What Kind Of Accountability Do You Need?
Is there something you’ve tried to stick to in your life? It could be anything from exercise to consistent content creation. How did it go?
Are you the type of person who dives in head first, setting lofty goals and high expectations, only to burn out after a short time?
Do you start off with the best of intentions, but find yourself skipping “just one” and then struggling to get back on the bandwagon?
Creating a habit and sticking to it is a tricky thing. Gretchen Rubin, who has been studying habits has said, “To change our habits, we have to first change ourselves.”
It means making real change, which always comes with challenges.
We like to focus on the results of the new habit. It’s fun to envision losing 15 pounds and fitting into that cool outfit. Or having an amazing following online for our content that explodes our business. If we could just skip to the end, everything would be great.
But it doesn’t work that way.
We have to actually start from the beginning, and pretty soon we realize that the result we want is on the other side of a lot of work, persistence, and dedication. It’s hard, and too often we give up before we get to where we wanted.
This may seem obvious. We know that these things aren’t easy, at least in our logical mind. Yet we keep following the same pattern. How do we break the cycle?
Gretchen’s work has revealed four different types of people when it comes to successfully building new habits in our lives. Without getting into the details, what this means is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There is no magic formula for building habits and getting things done that will work for everyone.
You have to be willing to experiment a bit, learn about yourself, and find a solution that works for you.
Today, I want to explore one of the keys to successfully building a long-term habit, and that is accountability.
Accountability Is Key
That’s a word we often hear, but how do you really become accountable for something? To what or whom are you accountable?
Following Gretchen’s ideas, accountability works differently for different kinds of folks. There is a segment of the population who can and will be accountable to themselves. They can set a goal and hold themselves to it.
Is this you? Do you meet your inner expectations? Or do you require some help from outside yourself?
Many people need some outside accountability in order to establish new habits, overcome the hurdles to change, and accomplish their goals.
If this is you, it is really important to recognize it, accept it, and embrace it. Sometimes we feel like we should be able to be accountable to ourselves. “Other people can do it on their own, so I should too.”
However, if that’s not how you are wired, you are setting yourself up for failure.
If you are more likely to succeed when someone or something outside yourself is holding you accountable, then by all means, set up some outside accountability!
There are different forms of outside accountability. Certainly another person can help to hold you accountable. If you have a work-out buddy who picks you up in the morning, you’ll be ready to go and work out.
Money can also be an outside source of accountability. Perhaps you are more likely to meet a deadline when there is money on the line. That can also take the form of paying for a membership or program. If you pay for a gym membership, you feel more accountable for using it and “getting what you paid for.”
By combining the two, you get some of the most effective accountability. When you pay someone to work with you and hold you accountable, you create a situation where you get someone who is committed to seeing you succeed, and helping you along the way. Hiring a personal trainer and scheduling regular meetings at the gym sets you up to succeed.
This is what I do for my clients, and they are able to achieve their content creation goals, when they hadn’t posted anything for months on their own.
Yes, it is an investment. But if you really want to get the end result you desire, you have to be willing to do what it takes, including getting the accountability you need.