- Personal growth: did you do the work you said you would do in order to be more in control of your emotional reactions, or do you fly off the handle as badly as you did this time last year?
- Health: did you implement the exercise programme you chose in a disciplined way; did you stick to the eating lifestyle you committed to; did you kick that carb habit that was making you fat?
- Relationships: were you more gentle with your Mom? Or did you continue to be as impatient with her as you always are?
- Money: did you invest money every month, like you said you would? Did you manage to save for that holiday?
- Work: Did you become a better leader and coach for your team, or are you still telling everybody what to do?
- Career: what did you do to build your network in the wider organisation? What changes have you made on the advice of your mentor?
- Community: did you give back in the way you intended to any of the communities of which you are a member?
- Family: What did you do differently in order to make your family the priority that you say they are?
If you are serious about achieving the goals you have set in these various areas of your life, I recommend that you “appoint” accountability partners. Don’t make one person your accountability partner for everything – rather use a few people and schedule regular get togethers with them where you account for the actions you have taken against each of your goals. Setting up your accountability partners involves a conversation in which you outline the following:
- Describe the goal, why it is important to you and the actions you intend to take to achieve that goal. Also outline how you think you might get in your own way – your personal bad habits or weaknesses.
- Ask them to be your accountability partner and clarify what the role means – that they need to hear you accounting to them regularly for your actions; that they need to get you to commit to new actions, if necessary, and that they need to give you honest feedback on how you might be creating your own problems. It is vital that you and your accountability partners agree to mutual freedom of expression within a relationship of mutual respect.
- Agree on how often you will meet (can be fact-to-face; telephonically; or via Skype) and what that meeting will cover.
Appointing accountability partners takes courage. You will have nowhere to hide! Isn’t that great?