Have you ever told a friend: “You know what, I’m going to [insert amazing and ambitious idea here].” and your friend responded, “Oh yeah! and I’m going to [insert their even crazier, even more ambitious dream here].” And you two got all excited, talked about how great life would be and made promises to follow up.
Well…two weeks later your friend asks you about your goal, and you get all pissed off. You’ve been having a stressful week, and a ton of things cropped up that you didn’t expect. You’re mad because they seem to be attacking your character! How dare she!
Time to cut the excuses
This is what happens to all of us. Whether we made a promise to take out the trash, fold our laundry, take the car in for a repair, call that client, send that invoice, hire that assistant, book that trip, we thought about it, and we never did it. And what makes it even worse, is when that someone we shared our goal with calls us out on it! Naturally, most of us get defensive because deep down inside we know we didn’t do what we said we were going to do AND we don’t want to admit it.
It’s time for us to be honest with ourselves. It’s time for us to cut the excuses, and start being accountable for our own success.
What does it mean to be accountable?
What does it mean to be accountable? In a nutshell, it’s accepting responsibility for your own actions. And if we want to dive even deeper – it’s about delivering on a commitment, not just admitting that you’ve done something wrong. Too many of us just admit that we didn’t follow through. That’s not being accountable. When you say something and do it–that’s when you’re being accountable.
So how do you finally start being accountable for making that six figure salary, or exercising consistently, or finally launching a website for your business? Well it takes a little clarity, a little help and a lot of self discipline. Let go into more details.
How to deliver on your commitment, be disciplined, and set yourself up for success.
If you’re a personal development junkie like me, you’ve probably heard this over and over again at nauseum. It goes a little something like this…you need to get clear! Well guys, I’m here to tell you, the gurus are all right. We do need to get more specific. I’ll share a story with you. Before I started college, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and got accepted into this great entrepreneurship program. Problem was, I wasn’t sure what kind of business I wanted to start. It was all just unclear and very fuzzy. I did however have this other dream of being a Walt Disney Imagineer. That dream was clear as day! I could literally see myself construction hat, and clipboard in hand, as a project manager on new attractions at each of the theme parks. And ultimately that’s the path I pursued because I knew what steps I had to take in order to get there. You see when your goal is really clear, you can see the finish line. You can see the path to getting there, and it’s so specific, that you can describe it to a tee.
So what I’ve learned is that we all need to start by setting clear commitments, as in specific, concrete goals. Most of us start with just ideas, and dreams. For example, aspiring to one day be financially independent, or buying a home. These are just thoughts. Not commitments. They can’t be measured or even tracked because they lack specificity. But the second we start digging deeper and uncover the small little details like how long it’ll take, what it smells like, what it feels like, or even how to take the first step… that sets you up to win.
How do you know if it’s specific enough? You’ll be able to measure it! It will be something you can track. For instance if you want to run a six figure business, it can be measured by the amount of sales you close. The more sales you pitch, the higher probability you’ll close, and the closer you’ll get to the six figures.
I’ve been trying to potty train my son and boy has it been a task! He absolutely hates going to the bathroom, and I am absolutely done with changing diapers. Now I have to confess, there were days where I was just too lazy to take him to the bathroom to use the toilet. On those days, he happily stayed in his diaper thus setting us three steps backwards because he would then get comfortable going in his diaper instead of going in the toilet. What I learned from this experience is the importance of self discipline.
One thing is clear: self discipline lies outside of our comfort zone. 9 times out of 10, getting to the goal is not going to be easy or comfortable. For example, if you’re running for the first time in a long time, everyone knows the first mile is the hardest and most uncomfortable. But after that first mile, your body
The key here is to tune into how you feel. Ask yourself do I feel uncomfortable? If the answer is yes, you keep pushing until it doesn’t feel that way anymore.
You’ll almost always find that something crops up, and gets in the way of you getting to that goal. The challenge here is to keep doing it for
This is where the magic happens! When you feel a sense of gratification, and joy about what you’re doing, then you’ll naturally keep doing it over and over again.
The one thing that can fuel your goal outside of gratification is motivation – otherwise known as the inspiration to move your behind! Like I said before, life happens, and things crop up that you never expected to happen. These things will definitely take you attention away from your goals. So it is so important for you to constantly get yourself amped to work on your goal.
Now inspiration is not always in the form of rainbows and cupcakes. Yes most of us are inspired by success stories. But some of you may find that you’re moved by something sad or a loss. Some of you may be moved by something that pisses you off and makes you mad. The key here is to channel your emotions to fuel your desire to keep working towards the goals.
If you’re procrastinating on your goal there’s always some underlying fear. You’re afraid because you don’t know where to start. You’re afraid it’s not going to work out, you’re afraid it’s a fluke because you’re not seeing any results. Whatever the reason may be, it’s all just fear. You know what trump’s fear? Resources and action. This comes in the form of mentors or coaches. It can even be a course or book. My all time favorite is finding a group, because nothing beats finding a group of people who are going through exactly what you’re going through. This brings us back to our little scenario about the accountability partner. They are there to help you. Sure we can get defensive, or snap at them for being on top of us but will that get us closer to our goal? No. Your accountability partner is there to make sure your stop defending your excuses and start taking action. So be ready with a response and be ready to receive feedback.
No I will make a disclaimer here and say that not all people work well with a mentor, coach or accountability partner. In fact, with some people it may even push them further into procrastination. If you think this is you, then I encourage you to lean on your other resources.you may find a course, story, or podcast that is more helpful.
If you want to start delivering on your commitment, become disciplined, and set yourself up for success
- Make sure your goal is very specific, where you have the ability to see the finish line, and have a way to get there.
- Master the art of self discipline and pursue that goal despite any temptations or feeling to completely abandon the idea.
- No more self destructive conversations in your head. Indulge yourself in the things that feel pleasure, reward, and a sense of gratification about your goal.
- Channel your emotions, whether it’s happiness, sadness, or anger to fuel your desire to pursue your goal. This will help you leave those excuses at the door.
- And most importantly, you don’t have to live in fear of the unknown because using resources like mentorship, education, peer groups or just a plain old accountability partner will often give answers to those questions on how to accomplish your goals.
Now I’m dying to hear from you! In the comments share a story about that one goal you haven’t had the chance to get to that you’re finally going to check of your to do list today.