The New Year is fast approaching, and many of us are looking at what we said we would accomplish and asking ourselves, what happened?
Maybe you meant to go to the gym this morning, but you stayed up too late last night watching the latest Game of Thrones. Or maybe you meant to finish that proposal, but you kinda don’t feel like it, and hey look! Your photos need to be organized!
Distracting ourselves with all of the small things that come up is a form of resistance, or in other words, procrastination.
So, what is the secret that is used in 12 step programs, has helped people give up smoking, lose weight, and run marathons?
When I think back to running cross country for NCAA in college, and I think of all of those 5:30 AM practices, long weekend runs, ice baths (yes, believe it or not), and 1200m repeats, I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t have done even half of that without accountability!
Accountability is why taking a conversational French course at the local university will produce much better results than trying to get yourself to do Rosetta Stone (trust me, I know).
There have been several studies looking at people who were successfully able to change their habits, and one common thread was some form of accountability.
Now, I know you might be thinking, “I don’t want somebody to hold me accountable! I’d rather just do it on my own without any pressure!” Okay, and how has that been working out for you? If you have some serious infallible motivation you might be getting along quite well, but for the rest of us who don’t want to wait for some desperate situation to strike, we need accountability.
To ease your fears let me tell you three things:
- Most stress around accountability can be mitigated when you set your goal that you want to be held accountable for. If you already know you won’t be able to make that goal, then the goal is too big. You want to be confident when you set the goal because no matter how confident you are, things come up that stop us, and you need to allow room for that. Be really honest with yourself. Set smaller steps so that you know you can be successful and the stress goes away. If you achieve your goal plus some, great!
- A little pressure is not a bad thing.
- You will feel GOOD when you complete your goal! You will be glad that you had a little pressure otherwise you would have let the little things stop you and you might never have had this sense of accomplishment! Especially when your goal is moving you towards something that is important to you!
An accountability partner can take many forms, including:
- A friend who is making the same changes you are
- A support community that is specifically set up to provide accountability
- A coach or mentor
What are you looking for in an accountability partner?
You want somebody who is loving and nonjudgmental, but can firmly hold you accountable. This is a person who creates space for you to raise your expectations of yourself, step forward and be your highest self. This is somebody who says, “Girl, I see you! I know who you are and I know you can do this.”
Recently I’ve witnessed the power of accountability with myself in my own business. Not only have I worked with a coach or mentor since the beginning, but I have also worked with accountability partners. Many of my blog posts or videos I never would have created had I not told my accountability partner that I would have it done by the time we talked. Let’s face it, things come up that stop us from taking action on our goals. My accountability partner is what helps me not let that ‘stuff’ stop me from moving forward on what is truly important to me. And yes, there are times when I’ve felt a little pressure, but I am always incredibly grateful that I got the job done.
Here is to your success!