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I’m going to hold myself accountable

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

I’m sure you started the year by setting some pretty ambitious goals. I know I did. But how are we getting on with those goals, are they on track or not even started?

We have the best intentions to better ourselves but can find it hard to stick to those goals and sustain them over a period of time. Why is it that we stop holding ourselves accountable?

As I said, we have the best intentions to achieve these goals but can often find we fall short of the expectations we set for ourselves. This frequently leaves us feeling guilty, frustrated, annoyed and demotivated making it even harder to take the action we need, even that first step. We come up with excuses constantly to rationalize the fact we haven’t done what we said we would do or keep the discipline to continue with what we started.

I tend to find that when we are in this position, there are a couple of things that seem to be apparent. We’re not in the right mindset, we are not understanding why we want to do this in the first place, or planned out what it will take to get there. We can also over-commit by trying to set too many goals instead of really focusing on 1 or 2 key areas.

When setting our goals, we need to ask; why is it really important to us and what do we really want?

Striving to do better and improve is hard work. We’ve got to really know why we want it, to keep us motivated, inspired and committed when other demands are placed on us. What we prioritize is what we will do.

Once clear on this and really invested in our why and our purpose, it’s taking the time to break it down into a clear plan. How are we going to achieve this, what are the steps needed and what is the timeframe I‘m giving myself? This is where we have the most control and where we make a choice about how it is going to fit into our schedule. This starts to build new habits and routines. Let’s not get disillusioned, these daily/weekly steps can get boring and make us complacent, if we don’t remind ourselves of why we are doing it in the first place.

Lastly, we give ourselves a get out clause by never telling anyone else what our actual goal is. Being clear with ourselves is just one level of commitment to our goal. Once we articulate it to others, it increases that level as it is out there in the world for people to ask you about. In fact, recruiting an accountability partner can take that even further. Choose someone who you have to check in with to share progress, get support and challenge from, and to keep you on track.

In summary then on how to help us become more accountable:

  • Get into the right mindset - be clear on your why

  • Don’t over-commit - less is more, focus on 1-2 key areas

  • Break your goal down - into a manageable plan that fits your schedule

  • Tell others about what you’re doing - maybe even get an accountability partner

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or if you would like further 1:1 support.

Fiona Roberts (MSc)
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