The Secret to Accountability

The New Year is a great time to talk about accountability. It is a time to dream big and set goals for the coming year. This is the easy part.

The hard part if figuring out how to stay accountable to yourself and your goals.

There are so many systems out there for organizing your life and achieving your goals, but none of them will work unless you decide to keep yourself accountable.

That is the easiest thing to say and the hardest thing to do. How do you keep yourself accountable?

As much as I wish there were a magic bullet or a secret to accountability, there really is not.

The way to hold yourself accountable is really simple.

Decide what you are going to do and then do it.

That is it. Make a decision, and then stick to it. That is really what accountability is—making a decision and then sticking to it.

For some, it helps to have an “accountability partner,” someone who will help you do what say you want to do, such as workout, eat healthfully, or meet deadlines at work. Still, though, you have to decide to be accountable to your accountability partner!

When I teach spin, I say to my students at the beginning of class, “Make a decision right now about what kind of ride this will be, and then hold yourself accountable to it. If you need a recovery ride, take it. If you need to get out some aggression, take it. You decide. You hold yourself accountable. Don’t just test the muscles—test the will. I make suggestions; you make decisions.”

The same is true for any task that needs to be accomplished at work—decide to do it, and then do it, whether you have a deadline to meet, you need to have a tough conversation, or you simply need to get through your emails.

There is simply no way around deciding to do something and then doing it!

The next time you are thinking about setting a goal or even just living the day with intentionality, decide to hold yourself accountable, and then…do it.

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