When I first decided to start coaching and helping people reach their biggest goals, I knew that I wanted to focus specifically on accountability. It’s an extremely effective strategy to share your goals, tasks and habits with another person whose job is to keep you on track and offer you support and solutions along the way.
When we’re obligated to report back to a coach, it motivates us to take more action than we normally would if we were just working on our tasks completely alone.
In addition to coaching support, you can use a simple system to help keep yourself more accountable. Each evening, you’ll “report” in to yourself.
The Simple Self-Accountability System
This accountability system very similar to what I use with most of my coaching clients or recommend that they follow. I also use this system for my own tasks and habits that I’m working on.
- At the start of the week, write out your most important tasks for the week. Limit it to just five tasks. This will help you focus on the high-impact tasks. Of course, you’re going to have more than five tasks to do during your week but the key is to identify those five high-impact tasks and put them on a separate list so that you really focus on getting those five items done.
- Next, write down your daily and weekly habit goals. For example: “Contact three prospective clients per day”, or “Read a physical book 30 minutes/day, 5 days/week”.
- Schedule your tasks and habits into a physical or digital calendar. This will help you to block out time in your week so that you can get these tasks and habits done.
- Track the action you’re taking in a spreadsheet, habit-tracking app, note-taking app or physical journal. You might want to use a combination of tracking methods. Tracking your actions daily will help you to measure your progress and make improvements.
- At the end of each day (or throughout the day), check off the tasks and habits that you completed. Plan out your most important tasks for the next day (maximum of five tasks). Write down any important successes you had. Keep this review process quick and simple.
The key in making this work is consistency.
Write out your weekly plan every week. Do your nightly review and planning every night. You don’t have to spend much time doing your planning and reviewing.
In fact, it’s better if do it as quickly as possible. Why?
Because planning isn’t actual work. Reviewing, reflecting and journalling also isn’t actual work.
They are very useful exercises but they should be kept to a minimum. It is quite common to be stuck in planning and reflecting mode but then not take much action. Avoid that!
Focus on taking action.
Hold yourself more accountable by planning regularly and doing a quick nightly review of your day. You’re going to see real results if you do this and you’ll make faster progress on your goals.
If you’d like weekly support, solutions to challenges and an action plan, take a look at how the online accountability coaching programs keep you on track with your long-term goals and projects.