In both personal and professional settings, you often hear the word “accountability” thrown around. And while you might know accountability is important, do you actually know what it means to be accountable? Do you truly understand why it’s fundamental to success or where it even starts?
When you hold yourself accountable, you take ownership of your obligations. This doesn’t mean that you fail if you don’t get a specific result. Rather, it’s the act and mindset of taking responsibility and choosing to commit.
However, accountability is one of those things that’s often easier said than done. You can make all the promises in the world to yourself, but at the end of the day, you are the only one responsible for your habits and actions. Staying accountable to yourself requires a sound approach and a strong foundation of discipline. Without one or the other, it’s all too easy to procrastinate or even neglect tasks completely.
Luckily, there are several tools and strategies that you can employ to ensure integrity, dedication, accountability, and, of course, crossing those high-priority goals off your to-do list.
1. Use checklists:
If your lack of action stems from overwhelm, something as simple as a checklist can be an immensely helpful organizational tool and one that works to hold yourself accountable. Start by writing down everything that needs to get done, then break down each job into subcategories and group related tasks together. Seeing everything on paper and the necessary steps to get there is a highly effective way to establish a plan of action. In addition, crossing items off as they’re finished offers a sense of accomplishment and motivation!
2. Keep score:
Dismissing or putting off an unpleasant task is as easy as saying, “Oh, I’ll get to it later.” But procrastinating, even for a single day, can turn into a slippery slope. A simple way to hold yourself accountable is to use a daily scorecard. Similar to the checklist mentioned above, it’ll track the progress and completion of goals and act as a physical reminder of what you’ve committed to.
Daily scorecards tend to work well for people who like a little friendly competition, especially when it’s with themselves. Arootah’s Habit Accountability Tracker, for example, not only acts as a visual representation of your day’s goals, but it also lets you score and rate your habits and top prioritized actions throughout the day. It’s a dynamic time management tool that will help you establish a healthy mindset around working to outperform your past daily scores—a powerful motivation.
3. Embrace technology:
If time management is a blocker, technology can be a wonderful tool in holding yourself accountable. Just like a fitness tracker will send you reminders to get up and move, electronic calendars can do the same for your productivity. Schedule out your entire day. Enable reminders before each new activity to stay on track. Planning is the secret to success, so make it easy on yourself by taking advantage of all the technology that can help you plan your daily tasks.
4. Hire a coach:
Lists, apps, and scorecards are all great accountability tools, but not everyone is good at creating those steps to make their plans or goals happen. That’s where a coach comes in. Sharing your goals with someone is an important first step. If that “someone” is a life coach who can then help you figure out how to reach those goals, all the better. Arootah’s life and leadership coaches are trained to work with you to identify the key areas you want to adjust or hone in on, create a targeted plan for achieving those goals, check in on progress, and evaluate development.
A great life coach or leadership coach will instill healthy habits that build you up to be accountable and motivated, inspiring independence and agency. You are more than capable of reaching your highest goals. Sometimes, you just need the right training to get there.
The bottom line
Personal accountability can be tough. Starting the journey forces you to hold a mirror up to yourself and really ask whether or not you’ve been holding yourself accountable. Taking responsibility for your life and your goals is crucial to practice. It’s the difference between success and failure. It’s that X-factor that gives you the ability to take control of a situation, see it through, and take responsibility for the outcome, whether it’s good or bad. True accountability makes great leaders, great teammates, great people, and great success.
Are you ready to achieve personal accountability? Learn more about Arootah’s personal coaching services here!