Ambitious people are often brimming with wonderful ideas. Every now and again, they set themselves a new goal and imagine what it would be like to achieve that target.
However, there’s a difference between being ambitious and getting things done.
While it’s easy to tell yourself that you’re going to get that promotion this year or earn some crucial new skills, it’s much tougher to follow through.
If you’re one of the many people who often set goals, and then end up procrastinating instead of getting stuff done, you might need some help holding yourself accountable.
Here are some of the best things that you can do to improve your accountability and accomplish almost anything!
1. Make Goals More Manageable
There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars. If you believe in yourself, you can accomplish almost anything. However, sometimes, we set goals that are so huge, it’s difficult to imagine ourselves ever reaching them.
For instance, if you tell yourself that you’ll become the CEO of your own company, that immediately gives you a huge target to reach. It can feel as though you have no idea where to start, and no chance of success.
On the other hand, if you start by telling yourself you’ll apply for a course that will give you the skills you need to become an entrepreneur, that’s a lot less daunting. Break your big goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks, so that they feel less overwhelming.
2. Get Some Support
Holding yourself accountable for your own success means that you need to take control of situations sometimes and push yourself to achieve more. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some extra help along the way.
Many people who struggle with accountability find that it’s easy to make excuses to themselves about why they can’t do something. It’s much tougher to give those excuses to someone that you respect, like a mentor or a close friend.
Find someone who can help to motivate and inspire you when you’re having a difficult time pursuing your targets. Professional mentors are often great for this because they may have been through similar experiences to you in the past. A friend that’s not going to give you any slack can be just as good.
3. Learn How to Manage Your Time
The most common excuse that people give when they don’t achieve their goals is that they haven’t had “enough time”. It’s true that you only have a certain number of hours in the day. A good portion of your routine will be dedicated to family life and your career.
However, if you can learn how to use your time more effectively, you might be able to find extra moments to focus on your progress. For instance, start by assigning realistic deadlines to your goals. This will give you something to aim for and ensure that you’re less likely to procrastinate.
When planning your tasks for each day, think about how to arrange your schedule to do as much as possible during your “productive” periods. This could mean writing to-do lists that guide you through each task you have for the day.
Learning how to manage your time is a fantastic way to ensure that you stay focused, particularly if your goal will take a while to reach.
4. Track Your Progress
Sometimes, you’ll need a lot of time before you make any significant progress towards your targets. If you’ve decided that you want a brand-new career, for instance, this could mean that you need to learn new skills, build experience, and network with your peers before you even start applying for jobs.
Tracking your progress is how you see that you are moving forward, even if it feels as though you haven’t come a long way. Consider keeping a journal where you can mark down all the steps you’ve taken to accomplish your goals each day.
A journal is an excellent way to give scope to the work that you’ve done. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges you’ve faced and the mistakes you’ve made. That way, you’re less likely to repeat the same errors.
5. Commit to Constant Learning
Finally, if you want to achieve things in life, the most important thing you can have is the right mindset. Rather than giving up whenever something is difficult, you need to see every challenge and mistake as a learning opportunity. This is called having a “growth mindset”.
With a growth mindset, you commit to a process of constant learning and improvement, so that you’re always pushing yourself to become better.
It doesn’t always have to mean that you’re taking endless college courses or exams online. A commitment to learning could just mean that you keep an eye on what’s happening in a space you’re interested in.
Being willing to constantly learn and improve means that whenever you face a challenge on the route to your goals, you’ll have the strength and determination to overcome it. Achieving your targets isn’t always easy, but the results are worth the hard work.
Be Accountable for Your Own Success
Ultimately, you’re the only person who can achieve your goals. While friends and peers can help you, you’ll need to start by developing the right mindset and attitude to overcome the hurdles ahead.
Making yourself more accountable is a great way to ensure that excuses don’t stand in the way of any potential accomplishments that might come your way.
Remember, as you’re working to make yourself more accountable, pay attention to what works for you and what doesn’t. You might find that a written journal isn’t as helpful as a recorded diary when it comes to motivating yourself. Find out what works for you, and stick with it.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.