• Nikki Winston, CPA

Goal Setting + Accountability = Success



I love the combination of these 2 things: goal setting and accountability. For me, they're like peanut butter and jelly, they just go together. You can't have 1 without the other.


With goal setting we’re planning ahead - where do I want to be, how many pounds do I need to drop to flatten my belly, how do I pay off debt, whatever the goal is. You're articulating where you want to be while keeping in mind where you are now. In the spirit of transparency, many of us don't like where we are now. So we want to change it, improve our circumstances, and do it quickly. When you know you’re not where you should be, that makes us feel a certain kinda way; feelings of inadequacy, defeat, guilt, all those things get in your head.


Goal setting is not a party or celebration.

Social media posts and these #goals have sprinkled a lot of glitter on a not so glittery situation. Goal setting is not a party or celebration. It's an eye-opening exercise in self-awareness and that makes it uncomfortable. When you set goals, you have to acknowledge where you are right now. In order to progress and get to where you want to be, you have to take stock of where you are in the present.


There are relationships and situations that are hindering your progress. If you say you want to pay off debt but every time you want to try something else goes wrong or other financial obligations arise. The creditors are still calling because they want their money and you feel like you have no control over the situation. Then you start getting frustrated and defeated; now you’re feeling like you’ll never be able to pay it off. Then you start to adopt that mindset of, “Oh well, I can’t do anything about it right now.” The reality is you can do something about it. That the goal setting. Realizing that you’ll have to get rid of some detrimental behaviors like in this example, overspending - you’ll have to stop buying things you don’t really need, that’s the accountability. Once you understand that those 2 go hand in hand, achieving your goals becomes much more attainable.


You have to get real with yourself and for many, that’s not a celebration! It IS, however, an opportunity for you to think about what you want and how you will get to that place where you’ve paid off all of your debt. What is that going to require of you? Those requirements - that's your goal setting. Those are the things you need to accomplish according to you, not someone else’s opinion.


Once you go through the process, you realize that this debt that you were stressed out about isn’t really that bad. While you had to make some modifications to your spending, you were still able to enjoy things. It was the mental mountain you created out of that molehill.


I challenge you to write down one goal and behavior that you need to be held accountable for, keeping you from achieving that goal.

How did it feel to write down and vocalize your goal? When we have actions that we need to change, while they FEEL uncomfortable, once we say it out loud, it feels like a weight is lifted because of the sheer acknowledgment. We must say, “Yep’, I own that, I take responsibility, and here's what I'm going to work on.”

Once you gain more awareness with yourself, where you are, and where you aspire to go - the space between those two points is the work, the grind, the hustle phase. Accountability doesn't end just because you've come to grips with where you are. It’s an integral part of the goal-setting process. It’s essential because saying you'll do it (goal setting) and doing it are two different things.


To set goals and crush them, you have to ask yourself the tough questions. Why have I been saying I want a flat belly for three years? Why haven’t I gotten there yet? Because I eat too many cookies and burgers even when I know that doesn’t get me closer to my goal. I have to come to terms with that.


What are we doing when we’re setting goals? We’re projecting where we want to be or accomplish, whether that’s in our personal life or at the office. Goal setting requires having honest conversations with yourself, and you have to get real and acknowledge specific things that may hinder you from achieving the goals you set. Being realistic about the goals is what you gain from taking accountability.


Now you have the drive, the ambition, the clarity you need to forge ahead.



Keep this goal setting & accountability guide handy as a reminder to stay on track with your goals.




 
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©2020 by Nikki Winston, CPA.