The Importance of Accountability in Achieving your Creative Goals
Have you ever wondered why it is easier to work to a deadline set by someone else than it is if you set one for yourself?
You’d learn your lines in time for an audition, wouldn’t you? Or turn up prepared to deliver a client pitch on the day of the meeting?
Yet, when no one else is watching, it is amazingly easy to slide past our own personal deadlines – because let’s be honest … we can do it tomorrow (or the next day, or the day after that) and it’s unlikely anyone will notice!
That’s when we need to look at our accountability to ourselves and how we can harness it to achieve our goals.
Accountability is a willingness to accept responsibility for our own actions. Henry Evans, the author of Winning with Accountability, describes accountability as “Clear commitments that — in the eyes of others — have been kept.”1
Accountability is important in achieving your goals because it accelerates your performance by helping you make consistent, steady progress.2
No-one likes letting other people down, so identifying someone to act as an accountability partner (and you can do the same for them) is a great way to make sure the job gets done!
When thinking about the task you are putting off, Harvard Business Review suggests that the first step is to consider any underlying issues which are causing a delay to taking action. This could include being unclear on the goal you are working towards, a struggle to prioritise tasks or perhaps the lack of confidence in your ability to achieve the desired result. Rarely is the case that you are fundamentally “lazy”, “incapable” or “unreliable”, no matter how long you have been putting off a task!3
Once the obstacles are identified, the second step is to ask yourself if you have everything you need to be successful in this task? This means identifying your strengths, skills and the resources at your disposal.
It is important to remember that no one is going to take ownership or demonstrate accountability for a task they know or believe they are going to fail.4 Sound familiar?
For complex or boring tasks that have been on the to-do list forever, I recommend making sure someone else knows you are completing the task, using the SMART goal checklist (Ask yourself: Is your task – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-limited?). Bringing in someone else to hold you accountable serves three purposes:
- It encourages you to take action because someone is checking up on you!
- It makes it easier for them to support you if needed in case things start to go awry.
- It offers an opportunity to receive praise and encouragement to move yourself along further if things are going well. We are human after all, and humans enjoy being validated for their work!
Your accountability partner should be someone who you trust to check in with you regularly, as well as offer support and encouragement along the way. This could be a friend, a colleague or a coach who is reliable and able to give you unbiased feedback as needed.
*WEST END COACH – FREE Accountability Partnership*
If you’re someone who is putting off a task that will help propel yourself or your business to the next level – contact West End Coach to access the FREE accountability partnership in April & May 2021.
You will receive:
- Daily end-of-day check-ins
- Pep-talk support via text or email
- Access and guidance to use the full range of free coaching toolkits
For further details, contact me now by clicking the link below:
- ^ Evans, H., 2008. Winning With Accountability: The Secret Language Of High-Performing Organizations. 6th ed. Cornerstone Leadership Inst.
- ^ Patel, D., 2021. 8 Ways to Stay Accountable With Your Goals. [online] Entrepreneur. Available at: www.entrepreneur.com [Accessed 25 April 2021].
- ^ Harvard Business Review. 2021. Does Your Team Have an Accountability Problem?. [online] Available at: https://hbr.org [Accessed 25 April 2021].
- ^ 7 Truths About Accountability That You Need to Know. [online] Available at: www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold [Accessed 25 April 2021].