I have the privilege of working with some of the most successful people in the world. One thing most of them have in common is that they have a high degree of accountability for their personal and professional goals, and they can push themselves harder than most. Accountability is a value and a way of operating for these leaders. If you want to level up in 2023, think about how accountable you are to yourself. Think about the seven points below and ask yourself some tough questions.
- Set clear goals: To be accountable, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals can help you to stay focused and motivated. For example, instead of setting a general goal to “get in shape,” you might set a more specific goal to “run a 5K in under 25 minutes by June 1st.” This goal is specific (run a 5K), measurable (in under 25 minutes), achievable (depending on your current fitness level), relevant (to your health and wellness), and time-bound (by June 1st). Setting SMART goals can help you stay on track and progress toward your objectives.
- Keep track of your progress: To stay accountable, regularly review your progress towards your goals. This can help you identify areas where you may need to catch up and adjust. For example, if you are working towards a goal to save a certain amount of money by the end of the year, you might review your budget and spending habits every month to see if you are on track. Tracking your progress can also help you to stay motivated and see the progress you are making.
- Communicate with others: Sharing your goals and progress with others, such as a mentor, coach, or accountability partner, can provide valuable support and encouragement, and it increases your chances of success by up to 95%. Having someone else hold you accountable can help you stay motivated and on track and provide valuable perspective and feedback. For example, if you are improving your public speaking skills, you might share your progress with a friend or mentor and ask for their feedback on your presentations.
- Take responsibility for your actions: When things don’t go as planned, it can be tempting to make excuses or blame others. However, accountability means taking responsibility for your actions and finding ways to learn and improve from mistakes. This involves acknowledging your mistakes and taking steps to correct them. For example, you miss a deadline at work. In that case, you might take responsibility for your mistake, apologize to your manager and coworkers, and devise a plan to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
- Seek feedback: Regularly seeking input from others on your performance can help you to become more self-aware and identify areas for improvement. This can be especially helpful if you are working towards a goal involving a skill or activity in which you need to be fully proficient. For example, if you are working towards improving your leadership skills, ask your coworkers or a mentor for feedback on your leadership style and areas where you can improve.
- Practice self-discipline: Self-discipline is the ability to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions to achieve your goals. Developing self-discipline can help you to stay focused and on track, even when faced with distractions or challenges. This can involve setting boundaries for yourself, such as setting aside dedicated time for work or personal development and avoiding distractions like checking social media or watching TV during this time.
- Be accountable to yourself: Finally, holding yourself accountable for your actions is essential. This involves setting high standards for yourself and committing to meeting them. This can include setting expectations for your behavior and performance and holding yourself accountable to these high standards. For example, if you set a goal to exercise at least three times per week, you might stick to this goal by setting a reminder on your phone or tracking your workouts in a journal. An exercise partner may also help push you to keep to the plan.
Being accountable is an important aspect of personal and professional growth. It involves taking responsibility for your actions and being willing to answer for their good and bad outcomes. By following the tips outlined above, you can work towards becoming more accountable in 2023 and beyond.
In addition to the benefits for yourself, being accountable can also positively impact those around you. When you are accountable, others can trust and rely on you, leading to stronger relationships and more effective teamwork. In addition, by being a role model for accountability, you can inspire and encourage others to follow suit, creating a culture of accountability in your personal and professional life.
So, as you embark on a new year and set your goals, commit to being accountable. It may require effort and discipline, but the benefits are well worth it. With a focus on accountability, you can make meaningful progress toward your goals and improve your overall performance and well-being.