The Accountability Loop
28th February 2017
If you have been through the 6 other blogs on achieving accountability by now you would have created a whole template for yourself or an end to end process- an accountability loop. Everything from self reflection through to measuring goals and eventually accountability for those goals. Here is a recap and easy access to them all.
Self Reflection – What we want out of life and reflection on our motivation and past success.
Vision and Goal Setting – Where we want to be. Creating a vision and then the habits to support this vision.
Habit Forming – Stop, Start, Keep – What working for us, what’s not and where are the gaps.
Measuring Habits – Help in tracking and measuring your new success habits.
Creating Accountability – How to stay on track with your goals and commitments
Measuring Accountability – How you can test what is effective and tweak what’s not
Creating a loop
You now have the vision, the goals you set, the tools to measure, the habits you know will get you closer to your vision and the accountability to keep you on track. Plus the measurement tools to ensure your accountability is working and that you are focussing on the right goals. You have now created a whole end to end loop of accountability – All done? (phew that’s the hard bit) Congratulations!“ ”Yes, if it is meant to be, it will be. In the meantime, create your own fate. Plan big and dream bigger” ― Destiny BoozeClick To Tweet
Now it’s just a process to create a continuous loop. By creating a loop of your Vision-Action-Habits you create your true character and this shapes your destiny. Our characters are malleable and changeable, we just need to be a little more aware of the actions and rituals in our life that support or inhibit the character that we want to be or believe we should be.
Michael Hyatt says that there are 3 forces that shape our character. He suggests that they are Input (what information we consume) Relationships (who we hang out with) and Habits (we already covered that in-depth) and all the research shows that your beliefs shape both your behaviour and other people’s behaviour. So it’s critical to be more intentional with this and pay attention to what you say and more importantly what you actually do.
If you do something all the time (habit) then it is definitely a character trait. Lets use an example of a habit you have “to be punctual” You’re the type of person that is always on time (you weren’t always but you practiced at it) Now this is something that you tell people all the time, maybe even brag a little “ I hate being late so I always leave 15 minutes early to make sure that I am on time” You become known as someone who’s punctual and it’s now ingrained as part of your character. But remember its a learned skill and something that you work on – its not a natural gift.
Image courtesy of RJMetrics
Your loop is similar to the Walmart productivity loop except that instead of lower prices being fed back into the cost of each item you are now working towards your vision and goals with a defined purpose and can use this method again and again to accomplish anything you set as a goal.
As you work on this loop each week you create a character that has been amplified by the success of the loop and from there you move towards your destiny (a destiny that you visioned, set and then implemented)
What is your destiny?
Destiny sounds like such a melodramatic word or phrase as it’s often used out of context or within grand ideas and visions, but in reality, aside from some external things we cannot control, destiny is defined as:-
“the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future” So if you have mapped out your own script then you are essentially creating your future and therefore destiny.
We mentioned in the self-reflection blog that we can slowly pick up habits, traits and external influences that contribute to our overall well being, sometimes without being conscious of them or even wanting them. We just seem to have collected them like barnacles on the bottom of a ship. By following the process outlined above we create more intentionality in our lives and this ensures that we are always moving closer to the things we really love, truly enjoy and feed our soul as well as our minds. Surely that is what our Destiny is all about. “No matter what your history has been, your destiny is what you create today. What are you going to create?” ― Steve Maraboli Click To Tweet
Now that you are comfortable with the process you can add a 2nd, 3rd or 4th metric to any routine. If they are similar habits or tasks then this is even easier as you are now primed for success and have created the confidence that you can do this.
It’s the layering that really gives you the strength as you build one thing on top of another as each are interconnected, and even in some small way, supportive of each other. For example if you are tracking your metrics daily then it’s just as easy to track 6 things as it is 5. If your main goal is a new business launch 3 months from now then the combination of initial vision, daily/weekly/goal setting, prioritization of tasks, accountability for deadlines and regular reviews of the work completed all contribute to the feeling of being in control, less overwhelmed, more likely to succeed and the confidence in both yourself and the likely outcome of the project.
Wooden buildings as strong as steel! Using wood as a metaphor. In the building industry they now use layered wood to make superstructures out of lightweight wood – because it’s the layering that strengthens the whole structure and gives it the support it needs to hold. Just think of your habits and accountability the same way. Independently they are not particularly strong but when combined they give you the solid foundation you need to achieve anything.
Your success is built on being recursive
adjective: recursive characterized by recurrence or repetition, in particular:
The habit of success. Successful people, once they find a winning formula, repeat the same thing again and again over and over. Take Tom Cruise as a good example. Pretty much his entire movie career is based on 1 character and 1 plot. Gifted yet flawed individual, incurs a set-back but then overcomes outrageous odds and comes back even stronger. Think Top Gun, Jerry Maguire, Mission Impossible, The Colour of Money, The Last Samurai and on and on.
So as we put a wrap on this whole Accountability loop section what is your “Tom Cruise” character you want to shape. What can you be awesome at and get to do again and again.
Let us know in the comment section below how you found your accountability loop.