“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
-George S. Patton
Now it’s time to make it happen.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the most important step. You’ve also probably been here before. Deep down you’ve known what you really want all along. You know how your current behavior is standing in your way. You’ve made plans to make a change in your life plenty of times.
Something is different this time around though. Now there is a fire burning inside of you to finally get the life you want and need. Here’s how to do it.
Commit to yourself
The first part of creating action is to commit to yourself. I don’t want you to commit to the plan. I want you to promise yourself, in the deepest part of your heart, that you are willing to step through the discomfort of change in order to get what you want. Not only are you willing to do it, but you are willing to recognize that you deserve to get the life that you want.
Committing to yourself is like switching yourself ‘on’. Go back through all things that are written on your paper. Make sure they all feel real and meaningful. Then close your eyes, take a deep breath, and tell yourself that you are worth it. You are worth it. You are worth it.
This often feels like a scary thing to do. Logically you know that telling somebody else what you are working on shouldn’t change whether or not you will do it, but emotionally we fear that they won’t support us, or that we might not live up to their expectations of us. It’s time for you to take that fire inside you and burn through the fear.
Best friend, coach, mom, or anybody else – if you’ve already started working with somebody congratulations! If you haven’t yet – now is the time.
Decide on somebody you trust or hire a coach to be your accountability partner. Make the phone call, and when you are about the tell them about your goal and plan, know that there will be a voice inside you that screams to find anything else to talk about. This is normal. That voice will tell you to talk about the weather, about the kids, or why the sky is blue before you get around to talking about what matters. This is the moment to remember how important this goal is to you, take up all the willpower you have stored up, and simply tell them what you are working on.
Setup a time to talk accountability
You took the plunge! Great work! Now that the hardest part is out of the way, ask if and when you could talk with them about it more in depth. If you are working with a coach this will be easy – it’s your next meeting with them. If it’s somebody else, you will need to drive the boat a little more and make sure the set the schedule, as well as specifically ask them if they will help hold you accountable to your goals.
Decide if you need more incentive
Now that you’ve set yourself up for success, decide if you need another layer of accountability for you personally. For some people, joining an accountability group helps them create the massive change they need to achieve their dreams. For others who want a little bit more digital/solo incentive, apps like Stikk can be really effective. Or, start spreading the word to as many people as you are comfortable with. Let all of your friends know what you are doing, if you get along with your family, let them know what the goal is.
Now start taking action on the plan
Remember that plan we made in the last step? Now’s the time to start working through it. Keep in mind is that the plan doesn’t have to be perfect in order for you to start. The most important thing is to take action right now while you are primed and pumped up for it. You are ready to start creating the life you want instead of waiting for the world to be ‘just right’. What part of the plan can you start on today?
As you work through the plan, make sure to keep meeting with your accountability partner. They can help you with ideas when you get stuck, celebrate your victories, and help re-orient when something doesn’t go according to the plan.
Celebrate a bit
Go ahead, pat yourself on the back. Dance a happy dance. Laugh and giggle at how awesome you are. Give yourself credit for doing hard things when others wouldn’t. Thank yourself for not giving up on… yourself.
You know that it’s not all easy roads ahead. Challenges will always come up but you’ve now got a solid framework for moving forward, and with your focus on the goal instead of the plan you will be able to deal with whatever comes your way.
There’s only one more step, and it comes a little later on. Work your plan for a month or three. Meet with your accountability partner at least four or five times. Then go to the next step.
- Not sure how you got here and want to start from the beginning? Here is Step One.
- Medium article on accountability
- If somebody else is asking you to be their accountabilbuddy, here is a good template for doing so.
- Accountability in the workplace.