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Are you constantly telling yourself, “I’m going to get to that project this week”…. but repeatedly letting yourself down?
Holding yourself accountable matters. If you continually break your promises to yourself, you will eventually stop believing that you’re capable of reaching your goals… and you’ll start setting lower expectations for yourself.
But when you continually keep your promises to yourself you create an upward spiral. You believe in yourself more, you shape a new identity for yourself, and ultimately, you achieve more!
Today, I want to help you flip the script and build trust in yourself with some creative ways to stay accountable to your business goals. The result is not only an accomplished goal, but a stronger, more capable identity in your own eyes.
In this episode, I outline the different types of accountability you could pursue as well as some creative examples of how to incorporate accountability into your life and business. Press play to rebuild trust with yourself in ways that are helpful, productive, and encouraging!
What is Accountability and Why is it an Important Part of Reaching your Business Goals?
Before we go any further, let’s define accountability for the sake of what we’re talking about today. According to Merriam-Webster, accountability is “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.”
We’ve all failed to follow through with an obligation to another person or maybe even failed to accept responsibility for our actions in some way. When that happens, we’re accountable to the person we’ve wronged and can feel shame or guilt for letting the other person down. When you do that to yourself, and don’t hold yourself responsible, you start believing that you’re a certain type of person or a certain type of business owner. It affects the way that you view yourself, and it affects your identity.
So… how do you end the cycle?
Before you Ask for Accountability, Get Clear on your Business Goals
Clarity precedes productivity, so the clearer you are with your goals, the more likely you are to reach them.
Before looking at the upcoming accountability methods, you first have to know what you want to be held accountable for. Very specifically, what are the goals that you want to be held accountable to accomplish and what are the specific actions that you need to be held accountable for on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis to reach each goal? Define the results you want to get and then backwards plan with specific steps to achieve them.
These questions are important to think about before moving on, because the type of accountability that will be most effective is based on the answers to these questions.
Two Ways to Get the Accountability you Need to Reach your Goals
The path to rebuilding trust with yourself starts with entering into one of these two accountability structures.
- Internal Accountability: self-imposed accountability that you can do on your own; your own willingness to accept responsibility
- External Accountability: accountability from other people, external to yourself; an obligation to accept responsibility
Let’s look at these two structures more in-depth with a few of my tried and true practices for for each one.
Self-Imposed, Internal Accountability
It’s time to get honest with yourself and give yourself a little tough love. Choose one or more of the following internal accountability tasks and start implementing right away.
- Write your goals down and have them in front of you to have a constant reminder to check-in with yourself about your actions towards them.
- Do weekly or monthly check-ins with yourself to analyze where you spent your time, money, etc. Start a log and collect data of where you’re spending your resources to help you see patterns. Take some time to assess if those actions align with your goals.
- Create real life consequences or rewards that help you stick to your promises you’re making to yourself.
- Set clear deadlines for tasks and stick to them. If this is difficult, impose a consequence if the deadline isn’t met or vocalize that deadline to another person for an added level of accountability.
Internal accountability can be hard for some people because when you’re looking at things from your own perspective, it’s easy to miss the patterns that are breaking trust with yourself. There might be things you’re believing or traps you’re falling into that would be very clear to somebody else who’s checking in with you that you might not necessarily be able to see for yourself. Knowing this going into the process will serve you. Be thoughtful, introspective, and don’t be afraid to bring someone else in through external accountability to help you reach your goals.
External Accountability in Two Forms, Group Accountability or 1:1 Accountability
Look for a group of people (group coaching, mastermind program) or someone who is a one-on-one accountability partner (mentor, coach, business bestie) who you can hold you accountable with weekly or monthly check ins.
One-on-one accountability is ideal if you have or want someone who is actively going to check in with you. This often takes the form of vertical accountability, which comes from someone you look up to or report to, or someone you are responsible for managing or overseeing. Assess your vertical accountability structure. Put yourself in situations with others (such as clients, contractors, employees, children, etc.) or hire a coach that intentionally places you in a position of accountability for your action or inaction.
Group coaching, a paid mastermind, or entrepreneur group memberships are popular forms of peer accountability in the business space right now. Usually, theses groups consist of business owners who are in the same industry or stage of business and who are ready to share and be held accountable for making progress on their goals.
Group accountability is ideal if you want to be inspired, challenged, and maybe even be a little competitive with others who are in a similar field as you. This kind of peer accountability helps to assess where you’re at in your business in relation to what someone else is achieving or getting done and brings a lot of value to your work.
Consider a paid accountability opportunity. The more you pay for accountability, the more invested you are in it, and the more you’re going to get out of it. You’re less likely to make excuses, not show up, or not take the advice or challenge given seriously when you’ve invested your money and committed to yourself in that way.
5 Tips for Finding the Right Accountability Partner:
Finding the right accountability partner may take some time, but be patient and follow these five tips.
- Do not choose a friend of family member to be an accountability partner.
- Find someone you trust, who is kind and encouraging, who you can be vulnerable with, and who will be your greatest cheerleader.
- Choose someone who’s willing to be honest with you and have hard conversations.
- Create a plan and have clear expectations and boundaries of what your accountability partnership looks like. Talking about when to check in, what topics to cover or questions to ask, how you like to receive feedback, etc. initially will help to make your partnership a success.
- Choose someone who’s committed to seeing you succeed. The last thing you need in an accountability partner is apathy toward you and your work, or worse!
I hope this gave you some creative ideas for getting more accountability in your business in a way that is helpful, productive, and encouraging. And if you’re ready to get the support and accountability you need to simplify and scale your creative business, check our The Business Edit™ Coaching Program. Learn more and submit your application here!
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Apply for the Business Edit™ Coaching Program to take your business from scattered to streamlined!
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