Tips for Keeping Yourself Accountable

Business, Productivity

You might be accountable to your clients or team, but are you truly accountable to yourself? Do you often feel like you let yourself down or fail to live up to the high standards you’ve set for yourself? You’re not alone, most entrepreneurs feel this way to some degree.

Many business owners struggle to act in a way that is congruent with their values and goals. They make plans or set goals that they lose sight of achieving. Sadly, this is deflating and frustrating which results in an ineffective way to run a successful business.

Follow these tips to master the art of accountability for yourself:

Keep A To-Do List

“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail” — Benjamin Franklin

One of my favorite quotes. The first step to self-accountability is a to-do list that you actually take seriously. If you don’t have a plan, you can’t hold yourself accountable for anything. Start each day with a detailed plan of what you want to accomplish. Whether you choose a paper or a digital tool, your list should have the tasks that will bring you closer to achieving your business goals, as well as the things that need to be done to maintain your personal life.

Make A Schedule

A list of tasks isn’t enough. When are you going to do each item on that list? What is most important? What needs to be done first? Create a schedule that works for your needs and hold yourself to it. Consider using the calendar blocking method with task batching.

Review Your Performance

Review your performance each day. You can review at the end of each task or review all of your projects at the end of the day. Make note of your successes and failures.

  • What do you feel good about?
  • What didn’t you like about your performance today?
  • What can you learn that will make you more effective tomorrow? Next week?

Decide How You’ll Stay Motivated

When you do well, will you give yourself a reward or treat? When you’re not performing up to your standards, will you discipline yourself? Most people find it easy to think of rewards, but here are a couple of ideas for disciplines:

  • Don’t allow yourself to watch your favorite Netflix series for a week.
  • Don’t allow yourself to visit your favorite restaurant or shop for a month.

Be Clear On Your Goals

Your to-do list is largely dependent on your goals. You accomplish little and don’t feel like you’ve ‘failed’ if you don’t have well-defined goals. You can’t hold yourself accountable without something to hold yourself accountable to. What are your five most important goals? Document them either physically or digitally and review them at least once a week. You want to be able to keep your eye on the desired end result when things seem to get hard or there are bumps in the road. This will help you to keep pushing forward.

Have Others Hold You Accountable

Let trusted members of your team or close family know your plans. You might be more inclined to take action rather than fear their judgment of so-called ‘failure’. (I don’t like the word failure – I think we always learn and grow through everything in life.) Think about who will hold you accountable without trying to sabotage your efforts. Who really wants to see you be successful? These people could be great accountability partners.

What would you be capable of accomplishing if you could hold yourself accountable each day? Today is the day you can begin to hold yourself responsible in all areas of your life. Be accountable to yourself and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!

November 2, 2020

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