Accountability: The Key to Reaching Your Goals

By Karson McGinley Karson McGinleyPlenty of people set goals, but far fewer are actually willing to declare their goals in a way that sets them up for success. Simply thinking about goals won’t yield results. There is one critical component of bringing a desired goal to fruition: accountability.
Consider this scenario: Your alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. It is your intention to go to the gym, but it’s raining outside, and your bed is extremely cozy. In which of the following situations are you more likely to actually make it to your workout?
You have an exercise buddy who will be meeting you at the gym at 6:00.
You didn’t tell anyone you were planning on exercising this morning, and no one but you will know if you hit snooze button three more times.
It’s a no-brainer. Obviously, you chose scenario #1 because someone is holding you accountable to your actions.
Studies have shown that when you share your goals with others, you are twice as likely to achieve them than if you keep the goals to yourself. For the same reason exercise buddies and personal trainers can help you to follow through on your workout goals, accountability when goal setting is one of the most crucial elements in your success.
What Is Accountability?
When it comes to goal setting, accountability means being held responsible for the achievement of your goals. The word sometimes has a negative connotation, as if accountability implies blame or judgment. However, when seen as a way of tracking success, accountability can create a sense of ownership and pride that often leads to great triumph, enhancing your ability to achieve your desired outcomes.
Why Accountability Works
When you hold yourself accountable to your goals, you are communicating to the universe (and to yourself) that the goal is a priority—it’s not just something that may or may not get done. If you don’t share your goals in some way, you aren’t truly committing to them. It’s too easy to give up because it’s like they never really existed.
Another reason accountability works is because it can motivate you to save face. It’s human nature to care about your reputation and to fulfill your loved ones’ expectations of you (Do they see you as a person with integrity or as someone who is flaky?). You also feel motivated to avoid being called out when you mess up. In the first scenario, the friend waiting in the parking lot of the gym is going to be pretty mad if you stand her up. On the other hand, if you pick the right type of accountability partner, they will actually encourage you when the going gets tough. Everyone needs a cheerleader sometimes to remind you of your potential for greatness.
5 Types of Accountability
There are many types of accountability, and depending on the type of goal you have and your unique personality, some will work better than others. Try out some or all of the following strategies:
1. Tell a Friend
Share your goals with someone who loves you, who will ask you about your …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra