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Accountability: Not a Dirty Word

Welcome to my new series… The AB…Zs of Self-Care!

I think it’s only fitting that we start this series today, on the first day of a brand new year.  Many of us set intentions, if not make resolutions, to be kinder to ourselves and/or take better care of ourselves when starting a new year. But, regardless of what we really want, as the year rolls on, life happens; and honoring our commitments of any kind becomes harder than we imagined. Therefore, I am starting this series with a reminder of something that can make that easier…

Accountability

My clients receive a lot of valuable things from working with me, their coach – clarity, confidence, and greater access to their own wisdom, to name a few – but what I’ve been told they pay the “big bucks” for is the accountability.

Too often, we humans (and I’m certainly including myself here), know what it is we want to do, sometimes even know how to go about doing it, but when it comes to truly going for it, this is the place we falter. Accountability can be the lynchpin that ensures that we reach for and attain the goals we set for ourselves.

And believe me – we coaches need this tool, too. Even as I am writing these words, I am acting on a commitment I made to a coaching friend that I would write, today, and on this topic. And when I am done, I will let her know that I did it.

Whether or not you have a coach, you can use this tool by partnering with someone in a similar situation, and asking each other these three questions:

  • What will you do? Be as specific as you can.
  • By when will you do it? Again, have a specific time in mind, and state it out loud and/or write it down.
  • How will I know? Determine the means of sharing this task’s accomplishment with each other, and then get busy!

If you’d like to help each other think it through even more thoroughly, ask each other these two, additional questions:

  • What is important about achieving this goal? Reminding yourselves of why you want to do these things in the first place will equip you with extra motivation when things get difficult.
  • What might get in the way of fulfilling this promise? Once you know the answer to this one, you can take steps to remove any obstacles on your path so that it’s even easier to reach your desired outcome.

And one more note about accountability: When life intervenes (and from time to time, it will), and it becomes difficult or impossible to honor your original commitment, simply renegotiate the terms of your commitment with your accountability partner, clearly and without self-condemnation, and you are right back on track.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to alert my accountability partner that I wrote this post!

Other As in the AB…Zs of Self-Care:

  • Acknowledging What’s True
  • Apples
  • Art
  • Asking for What We Want