As trainers we hear the word accountability a lot.
A lot, a lot.
This makes sense, accountability is defined, essentially, as “being responsible or the expectation of account-giving” so when it comes to clients identifying what they need to achieve their goals and stay on track accountability is a pretty good word to use. The trouble is that true accountability is entirely under your control. If you don’t believe me feel free to peruse any of the millions of people online who have different social/political/dietary/religious views than you do and see how accountable you feel to them.
Not much, huh?
Of course not! It would be insane (and wildly unhealthy for you) to surrender the choices you make to these people who want you to change in the way they want instead of in the way you want. And this, my friend, is where accountability gets tricky. As accountability is entirely based on what you want it’s power is both given and taken (in a millisecond) by you.
So, if we agree that accountability is incredibly important for achieving your goals (and straight up, we should just agree on that) but we also agree that you’re the only one with any power in the realm of accountabil- what do we do?
Well, we’ve got to find you an equal - duh.
For the same reason there are weight classes in combat sports we’ve got to make sure that in the fight over your progress you’re matched with someone equally powerful - someone who can’t flick your power switch off when you try to hold them responsible or demand that they give an account of their actions.
Who is that for you?
Uhh YOU, of course.
Now, don’t lose me here, I know it’s totally lame to leave you with “make sure you hold yourself accountable” and BLAM all the results you want - no problem. I understand it doesn’t work like that. What I’m going to do, and really the only thing I can do, is tell you what works for me - so here it is:
I hold myself accountable with two distinct strategies. The first is that I review my goals, both short term and long term every day.
I mean it, every day, and not just day dreaming as I’m in the shower - I mean I sit down and spend 5 minutes reading through my long term goals, short term goals and next steps. I do this
The second thing that’s worked so well for me has been a weekly accountability session, with myself, where faced with my goals and my actions for the last week I sit down with the expectation of account-giving. I ask myself what I did, why I did it, how I did it - I ask myself a lot of questions to determine why in the world I made some of the dumb or lazy decisions I did, I ask myself why I was able to really crush certain things throughout the week and most of all I ask myself how to move forward (ideally more efficiently) the coming week.
Some people use a coach for this process and if that works for you - great! In all honesty that probably means that you’re both smarter and less hard headed than I am and I envy you for it. If, on the other hand though, you’re more like me and need someone in your accountability universe who you wont push around or push out then your answer is waiting for you in your bathroom mirror.
Try scheduling a few meetings with yourself and be honest, at first you can be a super shitty boss (at least that’s how it was for me) but at the end of the day no one is going to figure out how to make you tick like you will and once you’ve got that… the world is yours!