Don’t stop till you finish
My post, struck a chord for a lot of people (including me) and there were some questions.
Some of those questions were:
- How do I make sure it is really a different me this year?
- I am tired of the same old patterns, starting out with zeal and quitting half way through February. How do I make sure this doesn’t happen again?
One thing was clear, most people know how to start, some know how to continue, few know how to finish.
Starting is a big deal, and takes courage. But, finishing…? You know that thing called finishing? It takes a lot more to get to the finish line. It takes a lot of courage, determination, commitment to not stop till you finish what you started! This year, commit to not only start but to F.I.N.I.S.H
All those other years, you set out to start achieving your goals; you started the weight loss programs, started reading more, started praying more, started saving some money, started making donations to charity etc. But you never completed them because they were private to you. You hid them away and nobody knew about them. You made a mental note. Sadly, those mental notes never got finished. You started and stopped. Every single year. Now you don’t even believe you can do much about them.
I’m going to share something to help answer those two “how” questions I listed above.
It is a simple but tough rule. Tough because doing it takes something many are not willing to give.
I encourage you to get an ‘accountability partner’ this year. An accountability partner is someone who you share what you plan to achieve with and who checks in on you from time to time to ensure you are actually doing what you said. This year, get someone who you can share your goals for the year with, someone who you’ll occasionally give feedback. Someone who will push you to continue when you’ve lost the zest you started with.
This isn’t such an easy thing to do. Many avoid this for many reasons:
- Most of their goals are ‘private’
- They are not sure they want to bring their “business’ out in the open
- They feel many people are unreliable. Tell them your business and fifty other people get to hear it 🙁
- Some feel their ‘best friend’ has a ‘best friend’ with whom they share everything and that everything includes your personal private goals if your ever told them (Cringe)
I like this very simple method of choosing an accountability partner: Choose an accountability partner for different aspects of your life.
Hold up, let me explain what I mean. Let’s say you are a Doctor. You have these consultancy exams to write. But you’ve put them off for 5 years now. Who best to give you the push but a fellow Doctor? So, you pick Dr A as your accountability partner. But, you aren’t comfortable with sharing your money goals with that same Doctor colleague? So, there’s this friend of yours who is is a meticulous financial planner but isn’t very concerned about weight loss. So, you pick her to share your financial goals and then pick your neighbour (who works out behind your window every morning) to share your fitness goals with. You now have three people you share different aspects of your goals with. You know they’ll hold you accountable because they are passionate about those areas. Simple. Especially for the uncomplicated aspects. It may take more thorough selecting for deeper goals.
On rare occasions you may have one individual who you can share all aspects of your life with – your financial goals, your fitness goals, your parenting goals, your career goals, your relationship and spiritual goals etc. Great. If there’s no one person, don’t beat yourself up about it. An accountability partner is not a bestie. So, don’t make it seem complicated. An accountability partner needs to be committed enough to require feedback from you and push you when you seem to have slowed down.
Your accountability partner is like the supervisor who gives you a deadline to submit the report and you have to submit it when it falls due because, well you know why! 🙂 If there were no supervisor, you probably won’t have the report ready till next year!
Your accountabilty partner could even be a group of people! (For example, when I wanted to read some more, I joined a book club and had all these like minded people pushing me to achieve my reading and personal development goals.)
So, what do I want you to do for me today?
Take a pen NOW – or after you put the children to sleep 🙂
Look at the goals you wrote down for the year.
Who will you choose to hold you accountable for each of those?
Prayerfully, write names of people who you think you can share those aspects of your life with beside each of those goals. Send them a message asking them to keep you accountable for specific things.
Your note could read something like this, “I plan to lose 5kg by 20th February. I plan to cut out carbs and not eat after 5pm. Please could you check on me weekly to be sure I am sticking to this.”
Here’s another example, “I plan to read 2 books by 20th February. I intend to achieve this by skipping on my TV shows weeknights and reading one hour before bed each day. I will watch TV only on Sunday afternoons for one hour. Please could you check on me every other day to be sure I am sticking to this.”
Those notes are very specific and give your accountability partner clarity on where you need help and what their role is. Expect tough questions like, “did you watch TV today?” and be honest while answering.
One month in this beautiful year is almost gone. God has equipped us, it is not business as usual. Set goals. Get yourself an accountability partner. Let your guard down. Share them. Be accountable. Achieve those goals. Remember, “you can do all things through Christ who infuses you with strength!”
Accountabiliity is the glue that ties commitment to the result – Bob Proctor