Accountability. The Oxford Dictionary describes it as the fact of being responsible for your decisions or actions and being expected to explain to them when you are asked.
Accountability is about doing what you say you will do. It’s about being the boss of you and completely owning it. Accountability provides the foundation and structure. It’s the bones of our goals. Without accountability, our goals would collapse. It allows us to see what we have done in the past and propels us to take on bigger goals. Accountability enables us to take on new challenges. Accountability provides ownership for the things that we accomplish as well as the things that we fail at. It is about helping us focus. Good accountability means taking away time and effort you spend on distracting activities and other unproductive behaviors so you can get more done and reach your goals. It helps us to stop scrolling when we are meant to be working on a project we keep putting off.
Accountability is a strong motivator, but it takes two to tango.
I’m one that believes strongly in working towards new achievements. I enjoy getting things done and living with a purpose. But I’m not really good at it all the time and I certainly can’t do it alone.
Recently, I was lucky enough to live in the UK. I got caught up in this new experience and enjoyed myself. I enjoyed exploring the history, immersing myself in the culture, and trying out new food, a lot of new food. Sausage rolls, Sunday roast, gu, and Battenberg cakes are delicious. If you know, you know. But once I got on an American scale that showed pounds and not stones (they really measure in stone!), I was horrified to discover I gained more than a few. But as I started to work on my goal to exercise more and eat healthily, I found that simply writing down my goals, giving myself a pep talk, and checking the boxes every day was not a huge motivator for me. Even though accountability is about action and not the person, I felt shame and guilt because I would quit too early. I didn’t have anyone I had to be accountable to, no one to report to. No one asked me to fess up if I cheated a little or even stalled out completely.
Now I have someone who makes sure I accomplish more.
I have a coach.
My coach is my accountability partner. Each week I determine what I want to achieve. He checks up on me and makes sure I am doing the right thing. He makes sure that I don’t give up.
The benefits of having an accountability partner are many. But here are a few:
- It’s effective. Research has shown that when you share your goals with others you have a 65% chance of achieving your goals. But when you have a specific accountability partner, or one trusted person, your success rate increases to 95%.
- There is no collusion. An accountability partner won’t tell you what to do, they will simply tell you what is. Your relationship with your coach will be powerful. You will share your vulnerabilities and your coach will be understanding but tough. Instead of being a friend who nods their head in understanding, they will point out your blind spots, and your strengths, and help you determine how you will move forward. A coach will understand what you are going through but they won’t let you off the hook. They won’t let you get away with excuses. They will call you out.
- They will keep you on track. It’s easy to lose focus and be distracted by a new shiny goal. An accountability partner will remind you of the things that you stated you wanted to achieve and will guide you back on course. Your time will stay focused and true to the goals that are important to you. Your coach will help you to decide what success looks like for you, let you set the goals, and will be there to report too.
- You will achieve more. Not only will your success rate go up, but you will be pushed beyond your limits. An accountability partner can help shine a light on your strengths and accomplishments when your inner critic is in your ear. There may be times when you don’t succeed. That is when your relationship with your coach is important. They will help you dig into your strengths and values so you can become more resilient and find new ways to tackle your goals.
Everyone needs an accountability partner. So, let’s tango.
Connect with your Practice Building Coach to identify areas you want to make progress in and discover what more you can achieve in this New Year.
Manager of Coaches
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128