We have reached the end of our January series on New Years Goals [Not Resolutions]. If you haven’t already, make sure you read part one on creating a plan of attack, part two on time management, and part three on creating visual reminders. Today we’ll be talking about, for me, the hardest part of setting, working towards, and achieving goals. This part shouldn’t be as hard as it is, and once you take care of it, it really makes achieving your goals so much easier. Okay, I’ll get to the point. To close out our series we are talking about..
Ouch, did anyone else cringe at that? Just me? Okay whatever. Accountability is seriously really important though. Without being accountable to anyone but yourself, it will be all too easy to give up on your goal the second it gets hard. Trust me, I’ve been there. Our visual reminders we made last week will help, but nothing is going to get your butt in gear like knowing that if you don’t work towards your goal, you’ll have to tell a real life person about it.
Yes, Even You Need Accountability
I know, you are extremely responsible. You would never let anything come between you and your goals. That said, even you need to be accountable to someone besides yourself. The reason is kind of sad. We tend to think that other people’s opinions of us are more important than our opinions of ourselves. If you have a friend waiting for you at the gym, you are much less likely to hit snooze and skip that early morning cycling session. If you want to read scripture more often, you are more likely to get that Bible reading done if you know your friend is going to call and ask your thoughts about what you read that day.
Who should you choose?
Okay, if your goal is to save money this year, do not pick your shopping buddy to be your accountability partner. The second she sees a pair of shoes on sale that you just “have to have” she’ll be begging you to make an exception “just this once”. There are two good ways to pick who you can use for accountability partners. First, you could pick someone with a similar goal. Do you and a best friend both want to get more healthy this year? Get a gym membership together and commit to three classes a week together. The other way to find an accountability partner is to find someone who is already doing what you want to be doing, and doing it well. Do you want to get more consistent in your Bible reading, like me? Find someone further on their walk than you who already has consistent Bible time and ask them to check in on you from time to time to discuss what you’re reading.
What if I fail?
This is why this is the hardest part for me. I hate to fail. Worse than that? I hate hate hate for other people to know I failed. I don’t even like to tell my fiance that I didn’t find time to study the chapter I planned to because it’s embarrassing and it sucks. I feel you, friend. That said, this is exactly why this is probably the most effective way to make sure you keep working towards your goals long after January is over. When I need to get some homework done, I post about it on Facebook. I have a few friends going to the same college that I do that will check up on me and make sure I’m getting my stuff done. Hopefully you chose accountability partners who will build you up if you fall short. Sometimes that means some tough love, sometimes it’s the reassurance that tomorrow is a new day and you can start again. If you fail, lean on your accountability partners, and be thankful that you have them!
So that’s that. The end of our January series. Which tip helped you the most?