Running a successful practice requires a great deal of discipline and accountability. When you’re not answering to anyone but yourself, that accountability can be difficult, making it hard to be truly productive and accomplish anything meaningful.
Make It Public
Don’t keep what you’re working on a secret. Decide on a deadline, a plan of action and announce your objective to your clients and potential clients via social media, newsletter or even in a new ad. A great example is announcing to your followers that you’re launching a new program even before it’s complete. We know it can feel scary but it may just be that extra bit of motivation you need to get it done.
Another option is to share your goals and deadlines with family members and friends. Just put your goals out there for the world to see. If you make your goals public and don’t reach them, you will see social consequences, and that can be enough of a motivating factor to stay on target.
Set and Prioritize Deadlines
How are you keeping track of your deadlines? Are they just floating around in your mind, without a regular reminder or visual aid? It’s not enough to keep track of deadlines in your head, or in scattered emails. Setting deadlines and actually committing them to paper (or a digital calendar) is an invaluable asset when it comes to holding yourself accountable.
Before you do anything, you need to get a calendar. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t even have to be a pen and paper — though, for some, that really helps. Whether it’s connected to your Google account, on your iPhone, a bullet journal, or premade calendar doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you keep track of everything in an organized and official capacity.
Once you’ve marked down all of your deadlines, the key becomes prioritizing them. This sounds like a simple task, but rest assured it stumps even the best of us. If you don’t prioritize your projects and your deadlines, you can feel like you’re working on too many different things at one time which can leave you feeling frazzled.
Break your bigger projects down. Assign yourself tasks on a daily basis to make sure that you’re progressing toward your objective and that you are delivering to the standards your clients have come to expect.
Be realistic with your timelines and your limitations. How many projects can you actually take on at a time? How much work will spread you too thin? Understand your own capacity. If you’re overwhelmed, you’re more likely to avoid the work and not act on your goals at all. Be honest with yourself, and work within those parameters.
Start an Accountability Group
Accountability groups are small groups of people who share their goals, report back to one another to track their progress, and hold one another accountable. For the most part, the goals of the group members are similar to a point. You’re all setting a unified, measurable goal. For example, your accountability group wants to read 50 books in a year, or train to run a half marathon by January or scale your business.
Gather professionals from your field with like-minded goals and work together. Set a specific date and time when you’ll meet to track your progress, whether that’s weekly, bi-monthly, or however frequently works for the group, and keep the schedule consistent. This can be done in person, over the phone, or online — whatever works for the group and will yield the highest success rates.
Get a Coach
Getting yourself an accountability coach or business coach may be really helpful to you. A coach is there to help prioritize your next steps, offer guidance keep you on track in order to meet your goals and your deadlines.
A business coach can be a great investment at any stage of your business, especially if you need more one-on-one, tailored support. That’s where a coach comes in, someone who holds you accountable for what you committed to doing.
In the end, the work always has to come from you so find the most effective strategies to keep yourself accountable and get started!
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