We’ve talked about productivity hacks in the past here, here, and here, but this one is a little different because the focus is on accountability. Accountability is your way of being responsible and proactive with your any of your goals. Everyone has different tricks and tips to help them keep moving towards their goals. But, as easy as it is to set goals, it can be just as difficult to keep up with them. Life always gets in the way and we easily quit going to the gym or quit altogether.
So, here are 5 easy hacks to help us all stay accountable and refresh our visions with our goals that we set up for this new year.
REVAMP & GET HONEST
It’s now halfway to February and if you haven’t been keeping up with your new year resolutions, it’s time to revamp them. No one said you can’t change your resolutions because it’s not like you’re dumping them all together. It hasn’t been an easy start to this new year, so please feel free to reevaluate if the goal you set up on Jan 1st is still feasible. Find the passion that made you want to make that new goal in the first place and rediscover new ways to achieve that goal.
But, it’s also time to get honest. If you set out to run a marathon in April and you haven’t trained at all, it’s time to be honest that you probably cannot run that marathon without majorly hurting yourself. This doesn’t mean that you can never run a marathon, but it’s probably best to determine another [better] time when you can focus on training.
GET A BUDDY TO STICK IT TO YOU
Sometimes certain personality types have no problem with accountability (think about the Type A’s who are master to-do listers who get everything done on their list with precision, control, and in an orderly manner) and if you do, you need to find a friend who is Type A who will keep you on your toes. Find someone who will help check in to see that you’ve done what you said you’ve been planning to do. At times you might feel like you have a mom who’s nagging you, but know this friend means well and wants to make sure you get your goals accomplished.
WRITE THINGS DOWN
Writing things down makes it more real and it forces you to try to check off those items you have on your to-do list. Writing a list of things to do each day also forces you to think of a plan of attack each day that will help you reach your eventual goal. In other words, you end up engaging in some level of short and long term planning. Also, it’s another excuse to get a pretty notebook and pen.
If you reach a certain goal you set out each day and you reach them for 4 weeks in a row, reward yourself. Even if you reach a weekly goal, you can reward yourself, too. Set up reasonable rewards to keep you motivated and happy. In grad school, when my friends and I would survive the semester, we’d reward ourselves with a big dinner and maybe a little present at the end (because grad students are seriously poor, amirite?).
BUT, ALSO PUNISH YOURSELF
When you achieve something, you grant yourself some kind of reward. When you’ve been slacking due to whatever reason, you have to punish yourself, also. Whether it be withholding that piece of pie, adding another mile to your run, or not buying that new lipstick you’ve been eyeing. Being accountable also means being fair to yourself which means no cookies for you if you missed any deadlines!