“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do for which we are accountable.”
— Molière, French playwright and actor
Without a doubt the most important component of any success begins with the foundation of accountability. Here are some touchpoints on how to cultivate this necessary quality in your life in order to achieve your most ambitious goals.
1. Get motivated.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing–that’s why we recommend it daily.”– Zig Ziglar
In order to keep your momentum, you must stay motivated. This is a muscle to exercise daily, because there will be bad days when you wake up and there is nothing that you would rather do than avoid your obligations and stay in bed.
One way to build motivation is through ritual — certain routine actions that get you “in the zone.” If you are a runner, this may look like putting on your shoes and stretching. The routine is the signal to your body and mind that it is time to get going. In the office your ritual could be meditation or visualization before a big sales pitch or meeting. You can utilize resources such as videos, podcasts, quotes, coaches, and so much more to fire up the engine.
Get yourself motivated first thing so that what you said you would do will get done.
2. Assume responsibility.
The mantra that works really well for this is “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Responsibility is a way of being, not just a thing you do. When you are truly responsible, you are clear that the success or failure of anything you are involved in is ultimately up to you, no matter what.
This means claiming responsibility even when things go wrong, not just when they go well or to your liking. Being responsible means not blaming or pointing the finger at another but looking at what you could’ve done differently to produce a more favorable outcome. Claiming 100 percent responsibility means being aware at all times the impact you are creating around you and the example you are giving. Own your power and recognize that you are capable of catalyzing success and failure at the lowest and highest levels.
3. Accept no excuses.
Being personally accountable means maintaining absolute honesty with yourself. Acknowledge where your breakdowns have occurred in the past and commit to being your word in the future. All of this is really an inside job, meaning you need to be honest with yourself about where you are slacking and honor your commitments to yourself most importantly. When you cheat yourself, you may think that it is not affecting anyone, but each time you break a promise to yourself your self-worth takes a hit. Over time there is a massive erosion of your inner life when you don’t follow through for you.
Always look at yourself when there is a breakdown and see how you may have contributed to it. Were you disengaged? Were you out of integrity somehow? Are you giving it your best?
When you choose accountability as your standard for all interactions and events in your life you will find that success will flow effortlessly. Just do what you say you will do and your dreams will follow.