I love my morning coffee. Without it, I can’t guarantee I’d resemble anything close to a human being.
I need my two cups of coffee to get me going that I imagine I’d go to any lengths to assure that perfect cup – even if it meant substituting white paint for cream if I ever ran out.
Now, it’s obvious that adding white paint to your coffee as a substitute for cream will not solve any problems.
But it’s equally as obvious that in order to succeed in business (and life) one must take action.
As Pablo Picasso puts it: Action is the foundational key to all success.
But c’mon, let’s be real here… you’re not dumb. You know that taking action and setting goals works.
Why then do we have such a hard time doing it? One word…
We need to do things on a consistent basis to help our businesses grow or survive day to day.
Some call this taking action, getting things done, planning, goal setting…
The Magic of Accountability
I often have a big to-do list. No matter how many items I cross off my list, an equal (or greater) number seem to inch their way onto the list.
I can choose in what order these things get done. Unless…
Unless I make a verbal or written agreement with someone to hold me accountable.
Here at APSE, we were working behind-the-scenes to power the front, public pages with WordPress.
Since the only real deadline at the time was a self-imposed one, I could find a million and one reasons not to get it done and finish the process.
I would work on it a bit every day, work on other aspects of APSE, and that’s that.
At one point, in a conversation with Danielle, she asked, “So when exactly will the WordPress powered site be ready?”
I said I would have it ready to view in 1 week.
Guess when I had the site ready by?!
When we tell only ourselves that we are going to get something done, the chances of it not getting done on time, on schedule, or at all are big.
We allow all other responsibilities and items on our to-do list to take priority.
We make excuses and we justify our decision to put it off ‘for the moment.’
But when we are held accountable, it become a priority, and miraculously, it gets done.
Why Does The Simple Concept of Accountability Work So Well?
When we share a goal (no matter how big or small) with someone else, we are automatically held accountable.
With nothing more than an acknowledgment from the other party, the accountability is in place and has begun.
Here are a handful of reasons WHY the power of accountability is so strong:
- We want to be seen as someone who sticks to their word.
- We don’t want to be perceived as lazy.
- We want to be seen as capable of achieving success or completing a task.
- We want to look responsible.
- We don’t want to let ourselves or others down.
- We want to avoid embarrassment.
- We want to maintain trust between our peers.
- We want to gain respect and admiration.
- We want to impress.
And the amazing thing about accountability is the simplicity of the 2-part agreement.
It only takes an honest and committed statement on your part to put it into play.
“I will achieve/ accomplish/ do [action] by [timeframe].”
Get your goals, actions, or checklist out of your head.
Just the very nature of putting it in writing will do magic.
Start by telling someone else and get it done.
In one sentence, state your action and your intended time frame.
These should be doable and achievable actions that can be completed in a week or two, such as:
I will rewrite my About page and publish it on my website by next Thursday.
I will compose a welcome home email by Monday that I can send out to my clients.
I will email my clients and ask for feedback, testimonials or reviews this weekend.
Not So Good Examples:
I will gain 5 new mid-day clients by next month (OK, but how? It’s too vague with no action plan in place).
I will redesign my website (Way too broad. If you want to do this, break it up into specific steps first).
I will find time to build relationships via Facebook (Good idea, but commit to an exact time and decide on how you will do it).
Let’s Get The Ball Rolling
Post with a comment below just one small thing you’ve been putting off doing that you know you need to do and embrace the accountability.
If this becomes something pet sitters are interested in, we will add an Accountability Bar area to our members forums.
Image Credit: Javier Benek