How Accountability Can Help You with Self Discipline
By Cassandre Pierre
Many people think self discipline means doing it all on your own, but it does not mean that at all. In fact, having a coach, or a group, or an accountability partner can really help you to develop more discipline.
An example would be when someone puts off housework until they know someone is coming over, and they race around to get the house all tidy before their visitor arrives. It is far easier to give in and be less disciplined when you just have yourself in the picture.
When you have a person or people hold you accountable though, you are far more likely to make sure it happens
What does it mean to have accountability?
An accountability partner is someone you set up a contract with to hold each other accountable for reaching goals. This is a mutual pact and is probably the easiest to set up.
The goals do not have to be the same ones, the point is to connect on a regular basis, often once a week, and share with each other how much you have accomplished.
The best way to do this is to break up the task into daily chunks and do each one each day so that you are not trying to finish up the project the night before you meet with your accountability partner.
Why is it good to be accountable?
I actually have an accountability partner named Marybeth. We check in with each other almost everyday via instant messaging. And we list our daily goals for the day in the morning and check in at least 2x that day. I actually find it helpful to share my tasks and get feedback or additional help.
It is often easier to schedule a meeting with one other person than a group of people. You also usually do not have to pay for this method, and most masterminds and coaches are paid programs. You also have more flexibility in how you meet with an accountability partner. You can just call them on the phone, or use an instant messaging program, You could meet for lunch once a week at a restaurant, or at your house.
“No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.” — Napoleon Hill
Finding a Mastermind Group
You may prefer joining a group like a mastermind instead of just a one on one accountability partner.
The advantage to having a group is additional pressure on you not to let the whole group down, and the fact when you run across an obstacle, the group can help brainstorm ideas to help you out.
Two heads may be better than one, but sometimes multiple heads are much better than just two.
A mastermind group is a gathering of people who share a similar goal or hobbies.
One of the most well-known mastermind groups were The Knights of the Round Table.
This was a gathering of warriors King Arthur created to keep Camelot safe and every knight shared his goal. Together, they worked to build a kingdom that was fair and just for everyone.
Whether you’re interested in a hobby or running a business, you can benefit from having a mastermind group.
You’ll be surrounded by people that want to help you succeed and cheer you on.
Depending on the mastermind, your group may set goals together, brainstorm solutions to problems, and give feedback on members’ projects.
If you like the idea of a mastermind, here are a few tips to help you find one:
Know What You Want
Are you looking for a group that offers plenty of feedback? Do you want introductions to other people that will help you grow your business? Do you need accountability to ensure you meet your goals?
Before you begin your search, take the time to think about what you really want. Doing this will help you find a mastermind that fits your goals.
Consider Meeting Times
Some mastermind groups meet in person while others meet online. Your mastermind group may gather each week or once a month depending on what members prefer.
If you’re already overwhelmed with commitments then it may not be possible for you to meet weekly for several hours. That’s why you should ask about the meeting schedule before you join a group.
Ask about Cost
Some mastermind groups are free and some require members to pay to join. Often, free groups are common with hobbyists. But if you’re looking for a business or financial mastermind, be prepared to pay. That doesn’t mean that the group you join has to be expensive or exclusive.
The cost of the membership fee is not always equal to the value that you’ll receive. For example, you might pay just a few dollars each month for a small mastermind where you get excellent feedback on your projects and plenty of accountability to propel you toward your goals.
Understand What You’re Paying For
When you pay to join a mastermind, the money will go toward the facilitator. She’s the one who’s putting in the time and effort to organize and co-ordinate your group. Without a facilitator, your group will most likely fall apart after a few meetings. That’s why you should take a hard look at your facilitator. A good one is always worth the cost.
Start Your Own Mastermind
If you can’t find a mastermind group that meets your needs, you can always start your own. This might be a good fit if you have a passion for helping people in your niche.
You don’t have to be an expert before you become a facilitator. You don’t even have to leave your house if you don’t want to. You can arrange meetings by Skype, on a webinar, or through video conferencing software.
Joining a mastermind is a great way to meet people who share the same goals and interests as you do. But keep in mind you’ll only get out of it as much as you put into it. Be willing to help other members and encourage them when needed.
Choosing a Mentor for the Season You’re In
Putting yourself in the position to meet new people is a wonderful way to grow.
As you have the opportunity to connect with potential friends, you may meet someone who inspires you and motivates you to become the best version of yourself.
If you think this person would be a good mentor for you, then follow these three tips below.
Ask What Your (Potential) Mentor Has
You need to define exactly what it is that this person has that you want in your own life. When you look at her, you say, “I want what she’s got. She has wonderful friends. She’s pursuing work she loves. She’s traveling every month.”
Or you might say, “She’s spending time with his family. She’s spending time playing the sport I love. She’s a successful community leader. He cares about what’s happening in the world.”
Study Your Mentor
Once you’ve identified what your mentor has that you’d like to create in your own life, it’s time to get to work. Start by observing your potential mentor in action. Figure out what it is they’re doing differently and try to implement that in your own life.
If your mentor is always booked solid, look at what she’s doing to attract clients. If your mentor speaks at national conferences, get the MP3 version of her speeches and listen to them. If she launches products that become best-sellers, pay attention to how she writes her sales copy.
Offer to Barter
If you can’t afford to pay a coach, you might want to consider bartering. You could offer to be an intern for a few months in exchange for a few coaching sessions. If you already have some experience in the industry and know what you’re doing, you could offer to form a joint venture partnership with this coach. This gives you a chance to learn from your mentor while still bringing value to the agreement.
To learn more on what to look for in a mentor click here.
When it comes to accountability having a support system in place is not only effective but smart. When you have a person or people who hold you accountable, you are far more likely to make sure that whatever your set goals are happens.