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By: Bruce Burke

Although we mostly think of accountability in terms of being held accountable, it is also about holding others accountable. Participating in a system of accountability can be extremely rewarding and ultimately helps to ensure success in all facets of our lives.

With a reliable system in place, we can receive the support and motivation necessary to change habits and realize our goals. Unfortunately, many of us shy away from addressing accountability issues due to fear of failure. After all, if no one knows what we are trying to accomplish, no one will know if we fail. Others insist on single-handed combat as they work toward their goals…whether it works or not. Perhaps our ego will suffer no damage, but are we really happier? Are we really moving ahead? Too often the answer is no.

So how do we become accountable?  

  • Use personal reminders (calendar, email, planner, etc.) to detail and keep track of goals, strategies and commitments.
  • Set deadlines and share these with others.
  • Request formal mentoring with a supervisor, colleague, friend, family member or personal trainer! Ask them to periodically check-in with you and your progress.

When making commitments, setting goals, and creating systems of accountability, the key is to be realistic. Less is more when it comes to goal setting…don’t set yourself up for failure. When you commit to being held accountable to something, make sure you can follow through. Success breeds more success!

How do you hold others accountable?

Holding others accountable is also important and can be extremely rewarding. It not only shows you care, but allows you to participate in another’s success. Helping to hold others accountable starts by simply asking them if you can help. If a friend, family member, or colleague is struggling with an issue, offer to help hold them accountable to their action plan. If they want your help, you must then follow through consistently. If you commit to doing it…do it!

For this week and moving forward, reflect on what you are trying to accomplish in all areas of your life. Are you satisfied with your progress? If so, great! Keep moving forward. If not, consider creating a system of accountability to keep you on track. Also, think about those who count on you to provide mentorship and accountability, and be sure you are keeping up your end of the bargain.