One of the ways that you can improve your life is to set goals. Goals provide you with something to work toward. It is hard to make changes and improvements to your life when you don’t have clearly stated goals. However, even with stated goals, and a plan for reaching them, it can be hard to stay on track, whether you are trying to improve your career, read more, or boost your health.
If you want to improve the chances of reaching your goals, it can help to add a little accountability to the situation. Accountability is about making sure that there is a mechanism in place to ensure that you remain on track. This accountability can be internal, but it often works better if you have some sort of external accountability.
Outside accountability is great because it requires you to report to someone. Once again, I am on my regular quest to lose weight. One of my favorite tools is Lose It! It’s an app — now available on the Web as well as on mobile — that allows me to set a goal, and then track my progress. Based on your weight loss goals, and your current state of affairs, Lose It! helps you put together a calorie plan that includes food and exercise. While I’m not the kind to share my efforts with a community and my friends (although I hear it does wonders for motivation and accountability), the outside accountability of going to a Web site each day and logging my food choices has been really helpful. It keeps me (mostly) on track, and it helps me see where I can improve. I’m not doing too badly.
Outside accountability comes in other forms as well. You can tell your friends and family about a goal in order to help you be more motivated to tell them that you accomplished it. You can even ask someone to work toward your goal with you. Whether it’s starting a business, getting healthy, improving your mind, or reaching any number of goals, someone to join the journey with you can be a real help. You are accountable to each other, and that can keep you focused on the goal.
Setting Up a System of Accountability
Improve the situation by setting up a system of accountability. At work, your boss might give you a target to hit. You’ll have a list of milestones that you are supposed to reach, and you are evaluated at each step. At my son’s school, students are encouraged to set performance goals, and at each parent teach conference, progress is checked. This encourages parents to get involved in helping their children reach their goals.
It’s also possible for you to set up your own system of accountability. You can map out your goal, and the plan for reaching it. Then, you can share it with someone. Even if you just add entries in your diary each night about what you did to help reach your goal, you have a system of accountability. You can also track your progress online, or have a loved one sit down with you periodically to assess the situation.
Accountability keeps us working toward our goals because we know that we will have to report our progress. If you want to improve your chances of reaching your goals, set up a system of accountability, and then stick with it.