A Common Trap: Procrastination
Don’t miss the announcement at the bottom of this post!
One of the obstacles that is very common in these times is procrastination.
Due to our isolation, we feel less social pressure. We have fewer appointments, can hide behind our computers, and only share what we want to share. For many of us that also means that we don’t feel the same sense of urgency to get stuff done or to work on anything mid-term in the face of unprecedented uncertainty.
I definitely feel this, too. Whether I write this blog post a week before send-out or the day before doesn’t seem to make a big difference right now. So I choose the latter. And I am not proud of it.
It takes extra discipline to be on top of things right now. One of the key reasons why that’s so hard right now is that many of us are less accountable than usual to do certain things.
I rely on accountability partners consistently. I have an accountability buddy, and I am part of several mastermind groups. I can tell you that accountability is by far the most effective tool I use as a coach to get my clients to achieve their goals.
The Problem With Goals That Are Not Shared
When you only “tell yourself” that you are making a lifestyle change, like quitting those cigarettes, you are much less likely to follow-through. Not much is at stake. You don’t have “skin in the game” and can easily make excuses that your mind buys into. But when you commit to others, there will be social expectations and you don’t want to lose face. Trying to change your behavior and habits without accountability means there is a high chance that you will fail.
What Is Accountability and Why Is It Important?
You probably have plenty of goals, whether you are working on them actively or not. Getting a better job, exercising more, writing a book, cutting sugar, becoming fluent in a language, or getting your business off the ground. Most likely, there is no shortage of “some-day I want to” goals on your mental list.
Accountability means that you are being held accountable for achieving your goals. I’m not talking about blame here. What I mean is true ownership for your own success. Essentially that you do what you said you would do.
Accountability Is the Antidote to Procrastination
Sticking to our goals, day in and day out is difficult — especially when we hit roadblocks. If it were easy, we would all be wealthy and fit — living our dreams.
Accountability means you create a system that helps you overcome the common mindset blocks and resistance we all experience. We quickly lose motivation, get distracted with new shiny objects, or run out of steam when achieving our goals takes longer than what we expect.
How Accountability Increases Your Chance to Succeed Dramatically
Accountability can be the difference between success and failure.
Here are two mindblowing research insights:
- According to the American Society of Training and Development, your chance of achieving a goal if you tell someone else about it is 65%. Not bad right?
- But here is the best part: If you have a regular check-in with someone to whom you’ve made yourself accountable, your chances of success increase to 95%.
This ASTD study is small and was done in a training context so more research has to be done, but this gives us an indication the accountability does work.
🙌🏼 With accountability, you set yourself up for success.
Think back to a time when you achieved a big goal. Did you have some accountability in place?
How You Can Make Use of Accountability
Here are the best ways you can tap into the power of accountability:
- Find an accountability buddy that has similar goals and schedule regular check-ins
- Start your own accountability group
- Use an app like stickK
- Hire a coach or personal trainer
- Join a professionally moderated accountability group (see below)
Two important considerations:
- Accountability can only work if your goal comes from intrinsic motivation.
- You also have to be VERY specific in the actions or goals you commit to.
Achieving goals together is not only more effective but also more fun and rewarding.
I Have a Big Announcement to Make 🎊
Because I see many people struggle with procrastination who are not ready to invest in 1:1 coaching, I have decided to do something about it.
I am launching an accountability group later this month. Spaces are limited! If you are interested, you can check out the landing page:
Given the current economic uncertainties, I am committed to making sure that everyone who is eager to join will be able to afford it.
Stay healthy and don’t give up on your goals.