Hey, Boss. Yes, I’m talking to you. You’re a team leader. You’re a senior executive. You’re a solo-entrepreneur which, of course, makes you your own boss! Ok, maybe you’re not any of these things in your day job, but step back and think for a moment. You know that side-business you’ve been mulling over or the self-improvement quest you know you want to take on? Well, you are the boss of those things.
You’re the one responsible for identifying a vision, for setting goals, and for seeing them through. Before you were the boss, there was someone else to do those things. More importantly, perhaps, there was someone else to hold you accountable and make sure you completed your goals and objectives within a reasonable time. Now that you’re the boss, who is holding you accountable?
If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. When the buck stops with you, there isn’t someone looking over your shoulder making sure you’re getting stuff done and getting it done right. This may certainly be at least part of why you’ve worked hard to get into this position in the first place, but it can also present a certain set of challenges. That big goal that will push you and/or your business forward is easy to back away from when your nerves get the best of you. Procrastination (did someone say beach day?) can be easier to embrace when no one is leaning into you to complete a deadline.
Get Yourself a Coach, a Mentor, an Accountability Partner
You don’t need a person to manage you. You do need someone who is willing to nudge you back into focus from time to time. Whether that’s a person you’ve identified as a mentor or you hire a personal coach, set-aside time to connect with this person on a regular basis. Share your goals and timelines. Be honest. It’s a lot harder to simply push off writing the next chapter of your book in favor of a poolside siesta when you know your mentor is going to ask you about how much progress you’ve made since you spoke last week. When you’re mired in self-doubt or questioning whether these goals are really what you ought to be pursuing in the first place, your coach can help guide you through the process of honestly answering those questions and recommitting (or redirecting) your energy as needed.
Remember on January 1st when you swore you were going to get up early every day and walk a few miles before you got ready for work? You were going to eat better and you were going to dust off the weights in your basement, too. If you’re like most folks, those promises are now memories. Now, think about this: What if you had gone live on Facebook and declared your intentions? What if you had connected your fitness tracker to one of your social media platforms so it posted a recap of your morning jogs? What if you told people that you needed support and encouragement and they stepped up to the challenge? Here’s what might have happened if you had done those things — you might still be walking! You might be closer to your goals today because you had kept up with your plans.
Mark It Up!
You’ve got customers for your existing products and services. If you don’t deliver on those orders, someone’s going to notice. You’ve got built-in accountability on that front. But that new service or product you’ve been mulling over … well no one even knows you’ve considered it, so if you get to it a few months from now, what difference will it make? If you just never get around to setting up that YouTube channel you’ve been planning, no one will be the wiser. Right?
Let’s flip that coin for a moment. What if I told you I was going to commit to publishing an article in this blog every other week. You’d support me in that. You’d encourage me. If I went a few weeks without getting something out, you’d ask me what’s up and that gentle nudge might be enough to get me back on track because you’d be my accountability. You’re awesome like that. Why, then, wouldn’t you do the same for yourself? Your goals and your objectives are just as important as mine. Don’t let yourself down. Get yourself a white board, a calendar, a chalk board, a giant sheet of paper, whatever works for you. Hang it up somewhere visible and write down not just your goals, but a series of reasonable targets with deadlines to get you to that goal. Don’t ignore that paper. Keep yourself accountable.