It should be common sense: do what you say you’re gonna do. Most of the time we keep our word, especially with the things that mean a lot to us and we control. Cooking, errands, chores, daily routines. Sometimes life happens and you find yourself in situations that throw off your groove. Keys locked in your car, surprise traffic jams, forgotten wallet or phone. It happens! That’s ok.
Preparation softens these blows and might even help us entirely avoid these little trip ups that make us late and look bad.
If you have an impressive record of running late, missing commitments, misplacing stuff, or making agreements you can’t keep, it’s my experience that intentionally improving your accountability will make life in general way smoother and enjoyable. We all want a fun and fulfilling life, right?
So let’s put in the effort on the front end, be more accountable, and enjoy the ripe fruits of our labors on the back end of more time, more money, more satisfying relationships, and complete days of accomplishments.
That all might sound like a lot of work. And it does take conscious effort to make changes and hold yourself to a higher standard, at least at first. So why go through the trouble if life is “good enough” as it is? You tell me, bro. Only you can answer that and hopefully what I share with you today will help you make the decision whether to keep doing what you’re doing or take a look around and step up.
I can’t guarantee anything for you, but here’s what I’ve done and what’s happened because of it.
Accomplishing everything in life starts with a decision. The decision to eat a fresh burrito instead of fast food. The decision to get out of your warm, comfy bed with its 3″ memory foam mattress. The decision to treat yourself to Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream for killing it in the gym.
It starts with a decision.
It’s up to you to decide to work on your accountability. What makes up accountability? Be intentional with your word. Honesty. Say “yes” and mean it. Show up. Ultimately, it’s being real and following through.
What happens? Real benefits show up in your life. You meet quality people and make better friends. (It all comes back to people.) You get raises at work. People are happy to see you. You impress strangers. Your friends ask you for help and guidance.
When you think of accountability, who comes to mind? What other character qualities would describe them? Grounded, in control, progressive. Probably good and desirable things. If you’ll cultivate your accountability, those upstanding qualities will accompany. Pretty cool, huh?
If you’ve looked around at your life and where you’re going and don’t really like what you see, cultivating your accountability is a great place to start for improving your experiences everyday. And it will happen faster than you expect…
Make the decision to be more accountable today and read on.
How to Be Accountable.
What does an accountable person look like to you?
- They carry themselves with purpose, almost like they’re on a mission.
- They’re generally calm and composed because they’ve got their stuff under control and have peace of mind.
- They’re happier today than yesterday because they did the things that helped them grow instead of putting it off ’til tomorrow.
- You feel better around them, feel their positive, sincere energy.
How you become more accountable starts with copying accountable people.
Find a coach.
I grew into a more accountable man by deciding I would work on my manhood, professionalism, and social skills. So I studied men who had desirable character qualities and lifestyles for what I wanted for my life. These include men as fitness and nutrition coaches, dating coaches, and entrepreneurs. Model the ones that feel right to you; your body doesn’t lie. Some may even have programs you can participate in, whether it’s live training or videos and documents. If it looks, sounds, and feels right to you, invest in them and give it your honest time and attention. If you decided you need to make changes in your life, you can’t afford not to. Here are a few I’ve personally experienced and am a greater man because of it and everyone in my life agrees my efforts have paid. But you have to see for yourself, so I encourage you to look into them and try.
Say yes to what you will do. Say no to what you won’t.
It’s easy to agree to things and flake out later in an effort to please people and seem more agreeable. But if you know you’re going to cancel or just not show up because you didn’t want to do it in the first place, you’re just shooting your foot. You’ll eventually lose friends the more you fail to keep your word – they’ll just stop asking and disappear from your life. So let’s be up front with our intentions, shall we?
Say your friend invites you to a party. If you want to go and plan to attend, agree! If you don’t really want to go, say so! It’s your life and you’re here to live for yourself. No problem, no guilt, no big deal. Just live your life and give yourself honestly. It might not feel the best in the moment, like you’re letting someone down, but you’ll ultimately live more peacefully and have better relationships by doing what you said you were gonna do instead of agreeing and feeling good at the moment and letting them down later. Don’t want to lie, so choose honesty over comfort in the moment for peace in the long run. It helps everyone.
Speak only when it’s honest and positive.
Ever met someone who was honest to a fault? Things must’ve gotten pretty awkward. Honesty is great, but some things are best left unsaid even if it’s innocent honesty. Not everything requires comment.
How about people who have a downside to share? Or a grand tale of every thing that went wrong today? Do you feel good around them? Yeah, don’t be that guy. Speak only if it will improve the silence. We get enough negative nonsense from life as it is, so let’s focus on the positive, on what’s good, on what’s going right.
The first of The Four Agreements is “Be Impeccable with Your Word.” This means speaking honestly and constructively, giving yourself honestly to the other person. Be a helpful force in others’ lives.
Just mind yourself.
Does it help to worry about things outside your control? I would think not, so let’s focus on what we can control: ourselves. We can control ourselves and, at best, influence our environment.
Can you control that you get a promotion? Not completely. Can you control doing quality work? Yes. So focus on that.
Can you control how someone else lives their life? No. So don’t worry them. Can you control how you live your life? Yes. So direct your attention there and you’ll better yourself.
As Sterling Archer said to the Irish mobster with a grenade in his butt, “Don’t worry about what I’m doing, worry about what you’re doing.”
The simple act of being accountable has surprising benefits both in yourself and outlook as well as your environment. Doing what you say you’re going to do and being honest with yourself and others will bring you solid, fulfilling relationships, respect from your family and peers, and peace of mind knowing your thoughts are aligned with your actions. It starts with a decision to better yourself.
Be honest with yourself and others and do the work of following through with doing the thing.