From goals and milestones to New Year’s Resolutions and Bucket Lists, a new year should be all about success.
In a world where 92% of people don’t achieve their goals and New Year’s Resolutions, I couldn’t help but wonder: “How can I be the one that will succeed?”.
While understanding the causes of the problem is essential, in this article, we will focus on a single solution:
CREATING AN ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM™ & SHARING YOUR GOALS PUBLICLY
Most of the time, goals and New Year’s Resolutions require incorporating new changes into our behavior. But no matter how beneficial is the goal, we are struggling to accomplish it because our brain’s natural impulse is to resist change.
According to research, the two factors that effectively help people to boost their motivation and achieve the behavioral changes they desire are accountability and incentives. That being the case, your purpose should be finding the best methods, techniques, and systems in order to accomplish all of your goals and increase your chances of success.
1. Write SMART™ goals & Create a Naming Convention™.
2. Limit your number of goals.
3. Decide who is going to be your accountability partner.
4. Monitor your progress.
5. Create an End-Goals & Reward System™.
According to research conducted by The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), you have a 65% chances of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment, you can increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
In order to make it easier for you to create your own Accountability System™, I decided to create a step-by-step process. You can implement it right away, given the following instructions:
1. Schedule 60 minutes for completing this exercise.
2. Limit distractions: find a quiet environment, silent your phone, block notifications, etc.
3. Set-up your working environment: if you are a paper aficiado, prepare pens and paper. If you are a digital lover, prepare your iPad and your iPen. Moreover, for boosting your productivity, make sure you have by your side some healthy snacks and a glass of fresh cold water.
A 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed that people who wrote down their goals were 33% more successful in achieving them than those who formulated outcomes in their heads.
Although this is true, writing your goals on a piece of paper is not enough. It is essential to pay attention to how you write them.
So before sharing your goals publicly, make them SMART™. This is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By doing this, you can clarify your intentions and focus all your efforts and resources (time, energy, money) on the goals that truly serves your life mission and purpose.
Are you ready to do this?
1. Grab a piece of paper or create a new document on your laptop or tablet.
2. Write all the goals you have on top of your mind. Write all your wishes, desires and dreams. For the moment, don’t think of how you write them, we will polish the structure later.
3. For more focus on action, begin every goal with an action verb.
4. For more clarity, assign deadlines and due dates. Create a timeline and estimate how much time do you need in order to accomplish every goal you set.
5. For more relevance, link every goal to your mission and vision.
▪ WRONG: Write a book.
▪ CORRECT: Write a 250-page book about Time Management between 1 January and 30 October.
True story or not, once upon a time, Warren Buffett gave valuable advice to his airline pilot Mike Flint. According to the life lesson, he advised Mike to make a list of his 25 career goals and select the 5 biggest ones. Whatever you may be inclined to think at the beginning, the core of the exercise was actually identifying the other 20 career goals. Because in your life, these are your real problems. These are the distractions and the things you like to think you can do someday. So this is the time to focus more on your top 5 goals by saying “No!” to the other 20.
When no one is around to say anything about an incomplete task, it’s easy to push it to the next day and the next week. I know, I’ve been there.
In 2019, I decided to blog about my end-goals and share my progress publicly. But if you’re not comfortable with a high level of transparency, there are plenty of options out there, so choose one that feels right for you.
Are you ready to do this? You can share your goals and your progress with:
▪ A mentor.
▪ A coach.
▪ A member of your family: mother, father, spouse, brother, cousin, etc.
▪ A friend.
▪ A community.
▪ A support or habit group.
When you decide to make someone your accountability partner, keep in mind that the key is to select someone who will challenge and engage a sense of accomplishment in you.
In order to record and measure your progress, discuss with your accountability partner and schedule weekly or monthly appointments.
Are you ready to do this?
▪ If possible, schedule your weekly or monthly appointments in advance.
▪ If possible, block one specific day and hour (example: you can do a weekly overview every Sunday at 11 AM).
▪ Select the type of your appointment: it can be a one-to-one meeting, a call, an e-mail.
What will happen if you accomplish your goals?
What will happen if you don’t?
Talk with your accountability partner and create some strategies for both situations. I personally use The End-Goal & Reward System™, a strategy according to which I link every end-goal to a specific reward. If I meet my end-goal, I feel both a sense of accomplishment and also receive a reward.
If you don’t accomplish the goal, create your own consequences. The punishments may vary from public embarrassment to giving money to your accountability partner or buying a gift for your least favorite person in the world. It’s your choice, be creative.
The Final Thoughts:
▪ This article does not contain affiliate links.
▪ If you need an accountability partner, feel free to drop me a line.
▪ In 2019, I decided to commit to my goals publicly. Check this article and see how I implemented The Accountability System™ and other techniques I personally developed.
▪ If you want to understand why 92% of people don’t achieve their goals and New Year’s Resolutions, check this article.