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Accountability – Why it works or doesn’t work to help you achieve your goals

In this podcast episode, Michelle discusses the topic of accountability and why it often doesn’t work as intended. She emphasizes the importance of setting realistic and specific accountability goals, rather than generic or fluffy ones.

Michelle also talks about the pitfalls of overcommitting and the pressure it can create, leading to a sense of resentment and ultimately, failure to follow through. She highlights the value of holding oneself accountable and suggests starting with one achievable goal, gradually adding more as progress is made.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Accountability can be a powerful tool for achieving goals and maintaining focus, but it often fails when accountability goals are unrealistic or too generic.
  2. Overcommitting can create unnecessary pressure and lead to a lack of follow-through, so it’s essential to start with one achievable goal and gradually add more as progress is made.
  3. Accountability doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment; setting a specific timeframe for accountability goals can make them more manageable and effective.
  4. The key to successful accountability is to focus on actions that genuinely move your business forward and have a clear strategy behind them.

If you have struggled with accountability in the past – this episode is a must listen for you.

If you are ready to hold yourself accountable and STOP setting fluffy goals and letting yourself off the hook – join the Focused Visionary Mastermind.

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Transcript

Michelle (00:01.194)

Hey, hey, how's everybody doing today? What is new? By the time this episode is releasing, it is the end of October, depending on when you're listening as always, but the actual original release day is the end of October. So let this be your reminder that it's time to do your monthly reflection as well. If you need help with your reflection, when I say reflection, really looking at things that went right.

wrong, good, bad, and different in your business. Again, it's just the truth about your business. Don't look at it in any other way. I think a lot of people avoid reflection because they feel like it's gonna, like they get discouraged by it, right? Or they feel disappointed, they feel like they're a failure, whatever. It's just data. Data is just data and you can learn from it. And so it is so, so powerful and it's needed.

So I have a worksheet, I have a strategic reflection worksheet. It's absolutely free. I'm gonna make sure it's linked in the show notes. Spend some time, I mean, it's completely free. I've done the work, I've asked you all the important questions. All you gotta do is spend some time looking at it and filling it out, okay? So if you have not done it, if you've never done it, you could do it for a couple months, you could do it for the past three months, you could do it for the past quarter, whatever you wanna do. But anyways.

definitely download the strategic reflection worksheet and remember to do it. Schedule the time into your calendar and actually get it done, okay? All right, but today's episode, we're talking about accountability. And I am a huge fan of being held accountable to things. I love, love accountability, but I have also been a facilitator in Mastermind. So like in the Accelerated Business Alliance Mastermind, we do accountability.

every single meeting in the Focus Visionary mastermind that is launching in December for next year, which by the way, if you haven't gotten on the wait list, get on it. Cause I cannot wait. It's gonna have like even more accountability. But here's the thing. I really just wanna talk about like why it either works or it doesn't, okay? One of the things that I see.

Michelle (02:20.218)

happen all the time, right? So like accountability is great, right? We know that we are more likely to achieve our goals and stay focused when we are being held accountable. However, like inside the accelerated business lines, I've had a lot of people say like, I don't know what I should say. Like we always go around at the end of the at the end of the call and do accountability. And the conversation comes up a lot of like, well, I don't know. I don't even know what I should.

be held accountable to, right? Or I am a huge, like I am always on them to say, like, don't give me any fluffy bullshit accountability. And I think that's part of why it doesn't work, right? Like you see all these posts and all these Facebook groups and all these things and people are like, I need an accountability buddy and then it doesn't work and you do really good for a couple of weeks and then you let each other off the hook. But that, I mean, that's a whole nother like conversation of like why it doesn't work.

But for me, most of the time what I see is the reason accountability doesn't work is one, you're setting some bullshit fluffy accountability that means nothing. Two, it's way too generic. Like I'm gonna engage on Instagram or I'm going to, I'm gonna work on my new offer. Okay, what the hell does that mean, right? So it's way too generic.

It's some fluffy pie in the sky, like, I'm gonna reach out and do 25 DMs in a day, which is absolutely like not even realistic based on what you're trying to do. Which leads me to the next point is, usually it's either too fluffy, right? Or it's something you know damn well you're never gonna freakin' do.

but you feel like you should say it because the other people in the group are saying it or you feel like that's what you should be doing. And so you say you're gonna hold yourself accountable to it and then you don't do it, right? And so this is the problem. And I actually had somebody else inside the Alliance say one time, like, I just don't do well with accountability. And part of that, and I get that feeling too, I get that side of it, is she said like, the second I feel like I have to do something like,

Michelle (04:33.29)

I just get this level of resentment around it and I don't want to do it. And that's why accountability doesn't work because I feel like it puts too much pressure on me. And the second I feel like I've got this pressure to perform and maintain something, then it just starts spiraling and I start overthinking it. And then ultimately I just say, fuck it, and I don't do any of it. And so I don't like being held accountable.

