How to Develop Self-Accountability

One of the top reasons – if not THE top reason – that people choose to work with a life coach is accountability. Based on experience, many people know that being accountable to only themselves presents challenges for staying on track to complete their goals.

I totally get and respect that some people want or even need that extra push from a well-meaning advocate. However, when you work with a coach, you will still be accountable to yourself. In fact, a good coach will make sure that you are very aware that the process is all about what YOU want to get out of it, and the coach will adjust his or her approach to meet your needs.

Also, it’s not like a coach is going to follow you around all day providing moral support as you advance your life toward your goals. You might have weekly check-ins with your coach or maybe even less frequently than that.

So even with the support of a coach, you still need to be able to hold yourself accountable. This is one of those things that has to be an area that you work on if it’s not something you can do well. Making improvements in this area will set you up for all kinds of success and will help you every step of the way toward the life of your dreams.

So, where can we start with improving our ability to be accountable to ourselves? Well, the first thing I’d like to encourage you to do is to investigate what the differences are in being held accountable by someone else and being held accountable to yourself.

Maybe when someone else is counting on you to get something done you are extra motivated to avoid the embarrassment of not meeting their expectation. Maybe you don’t want to let them down. It could be anything and, if you’re willing to be honest with yourself here, I’d bet that these answers will come to you rather easily.

Now that you have a good sense of your motivational differences between when you are charging toward a goal by yourself versus when you’re working with another person, I’d like to challenge by asking “why?”

Why is it that way? Why are you more motivated when working with someone else? Not necessarily in your situation, but for many people, I suspect there are some growth opportunities around our self-worth that makes us less productive for ourselves than we might be for others. This is a really great area to explore, and as before, if you’re honest, you may uncover some really important information about yourself.

But the things you wish to achieve are not just for you, right? Even if you are working by yourself to achieve them, there’s a reason you’re doing it. That’s why it’s also a good idea to know your purpose and to remind yourself of that purpose every day and especially every time you sense your motivation leaving you. I’ve written a lot about this in the Salient Moves blog already, so I’ll leave it at that and you’re welcome to explore the Managing Personal Change category of the blog.

A third thing that might be helpful to develop better self-accountability is to consider why certain activities draw your ambition away from working toward your goals. For example, if you really want to go out to see a movie with your friends instead of going to the gym to work on your fitness goals, you might consider that the draw of hanging out with your friends is that all the working out makes you miss your close relationships. In this case, maybe you could invite your friends to work out with you. You could continue to advance your fitness cause AND be with your friends! That’s a perfect solution!

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