Personal accountability means that you are fully responsible for your own actions and consequences. It consists of our choices, mindsets, habits, and serves as an example of our integrity.
Our ability to be accountable – to ourselves and others – is a foundational component of a successful life and a prerequisite for true happiness.
It is a new year – although, we know, at times it hasn’t felt like it. Now more than ever, we are excited to turn a new page. We set new goals, which stem from a deeper place of purpose for what we want our future to look like.
But the truth is, we all need support to be our best selves.
Teams keep leaders accountable for the goal. Individuals connected to no one can change the goal without accountability.~ John Maxwell
If you want to thrive in 2021, you’ll need support that gives you:
- Motivation – To stick to your goals
- Multiple Viewpoints – To talk through ideas and help identify where you are getting stuck or what you aren’t seeing.
- Celebration – We suck at congratulating ourselves, but we need it now more than ever
- Community Support – It feels good to help others and get help from those who care about your success.
As Maxwell’s quote, above, suggests – Others can and will hold us accountable to succeed. If we aren’t accountable to others – there is no consequence of changing the goal when it is convenient for us.
Discipline takes ownership, resilience, commitment, and the desire to continuously review, learn and grow. The reward is in the celebration.
OWNERSHIP: Watch where you are pointing that finger!
My father reminded me, ad nauseam:
“When you point the finger, remember that three other fingers point back at you.”
The secret wasn’t learning to point with all four fingers — although I tried that. The truth is, he was right. It forced me to ask myself what role did I play that resulted in the outcome I just got? The secret was taking responsibility for every decision I made – and learning to embrace the outcomes.
We need to embrace full ownership over our actions and their results – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- When the results are good – see the Celebration section.
- When the results are bad – see the Resilience section.
- When the results are ugly — see the Continuous Learning & Growth section
If we are going to get the most out of our lives, we need to stop pointing the finger.
COMMITMENT: Show Up If You Want To Grow Up!
You have to show up. Isn’t that the secret to so many things?
I was a full-time entrepreneurship professor at a local college for a period. I had a colleague tell me one day, “You can’t want it more for your students than they want it for themselves.”
I couldn’t believe it. It sounded like he had forgotten the reason he had become a teacher.
But, as I continued to get the litany of excuses for missing classes, turning in assignments late, not being prepared…I realized, he was right.
Most of my class was just showing up – and participating. But, if you were there…you were participating. I made everyone sit in the front row and we were up and active for most of the class.
No one can want it more for you than you want it for yourself.
We talk a lot about how money isn’t complicated, but it is hard. Being committed is the same.
If you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability.
Understand that progress is a process. It will take time.
Our friend, Jeff Morton, a phenomenal personal trainer, talks about the importance of Consistency over Intensity in his conversation with us. “If you were to come into the gym for 30 minutes 4 times a week you will reach your goal quicker than if you came in 2 times a week for an hour.”
Think about it in reference to sleep. If you are consistently getting less sleep than you need, one night of sleeping 12 hours isn’t going to make up for it.
When it comes to money – consistent saving and investing will get you much further along than trying to save up and do it all at one time. It never works that way.
I’m not sure how many of you are into cryptocurrencies, but I am sure you have heard that BitCoin hit and is still hovering close to the $40,000 mark. Instead of having that fear of missing out – had you invested a little every week or every month for the last year – you would be way better off than dropping a lot now to get only a small percentage.
You are going to make mistakes. You’re going to fail. Fight it all you want; it is a fact of life and the seeds to learning.
Resilience is our capacity to recover quickly from challenges.
Personal Side Story: I took my 4-year-old daughter ice-skating last year. I was excited – I love soaring on the ice. I asked her if she was going to fall. She said:
“Of course. It’s how I learn. But, if I fall down 7 times…I’ll just get up 8!”
True story – that kid is wise beyond her years.
Falling hurts! Especially the 7th time on ice. It’s then that our capability to get up seems impossible. But staying down will only get you run over by that smug kid who is somehow WAY better at ice skating than you are. Now, I was ready to take that kid out in order to protect my daughter — but not everyone has that person around at all times. Some challenges are rather easy to pick ourselves up from. While others may require support.
For some, that support might come from friends and family. And they can support you in certain areas, but maybe not every area. There are a lot of situations in which an outside perspective is the best kind of support – be it a coach, a therapist, or an accountability group. Someone who can help you take ownership of your situation and be committed to succeeding.
Now, I shared that story about my daughter not to illustrate that I am a great dad – I am making it all up as I go like every other parent. Being a parent is a lot like being an entrepreneur in that matter.
I shared it to show that at 4 you had resilience. But, like so many amazing qualities, we forget them as we get older. Take time to remember. Take even more time to practice being resilient. As I hinted at yesterday, I am fond of reminding myself and others that Practice Makes Better. It doesn’t make perfect, I don’t care what anyone says. Just keep swimming!
CONTINUOUS LEARNING & GROWTH: If you’re not learning and growing…you’re wasting your time on this planet!
But, if you are here it is safe to say that you are a person who loves to continuously learn and improve.
I want you to know that we have faith in you – you’re going to hit your goal.
Here’s the kicker – then what? Where do you go from that point? What is the next goal? I have talked a lot about the experiences I have had in my varied resume. Well, to add to that, I ran a martial arts school for a dozen years or so full-time.
Beyond kicking ass, one of the many lessons I taught my students was “The Black Belt Success Cycle.” Now, I didn’t create this – I wish I had. But, it is 5 sentences that are so packed full of wisdom and growth mindset that I want to share with you.
Know what you want! Have a Plan and a Success Coach! Take Consistent Action! Review Your Progress! Renew Your Goals!
First, you have to have a goal. This is easier for some than others. But, if you don’t know where you want to go, you will just end up driving aimlessly — not the best strategy.
How are you going to accomplish your goal and who can you turn to succeed and hold you accountable? We all need someone in our lives that will play the coach role. We all need and deserve pats on the back when we succeed – and sometimes we need a kick in the butt, metaphorically speaking, to keep moving.
Consistency over intensity. Remember that quip from above. Well, it applies here. It is about the consistent actions we take over time.
Whatever your goal is – be committed to evaluating it regularly – if it matters, measure it often.
Ignoring it won’t make it go away and certainly won’t make it worse. Step on the scale. Look at your account balances. Keep track of the books you’ve read.
Success will happen, it is just a matter of setting the right goals and being consistent over time. Even when it is hard.
Once you reach them, celebrate, and set new goals.
CELEBRATING THE WINS: You deserve the celebration!
Let’s be honest – we are not very good at celebrating our own successes. We either don’t publicly acknowledge them or do so at a volume that is considered egotistical.
Also, doesn’t it just feel better when others celebrate with us? That is part of what makes birthday parties so special.
Having a support group that is there for you when you need them to pick you up is invaluable. But, having a community there to help you celebrate the achievement you’ve been working on is that much more rewarding.
WHERE TO FIND SUPPORT
Accountability groups are an awesome resource. They provide daily, weekly and monthly touchpoints to ensure that you are being consistent and setting appropriate goals.