January was all about setting goals. What are your goals? Hit the million dollar mark, compete in a championship game, take better care of your body, change out of your PJs sometime before dinner? Goals vary widely by person and position but they all require us to reflect on our purpose. What am I capable of achieving? Why am I here? What is the next right step for me? Sharing goals can feel beautifully terrifying; like giving your inner child a microphone. There is power in the spoken word. There's also potential for rejection or discouragement. Then you have that other thing...accountability. Once it's verbalized, people will know if you succeed, fail or worse...quit altogether.
While it may be tempting to secretly toil away and pleasantly surprise everyone with your overnight success, you actually miss out on the single most valuable tool to help you get there. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) found that people are 65 percent more likely to achieve a goal by telling someone. The chance for success increases to 95 percent when ongoing accountability appointments are scheduled. Ninety-five percent!!
As you reflect on your goals, make sure to select an accountability person or people. I tell my husband Jared all my goals each year and he tells me his. We have vision boards, projections and strategies and for our life. This is primarily for agreement and alignment, not accountability. Do not saddle your best friend, spouse, roommate or partner with the task of sole accountability. These folks need to be in agreement with your goals but may not offer the best accountability. It can also strain the relationship.
For accountability I share goals with a trusted close friend who can encourage me and also give a little side eye when needed. I share business goals with Her Legacy Network and specific financial markers with a mentor. Your accountability person should be someone who will ultimately see your potential and help you dig deep to draw from within.
Networking groups, mentors, development coaches and emotional health practitioners are excellent for ongoing accountability check-ins. Choose an accountability person or people for each one of your goals. With time, the process will become more organic. You may share with one neighbor that you'd like to know more neighbors. Before long you're invited to book club, waving to people as you drive by and getting a friendly text to see if you're coming to the block party. Create a lifestyle of organic accountability by consistently communicating your goals to those who can best help you succeed.