Right? And so I think there is definitely a fine line there of like what you need to be doing and how you need to make sure that you're holding yourself accountable in a way that you actually can be accountable to yourself. Right? Like having an accountability partner or somebody that holds you accountable is just like that extra layer. But the reality is, is that you need to be held accountable to yourself. And that's the hardest part.

But oftentimes too, is we try to commit to too many things because we feel like we need to, right? Like, well, I'm holding myself accountable and my accountability partner, I don't wanna let her down and so I'm gonna commit to all of these things. And I have been a creature of this. Like I have been this person that does this all the time and like, and then I end up failing. And so I wanna give you an example quick of like my most recent, here's what I need you to hold me accountable to, okay?

So I am working with Britt Jones, Britt Chimla Jones again. She's a Reiki master spiritual mentor. I've worked with her for a couple of years now and she had this killer offer Reiki on demand, which it's amazing. So basically whenever you need it, you need like some guidance, some spiritual guidance. You just need any kind of like reassurance, anything to do like just re-shifting your energy or whatever and it was like a special offer that she put out for the last three months of the year. So of course I hopped on it.

I assume she's gonna be launching it in January. So like, if you're not following her on Instagram, go follow her because I'm sure it's coming back out. But one of the things is, is she's always talking to me about creating a spiritual practice and creating like a sacred space. Like she's been on me about this for a long time. And the spiritual practice usually includes some type of meditation and journaling. We've done accountability where...

Michelle (06:53.366)

We've done like the three pages a day accountability and like some type of card poll or just sitting in silence, going to the sacred space, just doing something that for me is in like a spiritual, like a reset, that sacred space, right? Just giving my brain time to think. And so a lot of the times, like I feel like I was failing with the accountability because I was trying to like journal three pages a day, meditate.

do a card pull, like pull a card or some type of like Oracle card reading for like some type of guidance. And then there was something else like, can't remember, oh, read, right? So it was like all four things. Then it was like, I'm gonna do all of them for the next 30 days. And the reality is, it's like, it's not, it just, the chances of that happening are so slim to none. And like I said, the second, I'm one of those people too. Like the second the pressure builds up, I'm like,

I don't wanna do it, it doesn't fall in line, so then I'd be like, okay, I'm gonna do them five days a week, I'm only gonna do it during the weekdays, and then I'm gonna get myself the weekends off. And finally, I just said to her, I was like, here's what I need you to hold me accountable to. I want you to hold me accountable to sitting in, I created my sacred space in this chair that I love, it's right literally across from my office, but it's kind of like out of.

It's not in my office, but it's not in the living room. It's not outside, it's not in the kitchen. It's just kind of like in this weird space in our house that's, it's highly trafficked, but it's not really because you wouldn't walk by it. And so I love that chair. Nobody ever sits in it because again, it just looks at my office and the dog's pen. So there's like no reason for anybody to sit there. And so it became my sacred space. And across from it, I have this really nice cabinet.

that was like in my grandmother's home and it was always held like all of our coloring books as a kid and so it's like super special to me, right? So that's super sacred and it's got my Oracle cards in it, it's got my journal and all the things. And so one of the things is I said to her, I just want you to hold me accountable to coming and sitting in this chair and just doing something, right? Like not all the things, something. I mean, they're just gonna sit in the chair in silence and just.

Michelle (09:10.134)

do like a silent meditation. I'm going to sit in the chair and journal, I'm gonna sit in the chair and read, I'm gonna sit in the chair and pull a card, I'm gonna sit in the chair and meditate, right? But I'm gonna sit in my chair every day, for, I didn't even put a time limit on it. That's it, I'm gonna sit in my chair every day, sit in my sacred space and just be with myself. And so...

it was one of the things, right? Like I am going to do one of them, not all of them. I'm going to do one of them. And when I felt like I could, and all of them are going to move me forward in some way, right? But I don't need to do all of them. That's been the biggest thing. And this is where accountability either works or it doesn't. And this is what I find happening inside when I work with clients all the time is that they,

If I say, okay, what do you want me to hold you accountable to? Or what's your accountability for the week? It's usually like for the longest time, everybody was like, okay, I'm gonna send 25 DMs a week, or five DMs a day, or 10 DMs a day. Like, do you even have a pipeline built to create those DMs? Like, do you even know who you're DMing? Where did that number come from? Do you even have that many people in your pipeline?

