What do house cleaners and business coaches have in common? For me, they both provide accountability, but in very different ways. Let me share with you my thoughts on the matter, and how accountability will help you keep your goals in ‘11.
Last night was our family’s ritual clean-up night. We tidy up the house in preparation for our house cleaner’s bi-weekly Friday visits. Seems crazy, right? Clean up the house for the house cleaner?!? Actually, it makes good sense. While our house cleaner, Marcy, is a wonder and does more in hours than we can do in days, she can’t do it amongst clutter. So, we get the house in order ahead of time so she can help keep our home cleaner than we ever could on our own.
In an indirect way, Marcy is a great accountability partner. Before she comes, we clean the house so her time (and our money) is spent efficiently while she is there. After she comes, the house is so sparkly that we want to keep it that way. Marcy’s brief, hard work improves the cleanliness of our home even when she is not around because we want to stay accountable to her high-caliber work.
In a much more direct manner, I have an amazing business coach as a professional accountability partner. Just like Marcy, I have an appointment with Brian every two weeks. I know that in order to make the most of our time together I must have my “house in order” so we can spend time on the important tasks at hand. For me, hiring help is not so much about having someone do it all for me, but rather help me achieve things at a greater level by keeping me accountable.
You don’t need to hire someone for accountability (although paying for help is a great accountability inducer). A friend, co-worker, or spouse can be there for you, either directly calling you out (like my business coach) or indirectly inspiring you towards improvement (like a house cleaner). Both approaches lead to effective accountability.
When you sit down to write (yes, write them down) your goals for 2011, think of who you can openly, honestly share them with and discuss them periodically through the year. Anyone can make goals, but it takes accountability and inspiration to keep goals.
Here’s to a happy rest of the holiday season and a wonderful New Year. If you’d like to share your 2011 goals with me, I would love to receive them. And don’t be surprised if I follow up with you every now and then and see how you’re coming along. If you’re looking for that kind of accountability, then I look forward to hearing from you.