Do you give yourself excuses for not doing the things you need to do? Are you someone who justifies your non-action a lot?
If you truly are held accountable once you set your goal and a plan of action, one or more people who expect you to take action will in fact hold you responsible for doing so.
Goal-accountability to another has many benefits, such as compelling you to specify and write out your goal, helping you maintain focus, and talking you through “stops”—when it seems too hard and you can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Just knowing someone is aware of your goals can kick you into gear: It’s no fun to admit, “I haven’t taken any action since we last talked”. And when you do act on your goals, there is another person to measure your progress objectively, even if perfectionism or expecting too much too soon prohibits you from seeing that progress.
Specific Benefits of Being Held Accountable
1. Formulating a specific and well defined goal
In order to explain your goal to someone else you need a detailed picture of exactly what it is. If left on your own, you don’t have an immediate reason for getting it down on paper in specific and realistic terms. Research has shown vague goals are seldom reached while clearly defined goals usually are. And, as you may know, writing down goals correlates closely with a high degree of success.
2. Recognition; Someone to say ‘good job’
The presence of positive accountability can provide recognition, which is one of the basic hungers of human beings, as noted in the principles of Transactional Analysis. The “atta boy” and “atta girl” heard daily in the work place keeps people motivated. However, small or one-person businesses don’t have a built in peer group to say “good job mate”.
Whether just launching a business or heading a profitable company, few can sustain effort without recognition for their efforts—even credit for small positive steps is very helpful. Being accountable to one or more people, you can get recognition just like those working for mid-size and large companies.
3. Keeping on track and maintaining goal-focus
On the way to reaching your goal, when you veer from the path into the deep woods, you often need all your energy just to get back out—and you end up loosing sight of your goal altogether. This may be due to a family or health crisis, other people’s agendas taking precedence, or simply a slump in energy that lingers. Someone to notice you’ve lost your way may be all that’s needed to reclaim your goal focus. Even better, another’s perspective can help you pinpoint what stopped you, and how to prevent a reoccurrence.
4. It is much easier to keep going when the going gets bumpy
You may be experiencing more challenges than you bargained for when you went into business for yourself. Creditors, bad reviews, too much selling...You may feel you’re just not tough enough to stick with it. However, your partner in accountability can help you put these things into perspective, freeing your psychic energy to proceed with tasks needed to accomplish your daily objectives.
Accountability gives you the impetus to clearly identify your goal; positive accountability provides recognition, helps you stay focused, and offers support through difficult times.
Now, are you keen to get the rewards of goal-accountability? There are many ways to do this—webinars, small business support groups, private coaches and government services for start-up ventures. Consider hooking up with someone else who would like to become a partner in mutual accountability. Look for people you enjoy being with who have a positive attitude and business expertise.
The road to goal achievement can be as rewarding as the destination—you have the advantage of accountability to help you live your dream, the progressive realisation of your own worthwhile goals.