When I think about the word ACCOUNTABILITY, I see the words A, ability, and count within the word. This helps me understand the word accountability as an ability to count. What that means is that we all have an inherent ability to make things happen in our lives and the questions we need to ask ourselves are:
- Am I content with what is happening in my personal and professional life?
- Am I living in alignment with what is most important to me?
- Am I making my life count?
If you answered no or not really than a dose of accountability is just what you need. Being accountable takes character, courage, and honesty. When we count on ourselves to show up on time, fulfill our commitments, face and resolve challenges, and stay faithful to our values we make our life count and the world around us becomes a more positive place in which to live and work.
Accountability is a mindset and a discipline
There are three ingredients for accountability: clearly defined goals, a plan for implementing the goals, and a commitment to results. These become the measuring cup for making your life count. When we fall short on these three ingredients it can cause guilt and depression instead of the joy and fulfillment that accountability can bring.
I have been a licensed marriage and family therapist for over 28 years and have seen some clients placed on medication for depression and anxiety when what they really needed was a plan for their life or work and a system of accountability. They were looking for a change and needed a commitment to a plan designed to produce the changes they wanted in their personal and professional lives.
One client, Joe, was feeling overwhelmed by his work/life demands and was not only losing sleep he also was feeling disconnected from his wife, children, and the things that brought him pleasure. Joe was feeling depressed and felt guilty because he owned his own home, had a loving wife, healthy children, and had a job -- and thought all of that should have made him happy. His mindset was all about, “I don’t want to live like this and I don’t know what to do.” He felt trapped in a job that was not meaningful and yet did not have the courage to research other options.
Four Steps to being accountable and making your life count
Shift Your Mindset
Joe learned to shift his mindset from what he “ didn't want” to what he “did want.” He wanted more connection with his wife and children. He wanted more meaning to his work. And, he wanted to reclaim those activities that brought him pleasure. Once he shifted his mindset to what he did want, he described that as a “burden being lifted” from his chest.
Set Clear and Defined Goals
He started to set goals for greater intimacy with his wife, planned activities with his children, and took time to volunteer in settings that brought back a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Create A Plan for Implementing the Goals
As his plan was implemented, his energy began to rise. Joe’s creativity became more active and he was able to meet the challenges at work.
Commit to Results
He was being held accountable to those actions through our ongoing conversations. The results Joe began experiencing replaced the feelings of depression and guilt with a sense of direction, momentum, and fulfillment.
It takes courage to speak up when we are off course and that is just what Joe did. He knew he wanted a different experience and took the steps to shape his life differently and get the results he wanted.
It is important to surround yourself with others who have a high level of accountability and are models for making life count. Create a community of people you can trust. Spend time with them on a regular basis and share your goals, your successes, and your challenges; and, know that they will do the same.
Be courageous, open, and honest because you are ultimately what makes your life count. What we learn and what we apply becomes a practice and what we practice becomes our life. Take a moment and think about your accountability practice.
Are you stuck in excuses and blame? Or, are you practicing accountability which focuses on self-responsibility and rigorous action?
If you are interested in making ACCOUNTABILITY come alive in your own life join the thousands of people who have used Best Year Yet® to get the results they want, Click Here.
About the Author
Diana Baysinger, co-owner of Arizona Partners, has been in business for over 28 years. She has a successful coaching and consulting business in Arizona. Di works with leaders, small businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, couples and individuals in transition. She is a trainer for the Best Year Yet Online Coaches Certification program and has trained partners all over the world. Di is an energetic leader who inspires her clients and has provided programs and presentations throughout the United States and in Europe.
For further information contact Diana Baysinger at [email protected] Arizona Partners, 480-820-8694 or visit her website: arizonapartners.net