How are the skills of accountability and goal setting gifts to us? What is it they offer us that is considered gift-worthy? These traits and behaviours offer us the opportunity for regular personal growth, progress, development and a deeper sense of wellbeing.
Accountability can be a challenge, and it can be a testing point for any of us. Because what it does is lay responsibility for our life and our life journey firmly at our feet. The reality of daily life and how we progress is down to us as individuals. We can get as much guidance and support as is possible from the people around us. And yet ultimately it is down to each of us to take those necessary steps that help us progress daily, as well as in our life in general.
Now here is the important thing about this – sometimes it is hard to accept that. Hard to accept that ultimately, for things to change or get better, we ourselves need to be proactive and work to create that change. That realisation can be hard to process and sometimes looking for that “quick fix” feels like a better option. So, acceptance is key. And the more comfortable we get with the fact that it does ultimately sit with each of us to take those steps we need to take, the easier our life journey and path will begin to feel on a level.
Accountability in this sense is about ownership. Recognising what is in our direct control, and taking ownership of that, and doing those things that we need to do daily to get us to where we want to be. Accountability helps build a deeper sense of autonomy and helps us to feel more in control of our life, which ultimately supports our internal state of wellbeing.
What helps with taking ownership? It is setting clear intentions for yourself, setting some clear goals for you to work towards. Why goals, you ask? Research has shown that people who set goals are more likely to achieve them and make progress than people who don’t set goals.
So, goals are your compass, they give you something to work towards and focus on. Personally, I use goals as a guide. I allow myself a degree of flexibility around my goals and do my best to be present around my progress towards my goals, while also recognising when it is ok to tweak or adapt them.
So, on a level, goals offer the opportunity to create focus, clarity and momentum. They give you the opportunity to assess where you are currently, identify where you would like to get to, then motivate you to put into action the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
They take you on a journey, too. Life is about the journey as well as the destination. Through creating goals, working towards those goals, and being present in the experiences of this process you grow and evolve, you learn new things about yourself and build deeper self-confidence and self-awareness as you go.
So, want to set some goals for yourself? Some goals for you to take ownership of? Try these steps to do just that:
First, Identify your Focus:
Pause for a moment and think about your week ahead, or the next few months ahead or even the next year ahead. Then ask yourself the question, “if I was going to set one or two goals for myself what would I like them to be?”.
Set your Goal:
Assess where you are now with the goal you are focusing on and state where you would like to get to. Keep it “SMART” and give yourself permission to tweak or adapt your goal as you go if necessary.
Create Action Steps:
There is the knowledge of the goal and then comes the doing to achieve that goal. Allow yourself to write down those action steps you can begin taking to get you to your desired goal.
Know your Reward:
When working towards a goal, motivation and momentum are key. So be clear about the benefit of reaching your goal, know what your reward will be. Can you set yourself your own reward too?
Celebrate your Achievement:
This is so important! Give yourself permission to celebrate your achievement, acknowledge yourself for everything you did to achieve the goal you set for yourself.
Finally, Reflect on the Process:
Reflect on the process and ask yourself what you learned about yourself – what can you take away from this experience to use in other situations you may be working through?
So, what goals would you like to set for yourself? Where would you like to start? What can you take direct ownership of this week, this month or this year?
If you feel it would help to have a conversation about your next steps – email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to arrange a time to talk.