolation I was working in. Now it’s a common thread that almost all of my clients have woven into their program with me regardless of what goals or areas we’re working on. There’s always this journey towards learning to hold ourselves accountable.
How to become more accountable to yourself:
- Start by making your goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely)
- Schedule time in your planner to work towards this goal (exactly the same way you would schedule in a doctor’s appointment, picking your kids up from school and other ‘important’ activities). Be realistic about how much time you’re going to spend. Start with small chunks of time and then work your way up
- Notice when you deviate. This is a great learning device. Be conscious of when you want to, or actually skip over the time dedicated to work on your goal. Ask yourself why did you do it? What did you do instead? Was there another alternative, something else you could have given up? It helps if you write this down
- Dig deep. Think about your answers. Once you’re aware of why you’ve skipped on your goals you can re-group. Perhaps the time of day you’ve allocated isn’t as great as you thought. Perhaps ‘your time’ was the easiest time to give up when things don’t go according to plan (and it shouldn’t. I rather give up cooking time and get takeout that night instead of giving up those 20 minutes I put aside to get my work done!) Besides no one dies or is unhappy because I didn’t cook, but I will be unhappy to have been ‘robbed’ of that ‘me time’
If you’re interested in learning more about holding yourself accountable or if you’d like to explore my mentoring program all the information and pricing is available here on my mentoring program post.
How do you hold yourself accountable?