3 accountability hacks to get moving on your goalsSep 25, 2022
The thing with goals and intentions is that they can remain just that.
- How many things have you told yourself you want to do as each new year begins?
- Do you write down your goals or store these in your head?
- And what are the consequences if you don’t achieve your goals?
From my own personal experiences and on speaking with my clients, a few things can get in the way of us getting to that ‘best version of ourselves’ or finishing a day, week, month or year feeling accomplished.
If you want things to be different and if you really want to make an impact, then it’s important to be honest with yourself.
What’s stopping you from achieving your goals?
I’ve always been goal-oriented but, over recent years, I noticed that there were some targets I set which I wasn’t making progress on. These included (and still include!) learning Spanish fluently, being able to do a proper handstand and mastering the splits (one day, I will get there...) amongst other business and personal goals.
Looking back, I realise that there are three reasons I’m not accomplishing what I say I will.
Do any of these (or others) ring true for you?
- Legacy goals: These are things I thought I wanted but, in reality, I don’t really have a burning desire or need to do them. For the sake of achievement, I keep persisting with including them on my goals list but I need to scrap them and be comfortable with that.
- Self-sabotage: I allow less important tasks to take over - often these are to satisfy someone else’s agenda and not my own, or they are ‘easier’ to do so it’s a form of procrastination.
- Overcommitment: Although I am focused on peak performance, I too fall victim to the entrepreneurial tendency to chase bright and shiny new projects (anyone else with me on this?). What that means is that I am often working on many different things but, as a wise person once reminded me...
Why accountability comes in handy
Sometimes we can be so bogged down in the weeds that we don’t see the bigger picture. This is where it helps to get others to pull us back up.
If you’re great at going it alone and getting things done, that’s fantastic.
However, if you want to be challenged, stay on track and push yourself to achieve more, it can help to weave accountability into your 2022 plan.
Top performers surround themselves with people who encourage and push them to be their best on a consistent basis.
Here are three ways to get this started now.
1. Find your crew or partner
Join an accountability group or partner with someone as driven as you - and hold each other accountable for the course of the year. Ensure you find those who influence you to do your best, create a sense of urgency to get the important things done and make you feel uncomfortable about giving up. Don’t spread yourself too thin by committing to multiple groups or accountability buddies. Pick a crew / partner, stay focused and follow through.
Action: Think about who is in your personal network or join a professional group of like-minded and ambitious people. Reach out to someone you can partner with and get it started!
2. Schedule checkpoints
To make accountability really work, keep it simple.
Agree on quarterly or monthly goals and set up the next checkpoint in advance, so you have something to work towards. Don’t overcomplicate what you want to achieve before the next touchpoint. Aim for 1-3 items only. You may find this underwhelming but at least that means it’s achievable rather than aiming to do too much and giving up.
Listen to each other, ask questions and challenge thinking. Make these conversations supportive and thought-provoking. I've started do this with a brilliant business friend and I'm excited about keeping up the momentum.
Action: Once you have your accountability buddy or crew, put those touchpoint dates into your calendar immediately. This takes away from the decision making process later on when you’re wrapped up in daily tasks and too preoccupied to really focus on this.
3. Reward yourself
High achievers often don’t give enough time and attention to celebrate successes. If this sounds like you, make this year different and flip the script. If you want to make big progress, start celebrating each win, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is. This triggers the reward centre in your brain and encourages you to want more - to want to keep doing and making progress because it fundamentally makes you feel good. Besides, who doesn’t like a treat?
Action: In advance, agree a treat to reward yourself for achieving your agreed commitments. At each touchpoint, reflect on what you’ve achieved and what you’ll focus on until the next get together with your crew or partner.
Most importantly, remember that it’s up to you to shape this year in the way you want it to pan out. Don’t wait, don’t depend on others, and do what you need to do to in order to follow through with the most important goals you truly want to achieve.
Ready for action? Let’s go!
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