You Are What You Think and Do
Last week, I was on the cross-trainer in the gym, when a friend of mine arrived for her personal training session. We greeted each other and started to chat about things and attempted to arrange a time for a catch up.
I would describe this friend as a strong woman, a straight shooter who is not afraid to speak her mind. She is especially not someone who likes being told what to do!
I was gob smacked when I witnessed her stop talking as she caught sight of her trainer walking over towards us. She half whispered, “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to talk to you later, I’m not allowed to socialize in my training time.”
I went back to my workout in reflective silence, trying hard to make sense of this incongruent behaviour. Why was my non-conformist friend, conforming in this way? Was she submitting to the authority of this trainer or was something else at play? I wasn’t going to find out that day, she wasn’t allowed to speak!
As it often happens, the answers to my questions, came to me during a recent coaching conversation with a different client last week. Our topic for the session was focused on her need to create and enforce boundaries. We began exploring the rules and principles she declared she wanted to live by, what she would or wouldn’t do or allow. It was at this point that the light bulb went on about my conundrum with my friend’s behaviour.
She was using the trainer as her accountability buddy, to help her to use her exercise time wisely. She knew she needed help. She needed to be held accountable for the time she had allocated and paid for, to take care of her health. The trainer had been given the authority to ensure that the exercise goal would be met. What a wise woman!
Then I got to thinking, I actually do this too! Getting out of bed early to exercise is a “not negotiable” for me. I do not allow any chatting between those two little voices that sit on each of my shoulders! There is my diligent voice on one shoulder and my lazy voice on the other. Like my friend’s personal trainer, I have created strict rules about no talking, only action! My strategy has worked pretty well. Every week I run three times a week, do pilates twice a week, and yoga and swimming once a week. What makes it work is that I exercise in a group of like-minded individuals, who ask where I am when I don’t show up. In truth, I am no different to my friend! I also have accountability buddies that help keep me accountable to my exercise plan.
“You are who you are and where you are, because of the choices you have made”.
What we are talking about here, is keeping yourself accountable to your choices.
When you choose to set a goal to do something that you want and then act on that thought, you are starting the process of becoming accountable to yourself.
Just imagine, what if you were to reflect on and design your life according to how you want it to be? What if you then set some achievable step by step goals and took action every single day? Would your life look different from what it looks like today?
This is not rocket science, but for some reason it is very hard to sustain. We get distracted by the new shiny thing that promises to deliver more and faster. It’s the rabbit and the hare story all over again!
So how then do we get ourselves to keep this consistent action going?
Keeping Yourself Accountable
Here is my 5-step process to ensure that you keep yourself accountable
- Make a list of all the things you love to do and have. Things that make you want to jump out of bed for every morning.
- Set goals to grow your skills and do whatever it takes to be good at whatever it is you want to be doing.
- Invest quality time each and every day toward achieving your goals.
- Turn your plans into action and make yourself accountable for doing so.
- Get creative in all the different ways you can to keep yourself accountable.
What creative ways do you use to keep yourself taking the action you know you need to take?
Here are some of my suggestions for keeping yourself accountable creatively.
- Get yourself an accountability buddy
Ask others to remind you every time you step off the bus.
- Reward yourself every time you achieve your daily goal. It may be high-fiving yourself, create a ritual of ticking the “done” box on your to do today list every day.
- Make it fun! Gamify it with your accountability buddy. Set a goal and bet who will hit it first or keep score with your buddy, as to who is able to complete more of their weekly tasks. Winner buys the coffee!
- Connect to your “why”. When you weaken, remind yourself of your “why” and the difference your success will make to your world.
- Be a role model to someone you really want to positively influence.
Consider that others are watching you, your kids, your direct reports, your colleagues.
Adopt the concept of accountability, it will change your thinking and outcomes forever. Driving into action out of your own choice and not because you have to, can make all the difference. You will be motivated from within and accountable to yourself to perform at your very best.
The choice to not be accountable is yours to make. Be aware! This decision means that you are handing over the reins to someone else to decide for you.
How are you being accountable to yourself? How creative have you been with this? How can you leverage this in your teams?
Accountability delivers productivity gains and results.
Coaches are the ultimate accountability buddies. We help people understand what it means to really be accountable. Does your business need assistance with accountability? I can help. Get in touch to find out how I can transform your culture of blame and responsibility dodging to one where you are all on the page.
Hi there! I’m Jacqui Snider and I’m here to help you and your business grow and flourish.
As an Occupational Therapist and Workplace Culture Coach and Trainer, I am passionate about helping individuals and organisations develop better home and workplace practices that everyone enjoys being part of. With more than 35 years of coaching experience, I have personally coached and trained in excess of 350 leaders, bringing about transformational change in both individuals and teams.
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