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The trick to holding yourself accountable on your 2015 goals

(Editorial) Your 2015 goals feel within grasp right now, but what are you doing to make sure that’s the case in July or October?

2015 goals

2015 goals

What makes you think you’re going to keep those goals this year?

How is your life instantly different from 2014? It isn’t, and your goals are arbitrary unless you know what needs to happen in your life in order to achieve those goals … and then how are you going to keep the new alive until it’s now who you are?

I’ve been asking people for weeks now how they keep themselves accountable and actually achieve the lofty goals of the New Year, the consensus has been to keep it simple and lifestyle oriented.

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Lifestyle oriented means that whatever is put in to place to create accountability has to fit in to my lifestyle AND be simple. Bringing in a new tracking program that detracts from your normal day is most likely not going to gain traction and stay with you for the long haul. Adding complexity to your life is not forward momentum, it is a speedbump that doesn’t take long before you no longer want to go down that road.

It’s the changes in who we are that make goals come to fruition, so when you set a goal you also need to look at what you aren’t doing (or know) currently that has kept you from achieving it already. Now you have something to work with.

The simplest of accountability processes

I want to introduced the most amazingly simple accountability process, that taught me the value of simple, just this past Monday… it’s visual (which I have to have), simple, and fits in to my lifestyle easily.

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Grab a calendar, a paper one that you can hang on the wall (recommended) and define the goals you want to make sure stay implemented throughout the year … now assign a marker color to each of those goals. You’re ready to get started. I’m going to use my goals and process as an example (I’m visual remember) below:

2015 Goals:

  1. increase checking balance monthly
  2. increase savings balance monthly
  3. reduce credit balance monthly
  4. workout consistently (4-6 times/week)
  5. get out and play more often (3-4 times/week)

I’ve assigned a color to the last two (blue for workouts, fun pink for play), and then as you will see on the calendar image I am documenting my account balances every Sunday for the financial goals since they aren’t a daily “check-off” type event. Each day that I work out I put a blue line across that day, when I go play I put a fun pink line across the day in the opposite direction (as I might play and workout the same day). Now i can quickly look at the calendar and see how often I’m actually doing what I need to do to meet my goals or if I need to crank it up a notch. No judgement, no beating yourself up … just continually tweaking your daily routine until you find what works for you.

january 2015

One more thing that was super important that came out of my asking of people… DO NOT beat yourself up when you miss a day, or a week, or even a month – get back on the horse, evaluate if the goal is really a priority and move forward. It’s a year, we’re making changes, that takes time, self-forgiveness and dedication to the process. Giving up doesn’t get you any closer to your goal!

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Written By

Emily Leach is a pioneer in the world of uniquely-talented people who feel empowered to go beyond conventional jobs and create businesses from unique vantage points and perspectives. She is the founder of the Texas Freelance Association, the first statewide association of freelance workers in the country and The Freelance Conference, the only event of its kind poised to become THE conference for freelancers across the nation. Her belief that those working for themselves deserve the same respect as those working for major corporations drives her tireless fight to ensure this growing population of “genetically unemployable” solo-preneurs are represented and offered some of the same opportunities as those working for large corporations. Because of her knowledge and expertise, Emily has been a leading-edge organizer and speaker for TEDx events throughout the U.S. Southwest. Currently living in Austin, Texas, Emily’s outside interests include rowing, sailing, traveling, scuba diving, snowboarding, whitewater and cycling – basically, having adventures and living life to the fullest.

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