Accountability, when it comes to our dreams and goals, can be a difficult thing.
I haven’t been the best at it over the years, but I’ve, recently, put more effort into being responsible for my own goals more than ever before, and the difference is definitely noticeable! Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “duh I already do this,” but do you really?
Being responsible is a small part of personal accountability. We must find whatever motivation we can to do the things we may not want to (or feel like you can’t) do.
Excuses have almost become second nature for those who fail to set and meet our goals, myself included. My favorite line
was is, “life hit me” *cues violins*. While in many cases this IS true, LIFE NEVER STOPS HITTING YOU. You gotta grease up, and roll with the punches.
Trust me, I, too, thought that this was something I’ve always done. “I’m hardest on myself” blah blah blah, but sometimes that’s the VERY thing that keeps you from holding yourself accountable. Next thing you know, time has passed by, and you’re disappointed in your stagnancy.
The BEST thing I could’ve done for myself was to get out of my own head.
I’d sit and think about everything I wanted, what I needed to do to get there, and go over it time and time again, constantly changing the smallest details. I wasn’t, however, taking steps to execute anything.
Plans without action are futile. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re actually holding yourself accountable:
1) Identify your major goal(s)
What is it that you want? Don’t think too much into this question. What is it that you REALLY want?
When I asked myself this seemingly simple question, I quickly became frustrated because there were MANY things that I wanted out of life. I felt like I didn’t know what I wanted because I had more than one goal, but I realized that all I wanted, essentially, was to be successful on my own terms.
I created my own stigma around being in more than one industry, deeming it impossible to be equally passionate about multiple things (and it was crushing me). I worked to break that stigma, and realized that I could have anything, as long as I worked for it.
Writing, film/television, real estate, weed, and sweets (yeah, you read that right) are all interests of mine. Hell, the easiest way to become a millionaire are multiple streams of income, right?
Money isn’t my sole motivation–more than anything, I wish to take care of my family and build generational wealth. In order to achieve this, multiple streams of income are a necessity.
2) Write EVERYTHING down
A calendar, planner, or a journal that you jot things down in is one of the most helpful tips I’ve learned this past year.
It may seem like common sense to most, but in the age of technology with everything on a little screen, writing things is a dying art. It’s the best way to keep yourself reminded of what you have going on and what needs to be done. It’s also harder to lose!
3) Reward your accomplishments and milestones
CELEBRATE! We often don’t take the time to acknowledge when we’ve completed a task. Some don’t want to boast, and others feel like the smaller milestones don’t mean much. DO NOT DOWNPLAY WHAT YOU’VE DONE! Every small milestone you complete gets you closer to your bigger goals. *cues Whitney Houston’s Step by Step*
4) Have a team/goal/accountability partner and seek feedback
This responsibility is best left to that friend who’s “no-holds-barred” when it comes to calling you out on what you say you’re going to do. Sometimes, this doesn’t work with family and friends, so you may want to speak with a church elder, maybe a mom of one of your closest friends, or even a mentor.
If you don’t have one, then strongly consider getting one! They don’t need to be a professional, but you should have a great deal of respect for them, and it’s a plus if they’re knowledgable in your field. Weekly meetings to go over feedback of what you recently accomplished, or if you need some extra motivation to get something done, they should always have a helpful word for you.
5) Review your performance
You should always be reviewing your own performance. Emphasize your strengths, and work on your weaknesses. You need to be honest with yourself in regard to both, though. If you are not 100% confident in some of your perceived “strengths” then it may not be a strength, but that doesn’t mean it’s a weakness.
Don’t rely on your accountability partner to ALWAYS be there to hold you accountable. You have to learn how to do it on your own in order to see results. You don’t want the relationship with your accountability partner to turn into dependency.
6) Do one task at a time
This goes hand in hand with identifying your major goal. Just because you have more than one goal, that doesn’t mean you should exhaust yourself by attempting to make them happen all at once. It’s hard enough to focus on one thing at a time, let alone six. Focus on what’s most important in the moment and the rest will fall into place, in due time.
7) Value your time
Keep yourself on a schedule!
If you’re like me, you make sure you get at least 8 hours every night, which leaves only 16 hours in your day for you to actively work towards your goals (if you don’t have a demanding job).
Tip: DO NOT PUT SCHEDULES IN YOUR PHONE. Writing a schedule out that you can physically look at and operate from will help a great deal! We tend to dismiss reminders in our phone more often than ones written down. It’s easier to hold ourselves to a standard when it’s written as a constant reminder.
Change comes with the decisions and subsequent actions you take every day. Follow these steps, and let’s make this year a productive one!