Commitment, Priority, & Accountability: The BIG 3
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about these three big concepts. It’s logical to understand that nothing much gets done if there is no commitment to doing it. So, in my mind commitment comes first. However, I bet you’ve committed to do something you didn’t do. I know I have. That’s where prioritizing the commitment comes into play. Honestly, I thought that was it. I know now that public accountability plays a big role in accomplishing the most challenging things.
Let me give you some examples of what I mean. When I make a commitment to meet with someone on the phone, at their office, for lunch…I prioritize that commitment by putting it on the calendar. It’s very rare that I would not honor that kind of agreement.
In my mind, that strategy would work for anything. I decide what it is I want to do (commitment), put it on the calendar (priority), and then it is so. However, the reality contradicts that theory in a big way. In my lifetime, I have made a lot of commitments and scheduled many appointments with myself to do things like go to the gym, write the book, eat seven fruits and vegetables daily, make ten sales calls, send one thank you card three times per week, call a friend, connect with a family member who’s out of town, and so on, and haven’t actually followed through at all.
Those commitments and the priority of the obligations I made to myself aren’t always honored at the same level as those prioritized commitments I make to others. By now you are probably thinking of a therapist you want to recommend. Hang tight, though. I’m getting to the point.
I’m pretty sure I’m pretty human. In the last 258 days, I’ve learned a giant lesson regarding accountability. What I’ve found is that when you sprinkle a little “accountability to others” in with prioritized commitments, you wind up with a recipe for real success. This is fact. Over the last 258 days, I’ve adopted a “whatever it takes” attitude to make sure I get 10,000 steps per day in the first 100 days and 12,000 in the last 158 days. My experience is that if this had been a commitment to me only, then I could not have written the previous sentence. Honestly, I do not know what compelled me to post my daily step goal on Facebook. I do know that the results indicate that about walking, accountability to others motivated me more than the hundreds of times I committed to me only.
For me, putting something out there as a public commitment made a huge difference in my ability to perform. I’ve discovered that daily exercise is no easy thing. What is easier is honoring my word to others. Maybe I do need a little therapy about honoring my word to myself! Humans are wonderful justifiers, especially if the justification is just in our head.
So, in conclusion, if you know there is something that could make a big difference in your life, and you keep NOT doing it…I encourage you to make the commitment publicly, prioritize the commitment, and then be accountable to communicate your progress to someone else.