Keeping yourself accountable

“At the end of the day, we are accountable to ourselves – our success is a result of what we do” – Catherine Pulsifer

It can be both empowering and a little uncomfortable to think that we are responsible for our successes – and failures. Being willing to accept the consequences of our actions, choices or behaviours is not always easy.

We’ve all at some time or another played the “blame game”. It’s so easy to look outward and blame others for our problems, hardships or the obstacles that are getting in the way of us achieving our goals and dreams. For example, it’s the company’s fault that I keep getting passed over for that promotion, my team at work is holding me back, my partner is not being supportive enough of me.

The reality is there are always external forces at play that impact our lives and focussing on these external forces takes away our personal accountability.

What does it mean to be accountable? 

Being personally accountable means taking responsibility for one’s own actions (or in some cases – lack of action!). It’s maintaining an ongoing commitment to yourself and what is important to you.

Here are a few ways you can become more accountable.

1. Remove the roadblocks 

It all starts with your mindset. Choose to consciously embrace an accountable approach and recognise that you are the architect of your destiny.

That means letting go of the excuses and recognising them for what they are – roadblocks that are holding you back from taking responsibility for your own actions.

2. Set goals

It helps to know what you are trying to achieve – whether that be in your career, relationships or personal life. Take the time to set concrete goals, jot them down, and have a plan of how you will achieve them and in what timeframe.

Start by setting yourself smaller goals as they will be easier to achieve in the beginning. Setting goals (even if they are small ones) and achieving them allows you to prove to yourself and others that you can and will hold yourself accountable.

3. Create your own opportunities 

Accountability empowers you to be in control of your actions in your personal life and career. You can create your own opportunities rather than passively allowing life to happen to you.

Being accountable is about fulfilling your obligations to yourself as well as to others, so when you achieve what you’ve been aiming for, take time to recognize these milestones and celebrate them.

4. Take responsibility for your decisions 

Embrace the ‘good, the bad – and the ugly’ and accept the consequences of your actions, choices and behaviours, be they positive or negative.

Revel in the positives, but don’t be afraid to admit and own up to your mistakes. One of the most powerful ways we learn is through making mistakes and taking responsibility for them. That means acknowledging that there is a problem, identifying your role in it and proposing a solution to minimise or eliminate the chances of it happening again.

5. Learn from your mistakes

To reach your potential it’s necessary keep extending what you are capable of and taking risks and that means making mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up but think of what you would have done differently and what you’ve learned from the experience.

6. Ask for help

The road to success does not have to be a lonely one. While you are responsible for your own successes, that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a hand or even better, work with another, or others to get the support and encouragement you need.

An accountability partner can be someone who shares your goals and supports you to keep your commitments or maintain progress on a desired goal.

Having an accountability partner has been proven to increase your chances of success to an astonishing 95% if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to.i

So, if you are wanting to be more accountable to your own success this year don’t go it alone – make a time for a chat with us and we can work with you to help you achieve your goals and dreams.

i https://www.afcpe.org/news-and-publications/the-standard/2018-3/the-power-of-accountability/