How to Hold Yourself Accountable

Posted on January 3, 2012

How many times have you told yourself that you’re finally going to start (or finish) that big project? Three? Twenty-three? Somehow life always seems to get in the way. Suddenly your house just seems VERY messy and really needs to be cleaned or maybe you just need to take a nap first.

With a little mental effort, you can trick yourself into doing what you really want to do. Admit it, deep down you want to create an amazing business way more than you want to clean the toilets. You choose the toilets over your business because it’s easier and the satisfaction of completing that task will come quickly, not because it’s what you really want to do.

Okay, let’s get started.

  • Write down why you want to accomplish the goal that you just can’t seem to reach.
  • Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of 30 days from now. The letter should talk about how your life is better now than it was 30 days ago, including what you accomplished and how you feel. The purpose of this is to trick your brain into thinking you’ve already done what you plan to do. Many studies have shown that your brain believes whatever it’s fed and will do everything in its power to turn those beliefs into reality.
  • Now that you know where you’re going, create a plan for getting there. Break down your steps so they’re as small as possible.
  • Next comes the accountability. Create a reward for each step. Yes, each tiny step. If you have 18 steps, you could treat yourself to a new song or a fancy coffee after each step and come up with a bigger reward (new jeans, a nice dinner out, etc.) after every five steps. Don’t forget a really big reward after all of the steps have been completed. Depending on how much work you put in, that could be anything from a massage to a vacation. An accountability partner also works wonders here. Find someone who you really don’t want to let down and schedule regular check-ins. If you and a friend have similar goals, you can even schedule reward dates when you both finish a step. You certainly don’t want your friend missing out on his night out because you didn’t write your five pages!

If you’d like some personalized one-on-one help with creating your action plan and staying accountable, check out my 30-Day Fast-Action Coaching Program.

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