Self-Accountability: Essential But Not Enough?
What is self-accountability? How can you hold yourself accountable? While you are accountable for yourself, you are also accountable to others.
Accountability means both that you are responsible for your choices and actions and that you may be called on to report and explain these to another person. These two aspects lie at the heart of a person who wants to change and grow. Exercising personal accountability enables your accountability partners to influence you to even greater success.
Accountable for Yourself
Self-accountability or personal accountability means that you are responsible for your choices and actions. You are the first and last line of defense for your integrity. Self-discipline is your primary method for improving your life, pursuing good things because you desire them. You have set your course and are committed to success.
You are the first and last line of defense for your integrity.
As an accountable person seeking to change, you start with yourself since you can only change yourself. When you desire to see a change, you do not wait for others to change, but you first consider what you must change about yourself. You examine your thinking to see how your thoughts hold you back from moving forward. You cringe when you hear yourself blaming others when you should find fault with what you have done. When faced with a decision, you do not need others to tell you what to do—you know what you ought to do, and you will do it.
Holding yourself accountable means that you stay away from viewing yourself as a victim of circumstances. You have a sense of ownership for yourself and the consequences of your actions. You do not let others do what you must do yourself, and you commit to daily work to accomplish your goals.
Here are some ways to make sure you are doing what you said you would do:
- Define goals that are clear, compelling, consistent, and consequential.
- Establish action plans for your goals so that you know how to accomplish what you desire.
- Consider alternate paths to accomplish your goal.
- Persevere through unanticipated obstacles and adjust your plan accordingly.
- Record and monitor your progress through a journal, checklist, calendar, or some other written means.
- Regularly evaluate your performance and make corrections as needed.
- Implement rewards and penalties based on how you fulfill your milestones.
- Take some action every day toward your goals.
You can grow in personal accountability. Set your mind to it and find encouragement to change your life for the better!
Accountable to Others
No one can live entirely disconnected from other people.
Accountability also means that you might be called on to explain yourself to others. No one can live entirely disconnected from other people. You have various relationships with others like a spouse, parents, children, neighbors, boss, coworkers, coach, teammates, customers, government officials, and so on. So, in addition to self-accountability, being accountable also means you are willing and able to give an honest account of your conduct to those who ask you.
Consider that there are at least four levels of accountability that you could implement to promote your success:
- Be observed.
- Report your status.
- Be evaluated.
- Explain yourself.
Sometimes it is hard to be objective about your conduct, especially if there is something in your life that you do not recognize. Perhaps you have a pattern of behavior or mode of thinking that sabotages your success or negatively affects others. Being accountable to others can help you become aware of your blind spots and challenge you to get out of your old routine. Identify and overcome undesirable habits by reviewing your conduct with an accountability partner.
Being accountable to others does not mean you demean yourself or think you are a failure.
Many of the same things you do to promote your personal accountability can empower your responsibility to others. Share your goal and action plan so that your accountability partner knows what you have committed to do. Report your success and setbacks along the way to help you focus on solutions to keep you moving forward. Provide valid explanations for the choices and actions you have made and ask for their perspective and advice when you are not sure what to do next.
Being accountable to others does not mean you demean yourself or think you are a failure. Accountability is a positive thing when you desire to improve your life. When paired with self-accountability, answering trusted partners has many benefits:
- Increasing your commitment to complete your goal.
- Promoting clarity in stating your goal and action plan.
- Stimulating creativity to solve problems.
- Improving your competence to accomplish your milestones.
- Sharing the celebration of your success!
Forging Ahead with Accountability
Are your choices and actions changing for the better? Or are you staying the same or even getting worse?
Taking personal accountability can help you push forward toward significant and lasting improvement in your life. And being honest with accountability partners can increase your motivation and likelihood to succeed. Hold yourself accountable for your choices and actions, and be accountable to others so that you can live your life well!