Being Accountable

The definition of the word accountable according to merriam-webster is:

An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

Sometimes we ask others to hold us accountable but what does that really mean?  For me it may mean something different from what it means for you.

When I ask to be held accountable then the following factors need to be present.

  • Mutual respect between myself and the person(s) that will hold me accountable.
  • An ongoing or long-term relationship.
  • Commonality – We have to hold some things in common.
  • A specific goal and deadline.
  • Consequences – What will happen if I don’t meet the deadline?

Accountability starts with me.  I have to take responsibility and do the work.  If I don’t believe in what I’m trying to accomplish then I’m not going to do it.

When I ask for someone to hold me accountable then that simply means that they know my goal and have a genuine interest in my success.  It doesn’t mean that there will be some sort of punishment or penalty imposed by the person that’s holding me accountable.  I want them to be a part of my success.

I think the group accountability is effective.  If you proclaim a goal and deadline to more than one person then the chances of success increase dramatically.   This could be a study group at church, a class, mastermind, or any setting where the people share common interests and goals.

Here are a few simple steps to building accountability around a goal.

  1. Define the goal.  This may sound like common sense but you should know precisely what you’re being held accountable for.
  2. Develop the plan.  Write down what you’re trying to achieve.  You need to make it as easy as possible to understand when you’re telling others.
  3. Broadcast the goal and plan.  Make everyone aware and get their buy-in.  Build some history and knowledge around the goal with your accountability partner or group.
  4. Ask for accountability.  Be specific about what you’re trying to achieve and by when.  Make sure that the person that you’re asking is excited and up for helping.
  5. Follow up on the deadline and in-between.  If the deadline is only a week off then you’ll be okay to wait but if it’s longer then set some dates in-between for a progress check.

Think about some areas in your life where you’d like to ask for accountability.  You may find that enlisting the help of a friend is what you’ve needed all along to get you over an obstacle.

Remember that progress is more important than perfection.  Ask for accountability in the smaller achievements as well as the bigger ones.

Thanks so much for reading!