Updated: Feb 22
Accountability - a responsibility to follow through on one's commitments
As we uncover more and more attributes and understand how crucial these are in our journey to identify our potential and fulfil it, accountability becomes a key area which will ensure we thrive in the long run. Unlike most contexts, where we tend to be accountable to someone else, our focus here is on being accountable to ourselves. Accountability to ourselves will always be more important than accountability to anyone else, whether in a professional, personal or social context.
We have already established that our thoughts, words and habits are most likely a reflection of who we are choosing to be. Thinking negative thoughts, being hurtful with our words or lacking discipline, illustrate that our inner world is not in harmony. Thinking positive thoughts, encouraging others with our words and practising discipline, on the other hand, shows others (and ourselves) that we are in control of our state of being.
To give your word to someone means everything.
To follow through on a promise means everything.
To ensure that your words and actions are aligned means everything.
To be very conscious of your thoughts, feelings and emotions, means everything.
All of these things matter. Significantly.
How can we, therefore, make sure that we are always operating in a way that is reflective of who we want to be?
By creating internal accountability.
This doesn't mean that we must be hard on ourselves when we do think, speak or act in a way that isn't 100% aligned with our goal, but, it does mean that we have to be strict with ourselves. The moment we become complacent is the moment we start to undo our progress.
Internal accountability is relatively simple.
Which areas of improvement have you identified for yourself?
Are you disciplined, honest, intentional, extra(ordinary), meticulous and resilient?
If not, why?
Which one (or more) of these areas constitutes a priority for you?
Break these down into smaller chunks.
Let us pick being intentional for the purpose of illustrating how internal accountability works.
Which areas of your life do you lack intention? Which areas of your life do you apply intention to? Do you notice any differences? Maybe you lack intention in things you are less interested in, or less motivated to change, or find harder?
Let's assume for example that you would like to develop better personal relationships by setting that intention in your daily routine.
Ask yourself why this is important to you.
Understanding the reason(s) behind the things we want, will actually create a strong harness for us to remain accountable and to follow through on our commitments.
Do you see personal relationships as a core pillar in your life?
Is it important for you to belong to a group of people?
How do you approach your relationships with others?
What do you look for in friends and in partners?
Then ask yourself how your life would look like if you did not prioritise this area and what would happen if you were complacent or too laidback about developing and improving your personal relationships.
Be honest with yourself because this step is the most important one.
By assessing why you want to improve a certain area (i.e. personal relationships) you can then look at your current situation.
Which of your existing relationships needs attention?
Which relationships are not contributing to your state of being?
Which relationships are you investing too much time and energy in?
Which new relationships have you identified? What sort of people are you looking to attract into your life?
Which attributes do you feel are essential in your new relationships?
By a) understanding why an area is important and b) looking at your current situation, you can then create specific goals. Goals that you will be interested in achieving because you've asked yourself the important questions and assessed the impact of not prioritising a given area. And yes, some areas may not be a priority for us, and that's okay because we will have consciously chosen to focus our attention elsewhere.
Being accountable to ourselves is a fundamental exercise that promotes discipline, honesty, intention, meticulousness, and resilience because we understand what is at stake. We understand that our thoughts, words and actions are a reflection of our internal harmony, and that self-respect starts and ends with how accountable we are, to ourselves.
1. Commit to being accountable to yourself
2. Understand why certain areas of your life are important to you
3. Ask yourself which areas of your life need improving
4. Focus on setting specific goals to improve specific areas of your life