27 Jan How to Improve Your Chances of Reaching Your Goals
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Ecclesiastes 4:9
We’ve made it to the last blog of our series! Congratulations if you’ve stuck it out and worked through them with us. If you’re late to the party, DON’T WORRY, January is still not over! Go back over the previous blogs and catch up with us, starting with Week 1.
Maybe things are going smoothly or maybe, like the majority of people, you’ve had a few misses.
Chances are if you started out on the right foot but things have slipped a little bit, it’s because you are missing a crucial element–ACCOUNTABILITY.
In December 2016, I was feeling pretty lousy. I’d gained weight and felt unusually sluggish. My doctor upon examining my blood test results concluded that I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I know, Hashi-what?! I’ve had hypothyroidism for years but was never diagnosed with this autoimmune issue before so it was all new to me.
When my son heard about it he suggested that I do a 30-day Autoimmune Paleo elimination diet. After the 30 days, I would then slowly reintroduce certain foods to ascertain which foods were causing inflammation so I could avoid them. It would be much easier to tell you what I was allowed to eat during those 30 days, but I want you to feel my pain so I’m going to tell you the NOT ALLOWED list if only to elicit some sympathy.
It went like this:
No sugar (duh)
No caffeine (O.M.G.)
No dairy (there goes the lattes)
No alcohol ☹
No preservatives or additives or chemical anything in foods (I was ok with that)
No grains–At all. Even rice. (waaaa)
No legumes or soy (no biggie) or nuts
No nightshade vegetables (which means no tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants or peppers)
So, basically, I could eat organic, grass fed meat and a few veggies–oh and sauerkraut and cabbage–whoop di do!!
On the best of days, I don’t have a lot of discipline, so I couldn’t imagine how I would have the will power to stick to this diet for 30 days. But my son challenged me and said he’d do it with me and would hold me accountable if I made the commitment. So, I did.
He left to go back to New York after Christmas but promised he’d check in daily with me.
To my shock and surprise–IT WORKED!
He texted every day at first, asking what I ate and how I was doing. I would text him sometimes, especially on a Friday evening when I wanted a treat and complain, “I want a glass of wine!” with sad face or a crying emoji and he would text back, “And I want pizza but we can’t have it, so suck it up!”
It actually turned into fun banter back and forth and we would send each other new recipes or great finds we discovered to change things up and keep it interesting. I’m happy to report I felt better than I had felt in months and the pounds were coming off.
It was such an accomplishment for me, but I know I would’ve failed without someone to report my progress to.
To be held accountable is to be required to answer for your actions and the knowledge of that alone is often enough to keep you on track.
I knew he would ask me, and I didn’t want to have to tell him I caved, so it helped me resist temptation.
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
Why not increase your chances for success?
It helps tremendously to say your goals out loud to someone. A friend or co-worker can make a good accountability partner but it is also helpful to have specific parameters to work from.
Here are a few tips once you’ve found someone that is willing to be your accountability partner:
- Give them permission to check on you and specify how you would like them to do that i.e. text, phone call, email etc.
- Decide what course of action you will take if you have not kept your commitment—maybe you have to make it up somehow or extend a timeline.
- See how you can reciprocate and help them stay on track with a goal. The best accountability system is a true partnership where both people are winning!
- If you’re the one keeping someone accountable be generous with encouragement and send little quotes or articles pertaining to their goal to them occasionally to keep them motivated and to let them know you’re thinking of them. This goes a long way in developing a relationship where the one being held accountable will take pride in sharing successes.
- Offer grace for failures but challenge them to get back on track by asking specific questions like, what would it take for you to make your goal this week?, to get them moving in the right direction again.
Can you think of someone who can help you to be accountable for the commitments you have made? Have you had success with an accountability partner in the past? We would love to hear your ideas on how to keep each other motivated and encouraged.
One of our core values at FTGI is the idea of us cheering each other on in our pursuits. Praying for each of you to find someone to share the journey with and partner up for success!