Do you have one goal that you would do ANYTHING it takes to achieve … yet it eludes you time and time again? Do you ever feel that setting goals is pointless because you just can’t seem to complete them no matter how hard you want to or how much you think about them?
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 95% probability of reaching a goal if you have a specific accountability appointment with another person.
Lots of us have goals that we think about, but studies show that thinking about a goal gives only a 10% chance of actually achieving that goal. There are other good things to do when setting a goal like determining how you will achieve it and when you want it accomplished. But it is astonishing that the thing that gives us the highest probability of actually achieving it is having an accountability partner. Logically speaking, we like to think that we can do it on our own. But it is so easy to talk ourselves into taking a break and doing it …tomorrow.
Recently, I got a Fitbit tracker. Bret also has one, so on my first day wearing it he challenged me to a step contest. Brittany and Hunter thought we were absolutely crazy as they watched us ran laps around the house at 9:00 at night so that we could each meet our 10,000 step goal. In 25 years of marriage, we have never run laps around the house before! We can now see how many steps each other has done, and we are holding each other accountable in friendly competition. I guarantee you that we have both increased our activity as a result of it!
Accountability may come in the form of a fitness tracker, a trusted friend, a life coach, or a myriad of other options. What really matters, though, is that we have some sort of accountability we are honest with. Most of us overestimate to ourselves the good things that we do toward reaching our goal (“I’ll just round that 2.4 mile jog up to a 3 mile run”) and underestimate the negative (“I’ll pretend that I didn’t eat that chocolate chip cookie, only one won’t hurt .. or two or three”). If we know, however, that someone is going to be asking us for specific details that we have already committed to doing, it makes it easier to actually stick to them.
This week, let’s each find one more accountability partner and be honest with our actions. Then, we can all start reaching our goals!