One of my CORE values is lifelong learning. I love to take in new information and share what I learn with others. The downside of this is that I have the tendency to be reading about 15 books at one time while also listening to 20 different podcasts, which can make me feel scattered and overwhelmed at times.
I often have a lot of ideas and thoughts I would like to share but don’t always do a great job (or any job for that matter) of getting my ideas on paper and actually doing something with them. In other words, follow through is not exactly my best friend.
So the nerd in me found myself typing a text to a friend commenting on how “excited” I am to start an accountability group that we are forming to help support each other on our spiritual journeys. Yes, I used the word “excited” because I really am looking forward to having someone keep on me about getting things done!
After texting this to her, I sat and thought about the fact that I have found the same to be true for most people I know.
Case in point: I began thinking last week about how important accountability is for most of us to accomplish our goals and stay on track. I no sooner walked into my friend’s office and he mentions that he just hired a business coach, mainly because he needs accountability.
So I know we’re not the only ones.
I know this because I am also reminded of how often I hear clients say, “I ‘know’ what I ‘should’ be doing/eating, however, I need someone to walk with me so I actually DO IT!”
I began to wonder why it is we don’t ask for help when we know we need it.
And then I realize it is because most of us get rather embarrassed admitting we need help in certain areas of our lives. I am guilty of this myself. But instead of looking at it as cowardly, what if we looked at it as courageous instead?
Think of it this way: It takes courage to set a few goals and then reach out and ask someone to make sure we actually follow though and do whatever it is that helps us achieve them. It takes courage because it requires a certain level of vulnerability. And feeling vulnerable is not something many of us are good at…or very comfortable with…because in reality, it means we must lay aside our pride and admit that we don’t in fact have “it” all together.
When the goal is making lasting, lifelong changes—whether we’re talking about dietary, lifestyle or both—I have seen over and over again the importance of accountability. And the reason for this is that left to our own devices, things typically don’t move forward like they should for the majority of us.
The other key to successful or effective accountability comes into play when we involve “real” people versus “things.” In other words, we can use reminders on our phones, sticky notes on the mirror or an app that will tell us what to do and when, but the results will not be as effective as engaging with another person/people who can offer advice and encouragement along the way.
This is the kind of accountability that will ultimately be the glue that ties your commitment to the results you are looking for.
So ask yourself the following questions:
- In what area of my life do I need accountability?
- Who is going to be my “glue” that helps me achieve my goal(s)?
Just a little hint: It may not be the most obvious people in your life. For example, my best friend and co-worker, Kate and I make pretty terrible accountability partners. We do not do the best job of holding each other accountable because we often get off topic and find far too many other things to talk about. The same goes for my husband, Kevin.
Who should you find? You need to find someone who will call you out when you are making up sad little excuses that will also cheer you on towards victory. In plain terms, you need to find someone who will gently but firmly call you out on your ahem, “BS” if you know what I mean :).
Then the only question left is: Will you be humble enough to listen?