The Power of Accountability, Martin Seligman and 10,000 Steps

Learn why accountability is a powerful way to unleash your productivity.

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Customizing Accountability

When I work with clients, I help them build a customized accountability system into their day.  Here’s how it works:

  • Make Your BedCreating a meta-habit — a habit that triggers other good habits — is the first step to unlocking your productivity. Whether it’s making your bed, going for a walk, or writing in your journal, a meta-habit makes you accountable to yourself. It’s a simple thing, but it gives you affirmation. Starting your day with a win sends a message to your brain: “I’m awesome. I’m gonna kick some ass today.”
  • Manage Energy, Not Time – I’m guessing you have a to-do list as long as a roll of toilet paper. It never ends, does it? Chuck it out. A long to-do list that you’ll never get through can only weigh you down. Instead, identify your top priorities each day. Get them done. Call it a day. It’s as simple as that. When you give yourself permission to switch off, you’re setting boundaries that can help you feel accomplished and energized.
  • Honor Your Commitments to Yourself – It’s a lot easier to break a commitment you’ve made to yourself than it is to break a commitment you’ve made to someone else. But pulling through on those self-commitments is what allows you to run and grow your business. To make sure you don’t back out on yourself, bring an accountability buddy on board. Tell her what you’re going to do and let her know when you’ve done it (or haven’t). Having someone else call you out can make all the difference.


Developing Accountable Relationships

A lot of life coaches don’t see the need for accountability. They believe that once the client has tapped into her life’s passion, everything else will fall into place.

I don’t buy it. In my experience, nothing accelerates a client’s progress like pairing passion with accountability, so I weave accountability into every client relationship I have.

With a simple system in place, it’s easy to create an accountable relationship. My clients tell me what their goals are; I write everything down. Then, it’s just a matter of following up. I don’t let things slip. If there’s a hurdle to overcome, I’m there to help my client out. It’s incredibly empowering to know that someone else cares that you follow through on your commitments.

One of my clients has really accelerated his productivity — going from $5,000 in profit last month to $9,000 this month. I asked him what it felt like, and he told me this: “It’s easier to get stuff done now that I can see how my daily accomplishments fuel my long-term vision. Plus, I know that if I don’t achieve what I said I would, you’ll take me to task.”


Try It For Yourself

Here’s an experiment. Figure out one simple thing you know you should be doing every day.  Call up someone you trust who has the same, or a similar, daily goal. Agree to report back to each other every day at the same time for a week.

See what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose. And if you find yourself walking around with a pedometer at midnight, just know that you’re in good company.

Stephan Wiedner is a certified life coach and the founder and Head Coach of Noomii.com, a professional coach directory that connects you with your ideal coach based on your personal goals and background. Noomii has hundreds of life coaches, business coaches, career coaches, and executive coaches in dozens of cities. Connect with Stephan on Twitter and Google+.

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