By Avery Blank
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
<PIt is frustrating to set a goal and not achieve it. Even more vexing is when you repeatedly fall short of reaching your goal. Stop getting in your own way, and start taking the steps that will guide you to your goals. Here are four ways to hold yourself accountable:
1. Educate yourself on your goal to be realistic.
Understand what it is you are after. Know what it is that you are looking to pursue so that you have realistic expectations. You don’t want to invest time, energy or money into a goal that is unrealistic.
Ask yourself: “What is motivating me?,” “Will I be able to make time for my goal?,” “Do I have the resources, or can I get the resources?” and “What outside forces might prevent me from achieving my goal?” Questions like these may help to refine your goal and put you on a path that is right for you.
2. Break your goal into smaller, more manageable steps.
It can be difficult to figure out how to get from point A to point B. What you want or where you ultimately want to be may be a long way off or require a big transition. Break down your goal into smaller chunks. Identify each step that will get you closer to your ultimate goal. The larger the goal, the more steps you will need to identify. Make the steps visible to you so you can more readily take them.
3. Share your goal with other people to give you a push.
Keeping your goal to yourself can undermine your efforts. If you don’t achieve your goal, you may shrug it off like it didn’t matter. Sharing your goal with others can make you more compelled to take action.
Make yourself vulnerable, and let your friends or colleagues know about what it is you are after. They may naturally check in with you periodically. Or be intentional, and ask if they would be willing to act as an accountability partner. Don’t let yourself down. Don’t disappoint others. Light a little fire under yourself to help you focus on achieving your goal.
4. Open yourself up to feedback.
Don’t just tell other people your goal. Ask people about your goal. Ask them: “What do you think about this?,” “Do you have experience or insights into this particular area, or do you know someone who can shed more light on this idea?,” “What roadblocks might I encounter?” or “What am I not thinking of?” People may be able to help if they know what you are trying to achieve.
Gather more information to learn from others and better understand the context in which your goal lies. Take the opportunity to collaborate with other people and maximize your chances of success. “No good idea grows in a vacuum,” writes Sanyin Siang, executive director at the Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. “[I]f we want to see our idea become even better, why don’t we invite others to build on top of it.”
Don’t let your dreams pass you by. Take hold of your dreams by holding yourself accountable. Educate yourself on your goal, break it down into manageable chunks, share your goal with others and ask for feedback.
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This content was originally published by Forbes Magazine. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By Forbes Magazine