By Kat Knights writer, tutor and mentor at Professional Academy
When you’re setting goals and planning the execution of those goals, it’s easy to get bogged down with time management techniques, planning documents and fancy apps. But there’s something missing in that mix – accountability. In this blog I’ll explain what accountability is, why it’s important for increasing the likelihood of achieving your goals and what you can do to introduce accountability to your own life.
Accountability means accepting responsibility for your actions. It’s also about making agreements with other people (an accountability partner) and establishing commitment with them to do something. By doing so you have a way of tracking your progress and ultimately increasing the likelihood of success.
What is the importance of accountability?
In a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology it has been shown that you are more likely to achieve your goal when you share it with someone – as long as that person is of higher status than you and / or you respect them.
Some productivity experts have also asserted that when you consciously decide you want to complete something you have a 20% chance of achievement. However, when you share your goal with someone the likelihood of success increases to 60% and when you regularly ‘check in’ with someone the chances increase even further to 90%.
There are other benefits that accountability and having an accountability partner will bring you.
An accountability partner will help you:
If you find yourself at the end of each day with your to do list untouched then the chances are you’re putting others before yourself i.e. you’re a people pleaser. It’s a big reason why people often don’t achieve their goals.
Establishing a professional relationship with another person will help you understand the ‘why’ behind your behaviour.
Questions an accountability partner might ask you:
What should you look for in an accountability partner?
Try to choose someone who:
Try to avoid using family members as accountability partners. Someone from outside your personal circle is a good choice in order to keep the relationship professional and focused.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a work goal, a sport goal or a big life goal e.g. building a house – accountability counts. Having someone you can trust who can motivate you, create a plan with you and (possibly more crucially) navigate that plan with you will lift you out of your comfort zone and stretch you to achieve what you may have thought was impossible.
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