What are the DMs? Are they follow-up DMs? Are they initial conversation DMs? What are they, right? And so that sounds good on paper, but again, if it's not leading you towards anything, sending one very effective and very focused DM per day is much more effective and an easier thing to be held accountable to than sending 10 random DMs that have absolutely no strategy behind it, that have zero like,

What's the longevity here? Like what's the ultimate goal, right? And so this is why accountability doesn't work for so many people is because they are, it's just fluffy freaking accountability. It's putting too much pressure and adding too much to your plate. It's not physically even possible or maybe not even like emotionally possible for you to do. And so it's coming from a place of shoulds and not coming from a place of really focused strategy.

Michelle (11:30.058)

Right? And so there's like, I can't even tell you how many times I've said to somebody like, no, that doesn't work. Like this is my goal is your accountability partner is to say, like, that doesn't make any sense. I don't that's no, try again. Right? Like try again. What exactly? Because seeing you're going to do something just for the sake of doing it does not move your business forward.

Okay, and if that's what you're doing, then holding yourself accountable is not gonna get you anywhere, right? Like you could have the best accountability partner in the world, but if the actions that you're committing to and being held accountable to aren't gonna move your business forward, then you're just wasting your time. And then you say, oh my, well, I had an accountability partner and it didn't work, right? Or I don't really feel the value of accountability. You don't see the value in accountability because...

There is no value in accountability when you set fluffy accountability and it has no strategy behind it and you don't have somebody that can say like, why, why are you doing that? And so I really want to, because accountability can truly catapult your business. It can be a incredibly profitable thing and it can be incredibly productive to have accountability.

partner and I think everybody has some level of accountability, even if you don't like it, right? Like even if you're somebody that like implodes under pressure, then release the pressure, but there's still value in having some level of accountability, even if it's just an accountability to yourself, right? Like you can even just hold yourself accountable, create a scoreboard, create something that says like, okay, I am going to send one very strategic DM a day.

Well, just create a little store. Remember like when you were a kid and you got to put stickers on your little chart every time you did something? Like go to the dollar store, buy a piece of freaking poster board, get the little gold stickers and give yourself a damn gold sticker every day, right? Like hold yourself accountable. Do something that makes you feel good and do something that you feel like, yes, I can commit to this. And I'm telling you, it will work. You do not have to hold yourself accountable to somebody else. You can just hold yourself accountable.

Michelle (13:42.434)

to yourself, right? And that's just as productive. But the key is, is that it's got to be something that is not just some fluffy bullshit that you feel like you should be doing, right? Like what is the one thing in your business that you need to be doing that you know is gonna move you forward, you know is gonna be beneficial, you know is gonna help you, but.

you need a little bit of like skin in the game, right? And so thinking about it from that perspective, right? It doesn't have to be something big. And that is one of the biggest errors I see in accountability is over committing. Over committing creates too much pressure, it doesn't move you forward, it sets you up to fail. And then that's when things fall off the rails and then that's when accountability doesn't work. And so when you can say like,

I'm only going to commit to this one thing, like taking into consideration all of the things that you have going on in life or going on in your personal life. Right? Like it could be something very, very simple. It could be that you're going to post, I'm going to share my podcast. Like one of the other things that I'm really terrible at is actually sharing out my episodes, the podcast episodes. And so I would love to have somebody holding me accountable to say, Michelle, when's the last time you actually told people about your podcast?

When's the last time you actually promoted it on social media? When's the last time you shared an episode about it? When's the last time you mentioned it in a coffee chat? Right, like I want somebody to hold me accountable to actually sharing these podcast episodes because it's like my best content. And it's like, I need to be better at it, right? So it could be as simple as sharing once a week, right? Sharing once a week. And then,

you move up. Once you create that, then you stack on top of that, and then you stack on top of that. So like, the fact is, back to my other example with Britt, is that I told her, I need you to hold me accountable to just sitting in my chair, right? So, and I'm only gonna do one of the things, right? Well, yesterday I did two. I pulled a card and I did some reading. Today, I journaled, and then...

