Accountability is being responsible for what you do and giving a satisfactory reason for it. When it comes to personal accountability, it tends to refer to your discipline when it comes to your personal goals and aspirations.
Personal accountability tends not to be an innate quality that people have but rather something that develops over time. Strong personal accountability makes it much easier to stick to your goals and aspirations rather than becoming complacent or giving up. Accountability in this regard is an important part of following through on your personal goals and aspirations.
Keeping tabs on yourself and keeping yourself accountable is not easy, but it can optimize your life and enable you to accomplish much more. Below is a closer look at some accountability hacks that can help you stay on top of yourself and ensure that you are continually moving towards your goals and aspirations.
1. Develop quality goals
The goal-making process is something that is almost always overlooked. Many people simply write down a goal like wanting to be physically fit and don’t dive deeper into their goal.
Developing quality goals provides you a framework to achieve those goals and aspirations while delving into the deeper reasons why you are shooting for those goals. Knowing exactly why you are working towards those goals and the steps required to achieve them makes it much more likely that you stay motivated, accountable, and on top of working toward your goals.
Below is a closer look at some tips you can utilize to develop quality and meaningful goals. Goals act as the foundation and having a quality goal or aspiration to shoot for makes them much easier to follow through with.
Understand the “Why”
When it comes to goals and aspirations, many people have a clear vision of what they want but tend not to understand why they want what they want.
A prime example of this is a goal like wanting to get into shape. This goal seems simple enough to act upon but lacks the gusto and deeper meaning to keep you engaged and working towards it. Asking why you want to achieve the specific goal is the best way to dig at that deeper meaning. In the case of wanting to get into shape, the answer to “Why?” may be to have a higher level of self-esteem, to feel better about your health, or simply to try and live a longer and healthier life.
Unlocking the deeper meaning behind your goals and aspirations can take a bit of self-discovery but it can be incredibly valuable as your goals have a bigger meaning. Suddenly wanting to become fit is turned into wanting to become fit to feel more confident in your own skin.
Create a clear pathway
Quality goals should almost always have a bulletproof plan to back them up. Setting goals is essential but having the plans and actions to back them up enables you to act upon them. Sometimes creating a detailed plan is not always feasible, but you should try and break up goals into smaller, more manageable chunks whenever possible. Doing so can give you a greater sense of progress and keep you accountable.
Set realistic deadlines
All important things in life have deadlines and due dates. School applications, work deadlines, and many things in life have due dates that ensure they are done promptly. When trying to keep a consistent momentum towards working toward your goals, you can also utilize the power of deadlines. Utilizing deadlines can improve your time management and productivity.
Whether your goals are small or large, you can utilize deadlines to help ensure you are maintaining a good pace and continuing to move forward. When creating deadlines, you should try your best to set them realistically. Setting unrealistic expectations and falling short can decrease your internal motivation and do more harm than good.
2. Social Accountability
Personal accountability is hard for many people because you are the only one enforcing and keeping yourself accountable. In other settings like a workplace, your manager or superior tends to hold you accountable for getting work done, and when it comes to personal accountability, it can be difficult for many people.
While it is important to develop self-efficacy, you can also utilize the power of social accountability to help you stay on track. Below is a closer look at some ways you can utilize social accountability to help keep you honest.
Accountability partners are somewhat self-explanatory; in short, they are two individuals holding one another accountable and to their word. Accountability partners can be friends, family, co-workers, or even strangers.
Having an accountability partner aims to add an additional person to the equation that is counting on you.
At work, you most likely get your work done on time since your manager is counting on you, and if you don’t, there is some recourse. This same ideology applies to accountability partners who are counting on you to follow through with whatever you are working towards. If you don’t meet the expectations, they are disappointed.
Social media accountability
If having an accountability partner isn’t your thing, you can outsource the accountability to your followers on social media. Let's say that you aim to improve your mile run time by the end of the month.
You can make a post about your current mile run time and state that at the end of the month, you are hoping to shed a second off of that time. By sending this post out for friends and family to see, they will hold you accountable and may even check in. Having all these people aware of your goal holds you more accountable and is likely to help motivate you.
One of the largest reasons otherwise accountable people find personal accountability difficult is that they have a different mindset regarding their personal goals. Most people tend to be accountable when others are depending on them, but when it comes to themselves, their mindset changes, and it isn’t viewed as a priority.
This change of mindset poses a large problem, and one of the greatest hacks to improving your accountability and self-efficacy is to change your mindset. Below is a closer look at ways you can modify your frame of mind to stay moving.
Treat your goals like a job
In the grand scheme of it all, you spend more time with yourself than anyone else, and working on yourself to attain your aspirations is something that is incredibly important. Changing your mindset from one where you are not the priority can be difficult, and one easy hack is to imagine that your goals are like a job.
Imagine if you felt the same sense of urgency to work out to get fit as you did to submit your work on time. This mindset change can help you realize that your personal goals are also a priority and can make it much easier to hold yourself accountable.
Many people dread personal improvement, making it much harder to hold themselves accountable. The prime example of this is people who hate going to the gym trying to get fit by going to the gym three times a week. When they skip a day, they are unlikely to stay accountable as they never really enjoyed it in the first place.
Finding enjoyment in whatever you are trying to accomplish can make it much easier to stay accountable. Studies have shown that those who experience enjoyment with exercise are more likely to stick to it.
There are instances, however, where you may need to drudge through something you may not particularly enjoy. One solution to these instances is to provide yourself with a reward for completing it. Allowing yourself an enjoyable activity once you complete whatever task is at hand can provide you with more motivation and help keep you accountable.
Achieving your goals and living your best life is not always easy, but having a degree of personal accountability can be extremely helpful in achieving your fullest potential. Developing quality goals, looking for outside accountability, and changing your mindset to one that is more productive are some great hacks to help with your personal accountability.