The Tremendous Value of Accountability

What happens if you don’t achieve the goal you just set for yourself? What happens if things come up, you get busy and or the next task in your plan just takes longer than you thought it would? Probably not much. These are exactly the situations accountability is designed to address.

Setting a goal is like making a promise to yourself about certain things you are going to make happen. But unfortunately many of us get used to failing to keep those promises, and we just let it slide. “Life” starts happening, and you just don’t feel like staying focused on your goal today.

Maybe you had to work late, or there’s a special on TV that you really want to watch. For whatever reason, things came up and you failed to accomplish the things you had identified in your Action Plan by the date(s) you had intended.

Distractions, procrastination and daily unforeseen obstacles are just a few of the reasons why we never get to where we want to go. What to do about this? How do we solve this problem?

    The answer lies in accountability

Students in school are always ready to take a final exam when the time rolls around. When the police are watching traffic on a highway with a radar detector, we slow to the speed limit. If a meeting with your boss or client is scheduled, you’ll have the presentation ready.

These are all situations where accountability, whether voluntary or imposed on us, provides motivation to help make things happen. So why not use the same principle for achieving the goals you intentionally set, the things that you’ve chosen that will determine the direction of your life.

Using a trusted friend, colleague or co-worker to hold you accountable to your personal goal is can be one of the surest way to know you will not let an important task slide by.

Also, I’ve set up a brief, 3 question survey at the bottom of the page (right hand column) that considers ways I’m thinking of to help you stay accountable. If you’re willing, I’d appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete the survey. Thanks!

Summary of key points:

  1. It’s easy to become distracted from our goals from time to time
  2. Being held accountable to someone or a group (a) motivates us when we otherwise may not motivate ourselves, and (b) helps us maintain our focus because we know our efforts will be inquired about by our accountability partner.
  3. Using an accountability partner improves the likelihood of reaching your goal