I am privileged to work with some of the most successful people in the world. One thing most of them have in common is that they have a high degree of responsibility for their personal and professional goals, and they can push themselves harder than most. Accountability is a value and a way of working for these leaders. If you want to soar in 2023, think about how responsible you are to yourself. Think about the seven points below and ask yourself some tough questions.
- Set clear goals: To be accountable, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals can help you stay focused and motivated. For example, instead of setting a general goal to “get in shape,” set a more specific goal to “run a 5k in less than 25 minutes before June 1.” This goal is specific (run 5K), measurable (in less than 25 minutes), achievable (depending on your current fitness level), relevant (to your health and well-being), and time-bound (by June 1). Setting SMART goals can help you stay on track and make progress toward your goals.
- Track your progress: To stay accountable, regularly review your progress toward your goals. This can help you identify areas where you may need to overtake and adjust. For example, if you’re working toward a goal of saving a certain amount before the end of the year, review your budget and spending habits each month to see if you’re on track. Tracking your progress can also help you stay motivated and see the progress you’re making.
- Communicate with others: Sharing your goals and progress with others, such as a mentor, coach or accountability partner, can provide valuable support and encouragement, and increase your chance of success by up to 95%. Having someone else hold you accountable can keep you motivated and on track and provide valuable perspectives and feedback. For example, if you are improving your public speaking skills, you can share your progress with a friend or mentor and ask them for feedback on your presentations.
- Take responsibility for your actions: When things don’t go as planned, it can be tempting to make excuses or blame others. However, accountability means taking responsibility for your actions and finding ways to learn and improve from mistakes. This means acknowledging your mistakes and taking steps to correct them. For example, you miss a deadline at work. In that case, you can take responsibility for your mistake, apologize to your manager and colleagues, and come up with a plan to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
- Search feedback: Regularly seeking input from others about your performance can help you become more self-aware and identify areas for improvement. This can be especially useful if you are working towards a goal with a skill or activity that you need to be fully proficient in. For example, if you are working on improving your leadership skills, ask your colleagues or a mentor for feedback on your leadership style and areas where you can improve.
- Practice self-discipline: Self-discipline is the ability to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions to achieve your goals. Developing self-discipline can help you stay focused and on track, even when faced with distractions or challenges. This may involve setting boundaries for yourself such as setting aside time for work or personal development and avoiding distractions such as checking social media or watching TV during this time.
- Be accountable to yourself: Finally, it is essential to hold yourself accountable for your actions. This means setting high standards for yourself and committing to live up to them. This may include setting expectations for your behavior and performance and holding yourself accountable for these high standards. For example, if you’ve set a goal to exercise at least three times a week, you can stick to this goal by setting a reminder on your phone or keeping track of your workouts in a journal. An exercise partner can also help you stick to the plan.
Taking responsibility is an important aspect of personal and professional growth. It involves taking responsibility for your actions and being willing to account for their good and bad results. By following the tips above, you can work towards greater accountability in 2023 and beyond.
In addition to the benefits for yourself, accountability can also have a positive impact on those around you. When you are accountable, others can trust and rely on you, leading to stronger relationships and more effective teamwork. In addition, by being a role model for accountability, you can inspire and encourage others to follow suit, creating a culture of accountability in your personal and professional life.
So, as you start a new year and set your goals, you must commit to accountability. It may take effort and discipline, but the benefits are well worth it. With a focus on accountability, you can make meaningful progress toward your goals and improve your overall performance and well-being.