When you think about accountability, most people think it means taking responsibility for your mistakes. Admitting when you messed and taking the blame for any fall out. That’s now wrong, but it’s only a part of really and truly holding yourself accountable for your actions.
Meriam Webster defines accountability as the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. The way I interpret accountability means also taking responsibility for why you aren’t happy, working your dream job, or living the life you truly want. Making excuses or inactivity is still an action – and it doesn’t mean you can’t be held accountable.
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Let’s be brutally honest with each other for a minute. We all make excuses, probably every day, for why something isn’t done. At work, you might have 6 different open projects swirling around your desk, and something slipped through the crack. You own up to it, apologize, and make sure it gets done ASAP. At home, you might have forgotten to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer because the kids needed a ride to practice or had a band concert, so now you have to run them through another wash cycle. Both situations could easily be blamed on being overworked or having too much going on – but we own up to making the mistake or not paying attention or not scheduling our time correctly.
BUT why do we make excuse after excuse when it comes to achieving our goals and dreams? Think about it for a minute. Have you had a goal that you’ve always wanted to achieve? Maybe it’s starting your own business or traveling the world. Neither of them is as complex as finding a cure for cancer or creating world peace. So why haven’t you done it yet? In your mind you make the same excuses over and over again. The timing isn’t right, you don’t have $50,000 saved in the bank, something less important popped up and you decide that for some reason that should come first. Excuse after excuse.
It’s time to start holding yourself accountable for your goals. Just because you’ve never said them out loud or shared them with anyone, doesn’t make them any less real or important. So why do we constantly make them feel like they are less real and less important? Because we aren’t holding ourselves accountable.
We’ve been working with a business coach at Red Barn and one of the big things he preaches is time blocking and scheduling. You want to take that dream vacation – do it. Look at your calendar right now and block that time off. You don’t necessarily have to book the vacation today, but if you never block it off, something will always come up and keep you from doing it. You want to start your own business – awesome. Create a contract with yourself and include the key dates – date you start your business, date you quit your job, dates you will have the business plan done, business paperwork filed with the state, etc.
Life is WAY too short to keep putting your dreams on hold. Don’t let others dictate what’s important in your life because you aren’t taking accountability for what you really want. No one is going to check in with you to see if you’ve booked airline tickets yet or met with a business attorney. So, start putting dates on your calendar, and start living the life that’s really going to make you happy. No one wants to look back 20 years from now and feel like they missed out on opportunities.