Connect with us

Success Advice

The Surprising Truth About Why You Need Accountability to Reach Your Goals

Published

on

Why do you visit sites like Addicted2Success.com? Is it because you are a naturally productive person who is never derailed, and you want to lend a hand to us lesser beings?  Or because you often struggle staying productive?

Perhaps building positive habits is a challenge for you, and you hope to learn how to defeat that multi-headed hydra we call procrastination. I’m guessing it’s not benevolent pity that brings you to this site, but the desire to improve yourself.

In fact, the majority of us deal with these challenges, and have had to teach ourselves the strategies to keep ourselves on task. It’s as if we have to coax and whip ourselves to move towards the success we are after.

The rise in popularity of productivity blogs and websites begs the question, “Why are we so unskilled at getting things done?”

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey

What Happened to Us in School?

It could be easy to chalk up our floundering to a lazy human nature, but there is a somewhat hidden cause at play. Presuming you went to public school, do you remember those 10,000+ hours of training you had there? Would you even call it training?  

That’s a lot of time to learn a multitude of life skills and the tools for success, but did that actually occur? I certainly don’t remember being taught the productive habits that would help me build an independent livelihood, and it’s not as if this knowledge is new.   

Like you, I was never instructed how to schedule my tasks to ensure they get done, or how to deconstruct the steps needed to achieve my goals. I never got to shadow professionals in various fields or take an apprenticeship in something that stimulated my interest. How about you?

Did you learn the Pomodoro technique or strategies to beat procrastination? How about how to read and construct a contract, or the secrets of wealth creation?   

I’m pretty sure you didn’t, because that’s just not what public school is designed to teach. You learned to memorize and regurgitate facts, and to read and write just well enough to function as a ‘good employee’. But it goes further than that.  

We also learned some very specific behaviour patterns that affect our motivation and drive as adults. This was a very subtle process and we aren’t likely to remember it well, because it started when we were too young to discern what was happening.

We Are Shaped By Powerful Forces

Give me a child and I will give you the man” which is a Jesuit motto and “Give me a child and I will shape him into anything” by B.F. Skinner are two quotes that share a common theme, but you might be wondering what they have to do with you. Well, quite a lot as it turns out. Remember; if you attended public school, you started as a child of four or five years old.  

Good ol’ B.F. Skinner, whose words eerily echo the founder of the Jesuit order, was highly influential in the formation of the public education system, and how the curriculum is delivered. Both of these men knew that the adult mind could be shaped by the events of childhood, and they knew that a person could be programmed. So then, what were we programmed with in public school?

Approval-Seeking Behaviour

We learned to seek the approval of our authority figures in the form of praise and ‘good’ grades, and to avoid disapproval in the form of punishment and ‘bad’ grades. What we learned, was to be externally motivated and this was reinforced over 10,000+ hours, year after year.

The opposite would be to encourage and support children to pursue what interests them. No grades, no standardized testing. But that, of course, is a different society. Still not convinced? Here’s a simple example: Have you ever held the door for someone and they didn’t say thank-you? Did you find yourself bothered and cursing under your breath? Perhaps you shouted a salty, “You’re welcome!” at them.

But why would it bother you if you were simply doing what was right in that moment?  Did you need the approval and praise to be courteous? Certainly it’s nice to receive praise, but it shouldn’t be needed if your motivation was in the right place. But we were trained to seek it out.

“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.”

So What To Do About This?

Bear in mind that this article is a simplified synopsis of a rather complex issue, and in fact many books have been written on the subject. So let’s focus on the main point as it applies to productivity. As adults, many of us struggle with a lack of skills and a stunted internal drive to consistently get things done.

Of course, overcoming this first hurdle starts with learning and teaching yourself the skills you need to guide your own productivity. Developing your internal drive takes time, clarity of goals and understanding the consequences if you decide to waste your time instead. And there is also a powerful tool you can use to reach your goals faster and more consistently. That tool is…

Accountability

This can mean different things to different people, but simply put, when we make our goals and deadlines known to others, we are more likely to stick to our timelines and meet them. A big reason for this goes back to our programming in school and the accountability our teachers held us to. Nobody can make you strive for your goals, but having someone there who cares about your progress helps keep your motivation high.

You can start your own accountability group with friends or colleagues, join a mastermind group, or hire an accountability coach to keep you fired up and on task. Most of us can use all the help we can get to move past the counter-productive behaviours we learned as children, so make sure this strategy is in your productivity tool belt.

Have you started using accountability in your life? How has it helped? Leave your thoughts below!

Nigel Cook runs Holding Your Feet to the Fire where he helps his clients stay on track with their goals and projects by providing them with step-by-step action plans, supportive accountability and solution-oriented feedback. Be sure to grab your free copy of The Quick Guide to Reaching Your Goals Faster.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

How My Forbidden Eminem Obsession Landed a Huge Writing Feature

You likely want to be featured on a website that is #1 in the country, or the world, in your industry.

Published

on

publicity
Created by Midjourney - Not Eminem

You likely want to be featured on a website that is #1 in the country, or the world, in your industry. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Unlock Your Career Potential: How Programming Skills Can Boost Your Success

Coding skills don’t just enhance your employability – they also open the door to exciting entrepreneurial opportunities.

Published

on

coding skills
Image Credit: Midjourney

Programming is everywhere in our daily lives. It’s behind the take-out we order, the movies we stream, and many other actions we take. Tech companies don’t just make software; they deliver food, help us get taxis, influence elections, and even act as personal trainers. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Copyright Tips Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know

Understand what can be copyrighted, how to use the copyright symbol, and steps to ensure your intellectual property is safeguarded.

Published

on

Copyright laws
Image Credit: Midjourney

The concept of copyrighting exists to protect the original work that a person or business has created. As a small business owner, understanding copyright law is essential, as you strive to safeguard your material and ensure you don’t incorrectly use material that belongs to someone else. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

How to Optimize Your Pop Up Form to Maximize Conversions

Proper use of the pop-up ad in direct interaction with your audience is an indispensable tool for your company

Published

on

ad pop up conversions
Image Credit: Midjourney

Tracking and improving your conversion rates is an excellent way to boost your business strategy, leading to a significant increase in the ROI indexes. With a proper approach and the correct marketing tools, your business can turn each of your visitors into a potential lead that will bring profit to your platform. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending