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We all have goals and aspirations, but how many of us take the time to share and vocalize those goals or support our friends as they try to achieve their goals?
On today’s episode, we are discussing the importance of accountability. We, at The Art of Charm, often call accountability the “cheat code to self-development.” When you start to integrate others into your personal journey, the social pressure hacks your motivation centers, sending you on the fast track to achieving your goals.
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We get upset because we aren’t accomplishing our goals.
We think, “If I just work harder or focus more, I’ll eventually get there.” But what if that’s wrong? What if the recipe for success asks for more than just laser focus in a locked office?
On today’s episode of The Art of Charm, we are diving deep into accountability. When we mention accountability, we’re talking about taking personal responsibility of our lives. Ownership. This means holding ourselves accountable, reaching out to others for help, and offering a helping hand to those you feel you can pick up.
“Most people think about accountability as, ‘Tell someone else your goals and get someone else to hold you accountable,’” AJ says, “But what we’re also talking about is, ‘Be self-accountable. Take some responsibility. It starts with you.’”
This is the first rung of accountability.
Before we reach out to others for help, we have to make sure we’re doing our part. Johnny details a rough patch in his early adult years:
“I was in my 20s, I was playing in bands. I was doing everything I always wanted to do. Great, there’s purpose, there’s meaning. And then seeing the music industry collapse on itself, I thought, ‘Well now what do I do?’”
We’ve all felt this type of hopelessness when the tides of life unexpectedly hit. Suddenly, we’re swallowed by darkness and unable to break loose from its grip. Reaching out to others for help is the last thing on our minds.
Johnny explains what he experienced:
“My physiology, my body language —I’m moving to a place where I’m becoming lost, floundering and depressed because I don’t know which direction to go. And I know I was carrying that. I was exuding that. I could see it in other people’s reaction to me.”
But Johnny started to hold himself accountable. First, he checked off the small things, like fixing his posture and smiling more. These are foundational principles at The Art of Charm bootcamp, where we teach that “it’s easier to act your way into thinking than think your way into acting.”
Once Johnny got back on his feet, he was ready to seek out the help of others.
This is the second rung of accountability—after we’ve started to hold ourselves accountable, we can begin to lean on others for assistance. Research shows that you can increase your ability to achieve your goals by 95% through accountability, by verbalizing, vocalizing, and sharing your goals.
But who do you share your goals with?
“In order for accountability to take effect, you want to surround yourself with other people who know that struggle,” AJ says, “That accountability partner will drive you towards the goal, but also has to be supportive in getting you back on track when you fall off.”
This is key for accountability to work. If we’re including people who can’t recognize the goals we’re fighting for, then they won’t be able to motivate us to get there. More important than whether they’re friends or family, your ‘accountabilibuddies’ need to be people who see where you want to go and want to help get you there.
With “accountabilibuddies” pushing you reach your goals, you will find yourself wanting to help them achieve theirs. This is the core tenant of a healthy accountability-relationship. As Johnny says, “Having those weights balanced allows us to feel equal in sustaining the accountability.”
So we know the power of goal-setting—but before we start writing our goals down, we have to screen them for whether they’re good or bad goals. As AJ says, “Goals are not helpful if they’re these giant, nebulous inarticulable ideas you have in your head.”
We can use the S.M.A.R.T acronym to help us distill our goals. The system asks if the goal is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Screening our goals for these criteria will prevent us from chasing the unachievable. AJ adds, “What gets tracked improves. What you measure, you have control in.”
We, at The Art of Charm, also recommend going analog. Using a pen and paper to write your goals down means something, whereas typing on a screen is just pixels that vanish into thin air. As Johnny says, “When you bring it to a conscious level, and you’re articulating it to other people, you’re committing to these words.”
Soon after implementing these systems, the tables will turn. Instead of being the one seeking out assistance, you are now offering the one offering a helping hand.
This is the third rung of accountability.
As Johnny says, “Once you realize, ‘I’m taking responsibility, and in fact I know the power of this cheat code,’ then you look for opportunities to be accountable to others and help other people reach their goals.”
So try to think about which of your ‘accountabilibuddies’ were the most effective at pushing you to that next level. How did they do it? Did they just tell you what to do or did they set the example?
“It’s easy to bark orders at someone else. It’s easy to point out all the times when they’re not reaching their goals. It’s a lot more difficult to be in the lead and be the pace car,” AJ says.
This is the first step to becoming a reliable ‘accountabilibuddy.’ If you offer a helping hand, you have to set the example. Whether that means also losing weight with your friend who’s trying to slim down or tagging along to the bars with your buddy who wants to meet more people—when another person participates in the cause, forward progress is much more attainable.
Step 2 is vulnerability, a requirement for accountability. Think about the vulnerability required to ask for help. You have to meet the person halfway, as we said before, to keep those “weights balanced.”
As Nathaniel Brandon of Taking Responsibility says, “A world in which we regard ourselves and one another as accountable for our choices and our actions works better then a world in which we deny such accountability. A denial of accountability does not serve anyone’s self esteem and least of all—the person doing the denying.”
Tune in to today’s episode to learn the principles of accountability, and how we can use it to achieve our goals and make the world a better place.
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