Week of January 8, 2012—Jumping Into 2012 Feet First
Thursday, January 12, 2012—The Accountability
Time for a confession—I hate the word accountability. I guess it’s part of my personal baggage (and I have a matching set of luggage). Since I know accountability is so important, I decided to find synonyms that might work better and make the concept more palatable to me. Here goes . . .
Ok, I don’t like any of those words either. So I’m sticking with accountability—the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.
If you keep secret your 3-word pillars, your dreams, and the steps you intended to take during 2012, chances are by the time March rolls around all those ideas and plans will be forgotten. When you add accountability into the mix, you increase your odds for success (or at least your odds of remembering).
The first and easiest way to add some accountability to your 2012 plans is to calendar out the steps to writing success that you brainstormed yesterday. If you decided to attend a conference, look up the date and put it on your calendar. If you think you’ll join a critique group this year, give yourself a deadline for doing so. If you decided on the number of manuscripts you want to draft in a given timeframe, write reminders in your calendar. Those simple actions add accountability and help keep your steps to reaching your dreams and “pillars” in your mind.
Schedule Monthly or Quarterly Check-ups
Decide how often you are going to check-up on your progress. I like monthly check-ups. Other folks like to do this on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis. Decide which will work for you, then make notes in your calendar or highlight the week/month when you will go back and review your pillars, your dreams, and your steps. Each time you do a check-up, you can check off what you’ve accomplished/completed, rearrange your plans as needed, and add additional actions that make be needed.
The ultimate in accountability is to tell another human being what your plans are and the steps you are taking. You might choose a writing friend or mentor, your critique group, or another interested family member or friend. Don’t choose someone who will nag you to death, and don’t choose someone who will allow you to slack off! Ask your accountability partner to routinely check in with questions such as, “What have you done to reach your writing dreams?” or “What steps on your writing journey have you taken recently?” Open-ended questions are best.
It’s Your Turn!
1. Add some accountability into your plans for 2012. Do it today . . . don’t wait!