In my previous post, I mentioned using accountability as a way to make sure you are working towards your goals. You can do self-accountability, which is largely what I do right now, with my bullet journal tracker. This does have some disadvantages because not everybody is going to be completely honest with themselves, and you have to remember to check in with your bullet journal every single day, because otherwise you might forget if and when something was done. Another popular way to tackle the accountability problem is to find a buddy.
This post is about finding accountability everywhere. My goal is for you to be able to accomplish your own goals, and intelligently choosing an accountability partner is the best way that I know how to help. If your goal is to write every day, choose an accountability partner that also enjoys writing. When I first decided to write a novel, I asked a friend to hold me accountable, but the reminders came when I couldn’t write. I ended up getting frustrated and just kept telling her “no.” It was true, I wasn’t writing, I couldn’t write during the intervals she was available, but on top of that, she wasn’t writing. Knowing that I was in it alone and she was just trying to force me to do something I wasn’t entirely sure I actually wanted to do, didn’t make for a good partner. However, once I made my goals more clear, her encouragement became critical to me finishing that first novel. (Hmm… perhaps I should enlist her help again on the editing journey).
Another area that you need to be really careful in is your diet. I am using the word “diet” here as in “what you eat on a day to day basis.” If you want to eat a diet of fried foods, do not engage with somebody who eats mainly salads. Likewise, if you are trying to switch to a plant-based diet, do not choose somebody who lives off meat (that’s me. I am not your girl if you don’t want meat. Sorry, not sorry). This also goes for anything and everything in between. Find a friend or colleague (this is really useful for lunchtime!) that has eating goals as similar to your own as possible, because watching each other make the same choices day in and day out will make it easier to stick to the plan.
The final aspect that I need to touch on regards my fellow business owners. So here’s the advice I was given long ago that at first struck me as, “oh my gosh, no way, I could never!” but has now turned into, “of course!” Ready? Here we go: befriend people who are doing the same thing as you, particularly those who have been doing it longer and/or are doing it better. Intimidating, right? But here’s the thing, you will never grow if you do not learn how to grow. This is an entirely new dimension of accountability in that you’re not directly asking for anything, but you are inherently asking yourself to be better and do better by watching others. We are naturally fueled by competition. It is true, that some people let intimidation get the better of them, and that is okay, as long as you learn how to work past it and use it to your advantage.
So, is there anything in life that you want to strive towards? Can you find somebody, whether it is a close friend, family member, or a distant friend, that can help you work towards this? Think about what you would say in your initial conversation. What are your specific goals, what is your deadline, are you initially focusing on quality or quantity? What types of check-ins do you need, and how often? Does anybody have any remaining questions?
Plan the work, and then work the plan.