1) Redefine accountability.
Does the mere mention of the word accountability make you shudder? The negative (and uninspiring) view of accountability is reinforced in the common dictionary definition: “Subject to having to report, explain or justify; being answerable, responsible.”
Staying true to yourself and your goals should not be drudgery. You must view your accountability as a gift to yourself, a voluntary mindset to ensure success, not something you’re force-feeding yourself even though you hate it.
2) Think as if your life depended on it.
When you shift to a determined, creative mindset, you begin to discover solutions for challenges that you may have believed were out of your control. If your life depended on it, would you come up with a new idea or strategy to save yourself? Absolutely.
The goal you’d like to achieve or the problem you want to solve probably is not a life-or-death scenario, but many successful solutions come when you put everything on the line. While your life may not be at risk, your happiness and success are.
3) When you can’t control your circumstances, don’t let your circumstances control you.
That old saying ‘Run the day or the day runs you’ is completely true. Be aware of what you want and be prepared to get it. Be purposeful and don’t let feelings overwhelm you – if you feel you have too much to do and your brain goes blank, break it down into simple steps, I often find that by planning just one or two things spurs me onto realising I can actually complete a lot more.
Whether you get off the couch on your own or require a little nudge from somewhere else, the point is to get out there and do something.
4) You’ve got to want it more than you don’t want it.
Everything will exact a certain price from you—energy, effort, patience, resources. It’s natural to want the good things in life without paying the price: You want to lose weight but don’t want to exercise or sacrifice your favorite foods. You want a promotion but don’t want to put in the extra hours. Success comes when you hit a tipping point and take active steps towards it more than you dread the cost of reaching it.
5) Don’t let gravity pull you down.
Just as massive planets produce gravity—drawing everything toward them—it seems that tough problems and challenging obstacles have enough mass to pull you away from getting what you want. This force gets bigger and stronger as the challenges get larger and tougher. Don’t give in.
6) Every breakthrough requires a bold stroke.
Not everyone has anything handed to them on a plate. Most of us have control of our own thoughts – though I will get distracted if I start to talk about our perceptions of thoughts right now – we can channel our inner energy and thoughts towards our goal and be purposeful in our intent.
When you discover your own internal power, you see that you have the right, the ability, even the obligation, to create your own best reality – and this does actually work.
7) Ask for feedback.
Soliciting advice and criticism from others creates accountability.
For this to work, you will need to convince the mentor, friend, colleague or significant other whom you’re appealing to that you want to know what he really thinks. The evaluator needs to know that s/he won’t suffer any blowback if s/he is totally honest.
8) Ask yourself: Am I a renter or an owner?
We care more for the things we own than for the things we rent because we don’t have as much invested in things that are temporary; there’s not as much at stake. Have you ever washed a rental car? Of course not.
When you own something—whether it’s a car, a work assignment or a relationship—you make an investment, usually involving some degree of sacrifice. When you rent, you can walk away without losing anything. If you’re really committed to achieving your goal, go all in.
9) Prepare to move a lot of dirt.
Finding solutions is just like digging for gold. Have you seen the Discovery Channel reality show Gold Rush? It follows the lives of modern-day miners as they compete against time, one another and nature in hopes of striking it rich. First the miners must remove a top layer of 6 to 12 feet of dirt and rocks before the real mining even starts. Below this seemingly worthless and painful 6 to 12 feet, they hit pay dirt. The more pay dirt the miners process, the more gold they potentially find. In the end, they must move several tons of dirt to find just 1 ounce of gold. It’s hard work, but it yields rich rewards.
Their bottom-line secret to success: Keep digging.
10) Make it happen!
How do you do that? How do you really make personal accountability work for you? Wouldn’t it be easy if there were just some switch you could flip? An Easy Button you could push? Maybe an app you could use? Well, there really is a flipping magical switch-app-button. It’s called making a choice and acting on it.
You have the choice to fulfill your aspirations or wallow in the blame game and victim cycle.
True success doesn’t come from the outside but from within. There is no wizard. Taking greater personal accountability is the key to succeeding in everything you do.