Michelle (16:02.59)

I actually just sat and worked on another project like in my chair, but I just stayed away. It was like I was crocheting something. And so I was just like, I just spent some time doing some crochet, which really allows my brain to open up because it was like non-business related and it allow, it just gives me time to think. So to me, it was like a form of meditation, even though I wasn't like with my eyes closed doing some type of guided meditation, it was a meditation. So again, like,

When you release the pressure, then you find it easier, right? Like to do two things. So even though I said I'm only gonna sit in my chair, I was like, oh, well, while I'm here, let me pull a card. Oh, wait, wow, that card really gave me something to journal on. Okay, I'm gonna journal, right? And like, so it's just getting you started that is the key. And then you can figure out, you can always add more. But I always say, like, I would rather have you commit to one thing.

that you know you can do and that you will stay accountable to, then 10 things you're never going to do. That makes no sense. Like that is not impressive to me to commit to I'm going to do this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and then two weeks from now go I didn't do any of it. Right? Like that pisses me off. If I were your accountability partner, I'd be like, well, what the fuck? Why did you even commit to it in the first place? Right? So

You are not doing yourselves any favors by over committing. It's not impressive. I'm sorry, I don't mean to burst your bubble. It's not impressive. It's just not. Commit to the one thing that is going to move your business forward. When you're doing that well, add something else. When you're doing both those things well, add something else, right? And you have to be constantly reevaluating. Okay, I said I was gonna hold myself accountable to sharing, I'm gonna do that now because I put it out there to you guys.

And so I want you guys to hold me accountable. I want you to send me a text when you listen to this. I want you to DM me on Instagram and I want you to say, hey Michelle, when's the last time you shared your podcast episode? I am gonna hold myself accountable to that. So I want you to hold me accountable. Go ahead, call me out on it. And I just, that is what is going to move you. I don't even know where I went with that. See, I get off on these tangents and then I'm like, well, what was I even saying? It doesn't matter.

Michelle (18:19.498)

It's the point is, is that the reason accountability doesn't work for you is because you're setting yourself up to fail. So it is something that is very powerful that you need to do. It is a part of the focus visionary mastermind. It is going to be a key part of that focus visionary plan program next year. Well, it starts in December. Hint hint. Wink wink. Have I mentioned it enough yet?

Seriously, I'm so excited about it. But accountability is going to be one of the things that is like a really big part of it. However, we are not going to be accountable to a million things, right? And we are going to track it, and we are going to have little scoreboards and dashboards and different things to really make it fun, like gamify it, do different things, but it is so powerful. But the only reason it's not working for you is because...

You're just doing it wrong. It's okay. We've all been there. Trust me, when I first had my first accountability partner, we used to meet on Sunday nights and set ourselves up and every week it was like, oh my God, I didn't do this, but I did this. I didn't do this, but I did this. Because it was like not even realistic. Like what the hell were we even thinking trying to commit to all these things? All right, again, we tend to over commit. We tend to like get super overzealous thinking like that's what needs to happen.

The reality is, is most business gains are like accomplished from the smallest things. It's accomplished by staying focused on the key factors that are going to move your business forward, not all the factors. All right? So your action item from this episode is not only do I want you to call me out and ask me when the last time I shared my podcast episode is, but I want you to tell me what can I hold you accountable to and how long do you want me to hold you accountable for?

That's the other thing here too, why I think we sometimes fail is because we feel like we need to be held accountable for months on end. Give yourself a week. Is it two weeks? Maybe you even give yourself too short of a time. Maybe you're saying, I'm going to focus on email list growth or podcast, sharing my podcast. And I say, I'm only going to do it for one week. Well, that's not enough time.

Michelle (20:43.818)

Right? Give yourself more time or give yourself less time. So maybe when I was originally doing like the journaling, I'd say I'm going to do it for the next 90 days. Why am I starting with 90 when I can't even get past day five? Right? Say I'm going to do this for the next seven days. When you get to seven days add on seven more or add on two weeks. Like what is that little bit of a stretch but not too big of a stretch that you start to get defeated on? Right? And so that's what I want you to do. I want you to DM me.

Or just post it, post it publicly on your stories on IG or on Facebook or wherever you hang out and tag me on it and say, listening to Michelle's episode on accountability, here's my accountability for this period of time and here's what I'm committing to. I really don't wanna see you commit to more than one thing, right? One thing with a period of time. And I will hold you accountable. Like I'm gonna make a list, I'm gonna put it in my calendar and I'm gonna follow up with you.

I promise you that I will do that all for free and I will hold you accountable for as long as you need. And then, but at some point there's going to need to be a strategy behind that. And that's where the focus visionary comes in. Hint hint, wink wink. Again, jump on the wait list. It's in the show notes. All right. Anyway, that's why accountability is not working for you. You're just setting yourself up to fail, but it's powerful. Shift your mindset around it and go conquer.

the freaking world. All right, love ya, bye.

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