Resolve to be Held Accountable!

Happy New Year!


New Year, New Goals, New You, right?  Although it's just an arbitrary date, this is the time of year many people, myself included, often like to view as a clean slate, a time to start anew, a time for plans and resolutions and goals.  If you've got a resolution in mind, click the following for tips on setting smart goals, tricks to achieving them, and setting non-traditional resolutions.

And, a bonus tip: make sure to look back to see how you did along the way and at the end! Don't make a resolution and forget about it.  Put it somewhere you'll be constantly reminded to make it happen, and then, when the year's up, you can know you gave it your all.

Looking back on 2014:  Last year, I made three "focus" resolutions for 2014, and I'm fairly pleased with the outcomes!  Time-management is a constant struggle for me, but I've certainly made greater strides in mono-tasking in order to successfully get things done.  My posture did improve a bit, although I've recently started slacking again; more on this in another post.  And, lastly, although I've stopped writing down three good things, I have learned to practice gratitude daily.  I also successfully complete my first year of the one-sentence journal, and am excited to flip back to page one to begin year two! 
Although I'm happy with my outcome from the year, I admit that I could have done better, but I was missing a key factor to ensure my success: accountability.

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Whatever you commit to in 2015, one thing is sure to help you follow through: an accountability partner.  Being held accountable to another person--having someone to check in with--may vastly improve your results!

Accountability partner: A person whelp helps, encourages, or coaches another person to fulfill a commitment. 

This can apply to whatever field your goals or resolutions fall in to, whether business, religion, weight loss, or any other commitment!  Going it alone is one method, but then you may have a tendency to let yourself off the hook too often.  Whether you're making or breaking a habit, trying to increase attendance at church or at the gym, or even learning a new language, you can increase your odds of a successful follow-through by finding someone to check in with you.  His or her nudges can provide just the push you need to fulfill your commitments.

Two ways to buddy up:

  1. First, your partner could be right there in the trenches with you, reaching toward the same goals or outcomes.  This could have the drawback of comparison and unfriendly competition, but ideally, you''ll work together and push one another toward your goals.
  2. Another option is to find someone with whom you simply share your aspirations and then hold each other accountable.  Maybe you've mapped out your path to doing five pull-ups by the end of the year, and your friend is committing to reading two books each month.  The goals are unrelated, but you two can still provide valuable support and encouragement for one another! The key is having someone to hold you accountable for your actions. 

This year, my friend and I are making plans and holding one another accountable to our 2015 aspirations.  Instead of setting one big resolution for the year, we've identified four habits and activities we'd like to keep up or improve on: fitness, reading, hobby time, and "other".  For each of these categories, we will refresh our goals each month according to what's going on in our lives at that time.  Then, together, we'll be held accountable to the fitness, reading, and other goal commitments we set monthly!  It's ambitious, but together, we can do it! 

It starts this January for me with:
     (1) MOVE: hitting the gym 3x/week (still getting back in!),
     (2) READ: reading The Invention of Wings (and moving on to The Red Tent next!), and
     (3) PLAY: publishing a quality post HERE to the blog at least once weekly (uh oh, just wrote it down, now it's gotta happen!), as well as picking up my sketchbook to start drawing again.

We're going to meet at the end of each month to check in on our progress and also discuss the books we read.  If we both achieved our goals for the month, then we'll reward ourselves with a fun local outing!  That provides an added motivation to move, read, and play throughout the month.

I'll be sure to keep you posted on how this goes!

Of course, I've also got just one month left to complete my birthday bucket list from last year.  Most tasks are checked off, but a few do remain.  In those activities and beyond, by saying yes and saying no, I've had a fantastic year so far and plan to continue in a similar manner next year.

So, for 2015: I am saying yes, saying no, and setting new goals each month.

What are your aspirations for the year, and how will you be held accountable? 

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