The day John told me about his SMART goal of creating a journal that would help people accomplish their #1 goal in 100 days, he did much more than just share an idea.
Why accountability is integral to accomplishing your goals
The day John told me about his SMART goal of creating The Freedom Journal, he:
- Declared his goal (actually said it out loud);
- In doing so, took the very first step (by making it real);
- Asked for accountability (even if it wasn’t a direct ask).
The 3 Smaller steps
Remember when we talked about setting micro-goals – because goals aren’t accomplished by starting at Point A, and then jumping to Point Z?
Goals are accomplished through a series of smaller achievements and milestones being consistently met, and that doesn’t start with some massive master plan.
Once you have your SMART goal, there always needs to be:
- A declaration – put your SMART goal out there!
- The first step – which you’ve just taken simply by sharing your goal; and
- A request for accountability.
So while walking along the bay here in San Diego and sharing our goals with one another may not seem like a huge step towards accomplishing those goals, that event was integral to the success of The Freedom Journal because it was that day John did all three of these things.
Declaring your SMART goals, and in effect, taking your first step to action are both things I’m sure you’re familiar with; they’re pretty straight forward.
Putting your ideas out into the world and simultaneously making them real are two things we can all commit to doing. But what about accountability?
What about accountability?
As we all know, it’s easy to say we’re going to do something, but then decide later (because we’re busy, tired, “not feeling it”, <enter your excuse here>) it’s okay to push it until tomorrow, next week, a month from now.
This is why it’s easy to set goals, but so difficult to actually accomplish them: we don’t hold ourselves accountable.
An accountability scenario
Let’s say that day on the bay John decided that he wasn’t ready to tell me about his idea for The Freedom Journal.
He may have felt like the walk wasn’t long enough to tell me the full story, or he was still kind of on the fence as to whether or not he was ready to take on the project – any number of reasons could have prevented him from putting it out there.
Regardless, he told me about it.
Because he told me about it, I’m now going to be thinking about the journal, too.
In a week, if John hasn’t said anything to me about the journal, I’m going to ask him about it.
I might say “Hey John, how’s The Freedom Journal coming along?”
Every second John waited to tell me about The Freedom Journal was another second no one else except John knew about it, and therefore, another second no one would be asking him about it.
Every second that John waited to tell me about The Freedom Journal was another second he was potentially wasting; if no one else knows about your project, then no one is going to ask you about it, and therefore, you only have yourself to report to.
We tend to let ourselves get off a little too easy most of the time.
But I’m not going to let John off that easy.
“One of the saddest things in life is to get to the end knowing you could of been, done, or had more.” Robin Sharma
I felt John’s passion for The Freedom Journal when he told me about it.
His declaration and first steps towards making The Freedom Journal a reality were filled with excitement, confidence, and strength.
So when I ask John in a week how The Freedom Journal is coming along, and he tells me that he hasn’t really thought about it much, I’m going to challenge him.
- I’ll ask him why he hasn’t thought about it much;
- I’ll encourage him to start thinking about it regularly;
- I might even tell him to set a date for his next milestone so I can help hold him accountable.
Because John told me about The Freedom Journal, and I know how important this project is to him, I’m not going to let him push micro-goals to the back burner.
When John tells me that by next week he’ll have purchased a domain, set up an opt in for early interest, and have a working outline for the journal, I’m going to mark it in my calendar to check in with him next week to make sure he actually did those things.
And because John knows that I’m going to checking in with him, he knows it won’t be so easy to push one of these things to the back burner.
Because he knows I’m going to be asking about it, he’s more likely to make sure it gets done than he would be if, say, he only had himself to report to.
John is sounding like a pretty lucky guy at this point, right?
He had someone to declare his goal to, and therefore, he took his first step to action by making it real.
He also had someone who cared enough about his success and his passions to help hold him accountable (that’s me), so that he actually does what he says he’s going to do.
What if you don’t have an accountability partner?
What happens if John doesn’t feel like he has someone he can tell about his idea – because his friends aren’t on the same path that he is, and his family sort of thinks this whole “entrepreneurial thing” is a little whacky?
What if John never declared his goal to create a journal that would help people accomplish their #1 goal in 100 days, and as a result it just sort of gets pushed to the side – lost in the excuses of “I don’t really have the time“, or “I’ll work on that next week“?
Setting goals is something you can do on your own.
Accomplishing those goals is not.
You must have accountability – a set schedule, with deadlines and promises you make (and keep) – in order to accomplish your SMART goals.
How to find accountability
If you don’t feel like you have a friend you can talk to, and if your family doesn’t quite understand the whole entrepreneurial journey you’re on, there are places you can go to find accountability – even if you’ve never had an accountability partner before.
3 Places you can find accountability
1. Online communities
What type of goal is it you’re looking to accomplish?
Start by focusing in on the topic, category or medium you’ll be using in order to accomplish your SMART goal.
That topic, category or medium might be:
- Creating a product or service;
- Launching a podcast;
- Starting a blog;
- Growing an email list;
- Leaving your 9 to 5 job;
- …the list goes on.
Now, it’s time to turn to the social networks you’re already leveraging so you can search for online communities that are focused on the topic, category or medium you’ll be using in order to accomplish your SMART goal.
Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are all great platforms you can use to search for free communities that are filled with individuals who are interested in the same topics as you are. Once you’ve joined a group that’s moderated properly and is engaged, you can start meeting others in that community and building relationships with potential accountability partners.
Once you think you’ve found someone who is on the same path as you – whether that be motivationally speaking or otherwise – just ask them “Would you like to meet on a weekly basis via Skype to help hold one another accountable?”
Chances are, they’re in the exact same boat as you are.
2. Offline communities
The same way you started off with a topic, category or medium for your SMART goal in the first option (online communities), is the way you’ll start off for the second option: offline communities.
If you haven’t checked out MeetUp.com, it’s a great resource that will help you find local meet ups focused on the topic, category or medium you’re most interested in.
Just type into the search bar your hometown, along with a keyword to narrow your search around the topic, category or medium of your choice, and you’ll be off to the races!
3. The Freedom Journal
The Freedom Journal was created with accountability in mind.
We know firsthand how tough it can be to set AND accomplish goals. Without accountability – someone to check in with you to make sure you’re doing what you said you would do – it’s easy to push things to the back burner.
With proper accountability in place, “I’m too busy right now” or “I’ll do it tomorrow” becomes a thing of the past.
And with The Freedom Journal, you’re getting multiple accountability options!
1. When you pledge to The Freedom Journal campaign, you’ll not only be receiving your very own copy of The Freedom Journal…
2. You’ll also be securing your very own spot in The Freedom Journal private Facebook group, where you’ll find hundreds of other Freedom Lovers who are on their own journey to accomplishing their #1 in 100 days!
Words of encouragement
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” ~ Orison Swett Marden
You CAN do this.
It might not always be easy, and there will be times when you don’t really feel like doing something.
Ask for support from you accountability partner.
Know that you’re not alone.
The Freedom Journal is your accountability partner – if you let it be.
Don’t sell yourself short; you get to choose.